cello left hand pizzicato

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said: Aug 12, 2011
 145 posts

do cellists do left hand pizzicato to strengthen their left hand fingers and to improve general their hand position ?

Thank you

Brenda Lee Villard said: Aug 12, 2011
 
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
Edina, MN
27 posts

Absolutely. We do it for strength, for articulation, for clarity in runs. I call them “pizzicato pulls” and “hammering.” Learning to do it from only the base knuckle and not allowing the hand to twist or turn is hard for some kids and I have to discuss it and focus on it….others get it quite naturally on their own. I’m always on the watch for it.

Barb said: Aug 12, 2011
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

It wasn’t part of my cellistic upbringing, I had only encountered it when it was required by the music (i.e. there wasn’t time to use right hand). But I have noticed that Samuel Applebaum uses it a lot in his books and it sure seems like a good idea. I am planning to implement it with at least one student whose 4th is weak when lessons start again. Thanks for the tips, Brenda, on watching the the hand.

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Angela said: Aug 12, 2011
Angela Villanueva
Suzuki Association Member
Cello, Viola, Violin
Naples, FL
25 posts

Barb,
My suzuki teacher trainer, Susan Gagnon, talked to us about starting LH pizz
from the very beginning. She teaches the “Ants” song with the child’s hand
resting in fourth position “in the saddle”. She has them play the song one
time for each finger, starting with pinky. The kids eat it up and they have
no idea they are building LH strength and correct shape. Hope that helps.

Angie Trochessett

Sent via DROID on Verizon Wireless

Angie Villanueva

Barb said: Aug 12, 2011
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Angie,

Sounds like a great idea! Thanks.

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Brenda Lee Villard said: Aug 13, 2011
 
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
Edina, MN
27 posts

Another idea for building strength (in either hand) is using therapy putty which helps to not only build muscle strength, but is perfect for rebuilding strength after a broken finger. Physical therapists use it and I had a father in my studio who is a PT with a specialty in dealing with injuries associated with musicians and dancers. The putty can be put on a dowel stick (like fingers on a string) and I have my kids work on curly fingers that leave an imprint in the putty. Even holding the putty and squeezing (like a stress ball) can really help. After only a few minutes I can see/hear a difference and often times the child can, too. It helps with learning to control double joints, as well. I have had some parents substitute Play-Doh for the therapy putty and it can be as successful but it depends on the strength/age of the child. Therapy putty comes in different strengths for different rehabilitation needs—or for different ages and size of hand—and for some kids, Play-Doh just isn’t strong enough.

Barb said: Aug 16, 2011
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Thanks, Brenda! A search for putty online gave me some recipes!

http://www.ehow.com/way_5676403_homemade-putty-hand-exercise.html
http://www.worsleyschool.net/science/files/silly/putty.html

I gave all my students some play doh last year. Maybe we could take part of a group class or party to make “silly putty” or “practice putty” (therapy putty)…after I test the recipe at home!

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

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