We’re Back!

After a long-needed break (for a baby and a pandemic) Layug String Studio is now open again with a limited number of lesson spots on Thursday afternoons/evenings!

Accepting beginners, returners, orchestra students looking for a technical boost, and pretty much anybody in between.

With nearly 20 years of traditional and Suzuki-influenced teaching experience, I love teaching music for our real, everyday lives: a mix of repertoire, healthy techniques and practice tools, and an understanding of music to open the door for creativity and collaboration. Please look around the site or give me a call and schedule an intro lesson to see if I might be the right teacher for you!

New studio location in Geneva

New music studio on west side of Randall has fall openings!  Layug String Studio is located in Randall Square and has 1-2 fall openings available for violin lessons.

Layug String Studio is open to new beginners age 6+, current orchestra students, and adults!  (I do not teach preschool-age or highly advanced students, but will be happy to direct you to those who do!)  I have 15 years of experience and love what I do, so it would be my privilege to talk to you about lessons!

My studio focuses on whole musicianship for lifelong playing.  This includes healthy understanding of technique; effective practice strategies and time management; understanding of music’s structure (aka “music theory”)–both for better understanding of written music and for creation of your own; and a traditional core repertoire that’s “tweakable” for the kind of music you like to play.  I believe music is to be shared: the studio holds both formal and informal performances, encourages school and community orchestra participation, and actively lays the framework for creativity and “jamming” skills.

As you look through the site (be aware some updates are still in progress), feel free to email or give me a call to determine if I’m the right teacher for you.  I love being a part of this music community and would be delighted to bring you along!

Fall Announcements

Our Fall Performance Day will be Saturday, November 12, at 10 am.  Since we have a small group of performers this time, we’re going to try holding it at my house.  It will be informal, interactive, and there will be snacks!  Please be on time!!!!!!! 🙂

Like last winter’s Performance Day, this session is primarily for the students to perform for each other.  Students who aren’t performing are still encouraged to participate.  Parents, of course, are also welcome!

I’ll be making “Progress Calls” next week–I’d really like to do this more regularly to keep parents in the loop.  Parents. please see your email re: scheduling a call time if needed.

I will be teaching November 21-22 (before Thanksgiving) as well as December 19-20 (before Christmas).  There will not be lessons from Dec. 26-Jan.4.

Quick tips for finding practice time!

As we get back into school schedules, especially as you go into higher grade levels, it can become trickier to get your practice time in around homework, activities, and everything else!  Here are my top tips for making practice work when you’re busy:

  1. Have time “bookmarked” in your day for practice.   For example, right after dinner  or volleyball, or __ minutes before you start your homework.  Having practice slotted into your day is much more efficient than trying to find time every single day.
  2. Take 2 minutes to consider what you want to accomplish in your practice each day.  You could even do this in the car on the way home from your lesson: pencil in tentative goals for each day’s practice, and adjust as needed.  (You’ll learn a lot from this too!)
  3. Consider splitting your practice.  If you can, take 15 minutes in the morning to do most of your technique, or scales, or challenging sections of a piece.  Then you don’t have the pressure of fitting EVERYTHING into your afternoon, and you have the satisfaction of following up on a practice day that’s already started well.
  4. Use the clock to your advantage.  Instead of “trying to fill” a certain time block, see how many things you can get work on well in the time you have.  Or, if you practice better with a set length of time, focus on how much you can do well within it and reward yourself with a “free play” time if you accomplish your goals.
  5. Something is better than nothing, and a little bit of consistent and focused time goes much farther than a cram session!  If you wait till Saturday and then practice for two bours, you’ll overload your mind (and you’ll probably have already forgotten most of the important details from our lesson!)  But even if you can only do a few minutes of focused practice a day, you can cement the most important or hardest things, and then build on those when you do have more time.
  6. Remember what you love.  If you’re getting frustrated with your practice, talk to me about taking some lesson time to refresh your goals and preview music you want to play.
  7. Don’t forget to have fun!  Rest and play are necessary for your mind to learn well!  If you’re feeling consistently overloaded, talk to me or your parents about finding a solution.

Good luck and happy practicing!

