My kids all attended a public Montessori school. Overall, I would say that experience has been positive. My son is in his last year there, and then he'll move on to high school, and after fifteen years, all of my kids will be out of Montessori.
I remember when my oldest child started kindergarten that there was a lot of discussion among the teachers about how much they should or should not be embracing certain technology. There was debate about how screens as an educational tool fit into the Montessori philosophy. So watching my son do eighth grade entirely on screens has been odd in yet one more way.
There are lots of quirks to the Montessori method, some of which I find really inspired, and others feel somewhat odd because they are so different from how I experienced elementary and junior high schools. But one of the things the kids are taught to do that never ceases to amuse me, is that when they give a presentation at one of the many fairs that parents can attend (science, cultural, etc.), when they finish explaining or demonstrating at their display or table, they ask, "Do you have any questions, comments, or compliments?"
I find that so sweet and funny and weird. I get asking for questions, and maybe even comments, but the first time I heard one of my kids asking for compliments, too, made me laugh.
But why not? So in that spirit, I present to you my latest project: A new book entitled "My Violin Needs Help! A Repair Diagnostics Guide for Players and Teachers."
Isn't the cover pretty? My brother Barrett made it. He also helped me nitpick a bunch of things from the images to the formatting, etc. He's the one who suggested I include a references page, and because he's an entomologist, I wound up with two entries in there about bow bugs.
I think it's a nice little book. It could have been much longer, but I really wanted to keep it simple. It fills a need, because most of the books out there about violins can be overwhelmingly technical, and those of us who work with violins all the time forget that many people who use them lack really basic information. I try to educate people all the time at my shop, and this attempts to be that same sort of friendly discussion in book form.
So check it out if you can! I tried to make it a fun read, even if you're not heavily involved in the violin world. It's available to order from anywhere you buy books. (Plus at my violin shop. If you want a signed copy just ask, and I can send you one.)
And when you're done, let me know if you have any questions, comments, or compliments! (Or even better, if you liked it, leave me an Amazon or Barnes & Noble review.)