088 TSP Clarity and Closed Loops (GTD Music Teacher)

Having a hard semester, like me? Recently I talked to my Mastermind friend, Elise Winters-Huete, and she suggested something that reminded me of the beautiful clarity and peace of mind that I get from following the GTD system. I explain how I recommitted to my GTD system and weekly review, and I share how I achieved peace of mind again in the midst of a crazy semester!

If you are interested in following the GTD system and creating your own mental open space, I highly recommend this book:

This is an affiliate link, which means that there is no extra cost to you, but by clicking on this image, you will be helping to support the Teach Suzuki Podcast and blog.

If you would like to read some of my articles about this subject and find out some ideas for using GTD in the music studio, click on the links below:

GTD Tools & Resources

GTD for the Music Studio Teacher

GTD for the Music Studio Teacher: step 1, capture

GTD for the Music Studio Teacher: step 2, clarify

GTD for the Music Studio Teacher: step 3, organize

GTD for the Music Studio Teacher: step 4, reflect & review


For the remainder of the 2017 holiday season, I am offering my book at a 35% discount. This is a great way to provide support to the Teach Suzuki podcast and blog. Click here to get the discount. The discount will show up at the final part of the check out process.

If you are a parent of a beginning violin student and looking for help in between lessons, consider my book The Twinkle Project as a resource of teaching points, learning steps, and games and activities to assist the parent in practicing at home. I include a great deal of information, tools, worksheets, and checklists to assist parents. A parent who struggles to remember what to do in between weekly lessons will find all the answers in this book.

Many teachers will also find this book a helpful resource because it gathers in one place all the information to be used to teach a beginning violin student from the initial start up steps to the point of performing all the Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star variations. I have included all the tiny steps that I use when I begin a young violin student.

wonderful resource and guide that has all the nuts and bolts organized so nicely for the twinkle stages of study … looking forward to sharing with parents as a useful tool towards goal setting, pacing and achievement! — MD Suzuki teacher

For more information about The Twinkle Project, including the two short movies that explain why I wrote the book and give a good overview of what the book is about and what it contains, visit here. You can purchase the book here.

If you have questions or answers or you would like to comment or leave me a voice mail, you can do so at (512) 537-6356. If you would like to send me an email, you may do so at paula@teachsuzuki.com. I welcome comments and questions about this episode and am interested in hearing about the perspective of other parents and teachers.

You may find more information and useful articles on my blog at: Teach Suzuki Blog.

Until next time,

Happy Practicing!

—– Paula —–

© 2017 by Paula E. Bird

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Author: Paula Bird

I am a professional violinist, university teacher, and private instructor with training in the Suzuki Method of Talent Education. I have decades of experience as a teacher and am willing to share my knowledge with parents and teachers of children who are learning music using the Suzuki Method.

2 thoughts on “088 TSP Clarity and Closed Loops (GTD Music Teacher)”

  1. Thanks for sharing this.what are Lucretian theories of democracy and politics?I’m currently working on the f# minor nocturne! they’re beautiful pieces.Don’t get me wrong, you have to be strong and confident to be successful in just about anything you do – but with music, there’s a deeper emotional component to your failures and successes. If you fail a chemistry test, it’s because you either didn’t study enough, or just aren’t that good at chemistry (the latter of which is totally understandable). But if you fail at music, it can say something about your character. It could be because you didn’t practice enough – but, more terrifyingly, it could be because you aren’t resilient enough. Mastering chemistry requires diligence and smarts, but mastering a piano piece requires diligence and smarts, plus creativity, plus the immense capacity to both overcome emotional hurdles, and, simultaneously, to use that emotional component to bring the music alive.
    Before I started taking piano, I had always imagined the Conservatory students to have it so good – I mean, for their homework, they get to play guitar, or jam on their saxophone, or sing songs! What fun! Compared to sitting in lab for four hours studying the optical properties of minerals, or discussing Lucretian theories of democracy and politics, I would play piano any day.

    But after almost three years of piano at Orpheus Academy, I understand just how naïve this is. Playing music for credit is not “easy” or “fun” or “magical” or “lucky.” Mostly, it’s really freakin’ hard. It requires you to pick apart your piece, play every little segment over and over, dissect it, tinker with it, cry over it, feel completely lame about it, then get over yourself and start practicing again. You have to be precise and diligent, creative and robotic. And then – after all of this – you have to re-discover the emotional beauty in the piece, and use it in your performance.

    1. Thanks for writing. We in the Suzuki world like to encourage the growth mindset, which looks to the possibility of growth reather than assuming that talent is something you are born with. Just that simple change in outlook will change your approach to what’s possible and encourage you to broaden your expectations. I have found chemistry and music to have many things in common in terms of learning them as disciplines. I haven’t had the same experience as you. — Sincerely, Paula

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