SPCAA Violin Studio Prepares for Olympics & a 100 Day Challenge

Violin instructor gets creative to knock out COVID blues


GENEVA – St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy (SPCAA) violin studio is gearing up for fun this February. Instructor Ellen Sonnenberg is rolling out two programs to keep her students enthusiastic about practicing violin while the pandemic continues.


Violin Olympics: Students and their parents will team up to compete in Olympian themed activities! Out of an extensive list, teams will choose between 4 – 5 stations and compete in challenges relating to violin. Examples include making 5 bow holds (the fifth one with your eyes closed!), performing 20 circle bows executed with “clean landings”, naming the 5 parts of the bow correctly, and practicing rest positions while holding them for 10 seconds. Sonnenberg got the idea of the Olympics while in a teacher training course lead by Mark Mutter. Upon completion of the rounds, students will receive gold medals to show off.


100 day Challenge: The rules, or rule, is simple. Practice your instrument every day for 100 days. Students will keep track of their progress on a chart (attached to this email) and will outline a practice regimine with Miss. Ellen.  Practice sessions can look very different depending on the student: Students can play their instrument for 15 minutes; they can listen to a piece of music several times and then rehearse it; They can focus on one technique (bow positioning, posture, etc); They can research a composer and present information on them to Miss. Ellen in person. The list goes on!


Sonnenberg believes these are the sort of creative outlets students need after the long pandemic. “They need to reset, refocus, and refine. These activities are designed to help students WANT to take the next step in their musical journey”. 

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