rest position song “author”

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Jennifer Visick said: May 27, 2006
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
899 posts

I’m having a student perform (sing with hand motions and take a bow) the rest position song for violin on a recital. Does anyone know the author of the words? I’m attributing it to “anonymous” on the program at the moment. It goes (to the tune of twinkle theme)

“rest position, feet in line,
scroll out front, that’s mighty fine.
Check your bridge, ’cause it should be
peeking out at you and me.
Now it’s time to take a bow,
Ichi, Ni, and San is how”

Connie Sunday said: May 28, 2006
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
645 posts

RaineJen

“rest position, feet in line,
scroll out front, that’s mighty fine.
Check your bridge, ’cause it should be
peeking out at you and me.
Now it’s time to take a bow,
Ichi, Ni, and San is how”

Forgive me—I don’t know what’s “wrong” with me—and please, don’t take this as a pesonal criticism, but this sort of thing just nauseates me. It would have been laughable (in a negative way) when I was five, and it’s laughable now that I’m 55. :)

I just don’t like baby stuff like this; I didn’t like it was I was a baby, and I don’t use it for my students, now.

Anyone else feel like that? I have a five-old-year genius student, and she feels the same way.

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students: http://beststudentviolins.com/guide.html#handouts

Diana said: May 28, 2006
 Piano
Coatesville, PA
36 posts

I think it’s cute for little kids. No worse than other nursery rhyme songs. She asked for the author, not a critique. Don’t use them if you don’t like them. My preschoolers love the finger number song I made up to the tune of “Where is Thumbkin”.

Jennifer Visick said: May 29, 2006
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
899 posts

mshikibu

I just don’t like baby stuff like this; I didn’t like it was I was a baby, and I don’t use it for my students, now.

Anyone else feel like that? I have a five-old-year genius student, and she feels the same way.

If I take Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy seriously, as well as I can understand it, then that makes every student a person with the possibility of genius.

For this particular student (or genius, if you prefer), I think using this piece is the right choice. As a 3 year-old who just began lessons—or, rather, whose mother just began lessons—he has learned quite a bit with the rest position song in the few weeks he’s had before the recital. I use it to help prepare the student for more formal things: attention span, pitch recognition, rhthm, ability to obey the teacher’s directions, posture, concert etiquette, building trust between student and teacher, awareness of parts of the violin, care of the violin, awareness of right and left sides, etc., etc.

In my defense, I don’t use it for every student all the time. You’re right—not everyone needs pre-twinkle pieces like this, and the older a student is, the less likely they are to use very many rhymes and ‘games’ in pre-twinkle work. But it can be a real aid to some students. I do think there’s a difference in the way I approach a 3 year old student versus a 5 year old.

On the other hand, I don’t think it’s a good to encourage any student to have the attitude that a piece of music or a song is “beneath” them in the sense that it’s too babyish. All of us must often be humble enough to stoop to more simple things in order to accomplish greater and more complex things on our instruments.

For the record, I agree that no person, regardless of age, should be talked “down” at, in the sense of giving them music or tasks that you yourself scorn as “babyish”. But I do think age-appropriate material is fine—just so long as the teachers—including parents and peers—are not scornful of it.

I sang this song myself when I was a 3 year old pre-twinkler, and I find that even some older studnets find it a useful mneumonic aid.

Anyways my original question still stands, does anyone know an author to whom I can attribute the words?

Charles Krigbaum said: May 29, 2006
Charles KrigbaumViolin, Viola
62 posts

That particular poem appears in “The New Pre-Twinkle Book” by Kathryn Merrill and Jean Brandt published in 1998 by October Press available from SHAR.

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Connie Sunday said: May 30, 2006
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
645 posts

>> On the other hand, I don’t think it’s a good to encourage any student to have the attitude that a piece of music or a song is “beneath” them in the sense that it’s too babyish.

Well, I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be snide. I just think teachers should be aware that some students will find this material to be not very good poetry (actually, it’s not poetry at all, technically; it’s verse), and that it would be better to find some other means.

One of my high school teachers, in reading us Macbeth, said “Out ‘darn’ spot.” :)

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students: http://beststudentviolins.com/guide.html#handouts

Heidi said: May 30, 2006
 Violin
33 posts

Try singing the words to the poem to Twinkle. It sounds less silly.

said: May 30, 2006
 122 posts

This ‘poem’ is meant to be sung to twinkle, twinkle little star and I find it not babyish at all. None of my students find it babyish. I started my 3 year old class with this song every week and they loved it-if I ever forgot to do it the kids would remind me.

“When love is deep, much can be accomplished.”
-Shinichi Suzuki

Connie Sunday said: May 30, 2006
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
645 posts

upbeat

Try singing the words to the poem to Twinkle.

I did! I object to the “mightly fine” and ” ’cause.” I find it embarrassing. I get to express my sense of it, do I not? Even if no one agrees with me?? :?:

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students: http://beststudentviolins.com/guide.html#handouts

said: May 30, 2006
 104 posts

I think this conversation is hilarious. Some kids like this kind of thing, and that’s fine. Other kids don’t, and that’s fine, too. OR mighty fine, whatever the case may be!

At Institute, I’ve seen plenty of kids who were turned off by the games that instructors asked them to play and they just sat those out. But there were just as many kids who really enjoyed the silly, goofy games and it wasn’t because they weren’t as smart or talented or any of those things. They just had a different sense of humor. People are different. That extends to children. I wouldn’t think much of a teacher who tried to force a child to recite little rhymes they found uncomfortable, but I also believe music can be a great path to evoking playfulness in a more serious child—and silly lyrics can really work for many kids.