Updated Site Features

I’ve been working this month on updating both the site and our facebook page to be more useful resources for you!  You might notice that the menu on the sidebar has been streamlined.  I’ve updated our Policies and Studio Distinctives page, and put Curriculum and Instrument guides where they’re easy to find.  I’m also starting an FAQ page, where I plan to answer a common question on  a weekly basis.  And don’t forget to check out the links to our fabulous local shops and orchestras!

My goal with all this is twofold.  First, to provide information more clearly for prospective students.  There’s a lot that goes into beginning a stringed instrument, and I’ve attempted to put the most important information where it’s easy to find and easy to understand.  Second, I’ve often wanted to have a better way for sharing info with current students-insightful blog links, practice tips, fun youtube videos.  Facebook is made for that kind of thing but I haven’t been utilizing it, so I want to make more of a habit to get on and share things that can enrich learning.  I’ll still use the website for announcments, and hopefully also for more in-depth things I want to share.

As always, I welcome your feedback, and I hope this is a help!


Winter Performance Day

Finally got my computer back online….here are the details of our winter performance!

  • This Saturday, Feb. 13, at 10 am; arrive 5-10 minutes early to tune.
  • Location: Christian Fellowship Church in Itasca: 152 E. Devon Ave.  It is east of Rohlwing, 290, and Park Blvd., and west of Arlington Heights Rd.
  • You do not have to dress up–it will be a very informal performance, primarily for each other although if you want to bring guests that is also fine. It should last about an hour, and we’ll be making a point to make it interactive so you can learn from each other.  Clearly, not like our usual recitals–although I’m quite excited about it and if it goes well we might start adding something like this into our regular studio calendar!  🙂

Recital info:

Layug String Studio Recital
Saturday, June 6, 7 pm
Assembly Hall at Friendship Village

Please arrive by 6:45 for tuning and final prep. Please remember your music! 🙂  Also remember that parking is sometimes difficult, so please allow extra time as needed!

Piano rehearsals will be on Wednesday,  June 3 from 9 to noon,  and Thursday June 4 from 4 to 7:30. Rehearsals will be at Mrs. Um’s office in Schaumburg Christian School (same location as my old office). Extra rehearsals may be arranged directly with Mrs. Um as needed.
Please remember to bring your check for Mrs. Um to the piano rehearsal, as well as any outstanding recital fees.

Finally,  please let me know what you are planning for summer lessons,  so we can make any schedule adjustments accordingly!  I will be taking off the week after recital,  but otherwise do not have any specific times off planned.

Thanks!  Looking forward to it!

Spring Studio Notes

Here’s what’s coming up as we move to recital!

April 21: Not an official studio event,  but three of our musicians are playing their first trio gig at Friendship Village’s art show!  It’s from 6 – 8pm and open to the public,  so it would be great to go support them!

April 27 – May 1: no lessons as I will be gone.

May 4: New studio rates begin. Details were in your email;  please let me know if you have any questions. 

May 25: Memorial Day–will probably to reschedule Monday’s lessons to later in the week if possible. This will be the last week of our practice contest and we’ll make sure to add up points for music awards.

Week of June 1: recital rehearsals with piano.  Schedule and payment details tbd but I am thinking of consolidating to one official practice day, with the option to schedule a second independently….open to thoughts on this!

June 6, 7 pm: Studio recital at Friendship Village! 🙂

Week of June 8: Summer lessons begin.

One other thing to be aware of is recital audition season. Elgin and Schaumburg youth orchestras both hold their auditions near the end of the school year; check the websites (linked on the sidebar) for exact dates.  Those who participate in this can tell you it’s a really great learning experience,  and I think fun too!  I’ve been to concerts for both and they do a really nice job.  In short–I really encourage each student to consider participating,  and I am happy to help you prepare for the auditions. Most of the time the recital repertoire can easily serve for audition material as well.


February Studio Notes

Our 2015 recital date is set! We will be playing at Friendship Village on Saturday,  June 6 at 7pm. We will be starting to choose pieces toward the end of March/early April.

Please let me know when your spring break is,  if you are planning to take any time off lessons in March. I will be teaching across the spring break season,  though it’s possible I’ll be taking a week of vacation in late April.

I feel like I’ve had less chance to communicate with some of you parents this year and would love to touch base over the next few weeks.  Please let me know if there is a preferred day/time to give you a call–my easiest times are mid-afternoon or late evening when my babies are sleeping.  Overall I’ve been very pleased with progress, so no worries.  🙂

Have a great week! 
Mrs. Layug