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September 2020
Hello Friends & Fiddlers🎻

Wherever we go, here we are: in our musical realm. We thrive when we play, especially when we're with others. We go into our Zone of endorphins and sometimes even bliss, and absolutely into an abundance of smiles and laughter. Blood pressure falls, anxiety disappears. We are in the moment. The best moment.

Maybe you have heard of Sound Therapy, a cutting edge approach for physical healing, anti-anxiety/depression treatment, and body/ mind balance. Practitioners use a "Pod," which is akin to a mini-submarine, in which the (one) patient is surrounded by hundreds of fine, high tech speakers; Light Therapy may also be used concurrently.

Well, at Full Circle we have A Really Big Pod! All systems go:) 

It is a matter of fact that musicians on the whole live long, healthy and happy lives. Why? Because we are in Pods every single day, individually or in groups! We are blessed!

Happy Fall to All, 
Cayt & Pico
Duos and Trios are Rocking It!
My heart sings when I hear two or three of my students playing together, as John, Peg and Dee (L to R) are doing here. Many of our Full Circle family are now matched up with players of similar ability to enjoy a weekly duet (or trio!). What a joy, after being separated last Spring. Our French Connection, large open spaces, and good ventilation help keep us as safe as possible.
Explore & Experiment: Daily Practice Plan
Recently I started making a daily Practice Plan – and doing so has had such good results that Cayt asked me to share my experience, for this month's Practice Tip.

Too often in the past I'd come home from my lesson with a page full of tips, suggestions and tunes to work on – only to have frustration and overwhelm get in the way of making any progress. My main problem? Trying to do "everything" until I felt it was "right." That's not possible in 45-60 minutes (or 45 weeks) of unfocused, scattered practice.
Now I take about 5 minutes at the start of practice time, to jot down a few warmup ideas, a few technical ideas, and which measures I'll work on, in which tunes. (Cayt advises picking a few measures – no more than 8 – and playing them mindfully at least 12x; play the whole piece through just once, at the end.)

Then I just do what's on the page. I find I'm practicing longer (I jot my starting and finish time on the page), with better results and more satisfaction. 

Before, I was aiming for "everything right" and was ending up feeling like I'd failed. Now, my goals are smaller and more focused, so I finish practice feeling like I've succeeded at everything I set out to do. And that feeling leaves me trusting that eventually I'll get damn good at this violin thing.

If you "woodshed" with intention, curiosity and attention to the kinesthetic experience, you will not be bored and you will be in learning mode. Making a quick Practice Plan -- different every day -- can help you slow down and connect with whatever you're working on. Setting intentions like these can be a useful mental warmup, before you start your physical warmup. Try it!

Tune: The Rainbow Connection
When Kermit the Frog introduced this song about the power of our thoughts and wishes in 1979, one reviewer said he sang it with "all the dreamy wistfulness of a short, green Judy Garland." See if you can express that same wistfulness when you play it!

Here's a link to the sheet music.
And a link to an audio file you can play along with  or just listen to for inspiration.

A big thank you to Amelia for creating the sheet music and the audio file.
Cartoon Corner
We all have days when we feel like this. Awesome, here we come! (More fun Doug Savage cartoons are at

If you come across any other fun music cartoons – or a tune you've written or arranged, a photo of your home violin practice space, a poem, or anything else to share with the Full Circle community, email it to us for possible inclusion in a future newsletter.
Inspiring Quote
You only need to practice on the days you eat.” – Shinichi Suzuki

(Or on the days that end with Y....)
TwoSet Video: Duets
Many Full Circle Students are now matched up with duet partners. Playing with someone else is fun, whatever your level.
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You're a student or a friend of Full Circle.

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Rollinsford Lower Mill, suite 401, 402, 406
3 Front Street
Rollinsford, NH 03869

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