Similarly, I have a child who is extremely sensitive and found devastating the lyrics for “Long Long Ago” which feature the sad, neglected violin who longs for someone to play him (that was posted here some time ago). I read them to her just because I found it sort of silly, but she cried and hated it. So as parents and teachers, we need to always look at the individual child and respond to his/her needs. Personally, I might find particular lyrics cute or catchy or helpful, but if the child doesn’t, then I have to adjust to the budding musician’s needs, and not my own tastes.

Connie Sunday said: May 30, 2006
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
645 posts

profcornelia

I think this conversation is hilarious.

Thank you for being so gracious. What troubles me sometimes is that if you disagree with someone, they take it as a personal criticism and lash out at you.

No personal criticism is intended or implied; I’m just expressing my own personal reaction. I get to have that, you know—even if I’m the only person on the planet that feels that way. :confused:

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students: http://beststudentviolins.com/guide.html#handouts

said: May 30, 2006
 122 posts

I’m not seeing anyone lash out at you-you expressed an opinion at this poem and others are epxressing their own opinions back.

If you like this song, then use it. If not, don’t. It is a rather silly thing to argue about!

“When love is deep, much can be accomplished.”
-Shinichi Suzuki

Jennifer Visick said: May 30, 2006
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
899 posts

oh my!

I didn’t expect this to turn into a discussion on the merits and demerits of any particular words!

Thanks for the reference to “The New Pre-Twinkle Book”.

I too find the discussion slightly ridiculous from one perspective, ;-) although I will admit I was a bit miffed to find first a reply about reasons for not using the words :confused: instead of anything to do with the author. But I got over it (thank goodness) :)

I just think teachers should be aware that some students will find this material to be not very good poetry (actually, it’s not poetry at all, technically; it’s verse), and that it would be better to find some other means.

mshikibu, I completely agree—although I’m more prone to point out the correlation to that statement (i.e., that some students find the terribleness of the verse to be of no consequence).

….I do understand the reason for objecting to ‘mighty fine’ and ’cause’…..

Connie Sunday said: May 30, 2006
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
645 posts

>> ….I do understand the reason for objecting to ‘mighty fine’ and ’cause’…..

Thank you for being so gracious, also. I really don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students: http://beststudentviolins.com/guide.html#handouts

Pia said: Jun 3, 2006
 Violin
Vienna, Australia
31 posts

I have never heard this rhyme before, could someone please explaine to me what is meant with “Ichi, Ni and San is how” ? Thanks! :?:

Jennifer Visick said: Jun 4, 2006
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
899 posts

“Ichi, Ni, and San” is an english gloss of the Japanese words for the numbers “One, Two, and Three”. The motions which go with this part of the song have the student standing in rest position while they take a bow: step one (Ichi) is to bend from the waist and look at the ground, step two (Ni) is to stay down for a moment, step three (San) come back up and smile at the audience.

Using Japanese numbers is a nod to Dr. Suzuki’s mother tongue.

Laura said: Sep 26, 2013
Laura DalbeyViolin, Viola
Billings, MT
2 posts

Thank you for this! I’ve been looking for something like this for awhile now! It will really help my 3-year-olds learn rest position! (and more importantly, their parents :)

Caitlin said: Sep 26, 2013
 Violin
Atwater, CA
34 posts

How cute!

Lauren Lamont said: Sep 27, 2013
Lauren LamontViolin, Viola
Shoreline, WA
18 posts

I ACCIDENTLY altered the words a bit. My students love this song. I teach it with hand signals:
“Rest position, feet in line, (look down at feet)
scroll out front, is mighty fine. (Touch scroll with left hand)
Check your bridge, that it should be, ( point to the bridge with left hand)
peeking out at you and me. (left hand makes a “peep hole” shape and put up to your eye, and then point out, point in “you & me”)
Now it’s time to take a bow, (left hand down by side, stand up really tall)
One & Two & Three  is HOW” (bend for the bow and come up on “How” which is shouted loudly.) I wouldn’t use it for older kids of course. But the little ones have fun with it.

Lisa said: Sep 27, 2013
 Violin, Cello, Viola
2 posts

This is one of my favorite PreTwinkle group games.
It is a cheerful welcome ceremony.

Carol Gwen said: Sep 28, 2013
Carol Gwen KieferViolin, Viola
Washington Crossing, PA
63 posts

oh, wow. Goes to show how words get confused in my head after a while!

Children tune in to sing rather than speaking, I find. Especially the youngest set. I’ve made my own words to this song (unintentionally) and created ones for other “Directions” rather than more talking in lessons and home practices.

There is no “right” way applied here.

Happy teaching, everyone!

Karen said: Sep 28, 2013
Karen WallsViolin
Indianapolis, IN
14 posts

Hi Lauren,
I sing this too, with the younger kids. For the bow, I learned the Japanese words for 1, 2, 3 so we sing them instead. ‘Ichi Ni San’ (so I tell the kids “it’s like you have an itchy knee”).

They do enjoy it.

Karen Walls
Indianapolis Suzuki Academy
Instructor of Violin

Karen said: Sep 28, 2013
Karen WallsViolin
Indianapolis, IN
14 posts

Ha ha! If I would’ve scrolled up a bit, I would’ve seen others posted the Japanese counting as well. Oh well.

Karen Walls
Indianapolis Suzuki Academy
Instructor of Violin

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 28, 2013
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
899 posts

Lauren, I use the motions too; our young (ages 3-6) Pre-Twinkle class loves it.

Karen, sometimes we count the bow in different languages—kids & parents who are bilingual love sharing one-two-three in different languages with the class! Also gives a chance to point out that no matter where you are in the world, classically trained musicians (and to a lesser degree, musicians of other genres too) have an etiquette and a “musical language” that we use when performing or thanking people for performing; we can understand the bow before and after a musical performance, even if we can’t speak and understand one another!

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