“Ants song” for violin strings?

Tags:

Griena Goody said: Sep 15, 2011
Griena Goody Choi-Trask
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Voice, Viola
Mountain House, CA
8 posts

I’m looking for a song to use for pretwinklers to learn the name of their open strings. Something like the Ants Song for the cello players (and viola players too). Any ideas?

Thanks!

Barb said: Sep 15, 2011
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

I just brought an old thread up in the Parents’ Corner forum for you!

“Eek, eek, eek! All the little ants, ant, ants!”

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

Allison Sargent said: Sep 16, 2011
Allison SargentViolin, Viola
Pflugerville, TX
13 posts

Eeek
Ants
Digging in the dirt
Going under ground
On Sep 15, 2011 11:07 PM, “SAA Discussion”
wrote:

Allison K. Sargent
http://sargentstrings.com

Bruce Skelton said: Sep 16, 2011
Bruce Skelton
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Kitchener, ON
1 posts

Earwigs, Earwigs, Earwigs chasin’ after
Ants, ants, ants, diggin’ in the
Dirt, dirt, dirt, underneath the
Ground, ground, ground

I usually pluck the open strings (and occasionally strum chords in E, A, D, and G major) as we sing.

Yvonne Davila said: Sep 18, 2011
Yvonne Davila
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools
1 posts

I have used:
“Each, Each, Each” (pluck E string 3x)
“Each and every: (just say the words as you prepare to pluck next string)

“Ant, Ant, Ant”
“Digging in the…”

“Dirt, Dirt, Dirt”
“underneath the..”

“Ground, Ground, Ground”

Very similar, just another way to start it :)

Rachel Schott said: Sep 20, 2011
Rachel SchottViolin
Harrogate, TN
127 posts

Once upon a time I was teaching a group theory class…everyone had four cards in front of them: whole note, half note, whole rest, half rest. I told them, simply “The rest with this note goes like this. The rest with this note goes like this,” and showed them the correct way.

They happily shuffled, placed, shuffled, placed and I went around the room silently helping the few that still were getting them upside down.

One boy, who could no longer contain his excitement, insisted he tell the class a story. I asked everyone to fix their cards, then leave them in front of them while we listened.

“One time? Abraham Lincoln, um, his hat was on his head and he was there for like a week. So it stayed like this (showing us the half rest) and THEN when he left because he was there the WHOLE TIME he turned it over (showing us the whole rest). So that’s how I remember which is which.”

While he was telling us the disjunct story I glanced around the room and was not surprised to see he was the only student in the room to have his cards on the floor incorrectly.

I’m all for making things fun…but it’s only four letters. Four strings. Do we really need a song for that?

Alissa said: Sep 20, 2011
Alissa Rieb
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki in the Schools, Viola
61 posts

As a Suzuki in the Schools teacher, the Ant song is a life saver. I am sure it’s also true for pre-twinkle group classes. This is the first “song” they can “play” together! Because it’s rudimentary, they can get to this experience rather quickly. I don’t tell them where the words come from and wait for the light bulb connecting string names and words. This is also rewarding. The big teaching point here is not the string names for my students, but the act of plucking and pausing TOGETHER.

Paula Bird said: Sep 20, 2011
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Viola
Wimberley, TX
386 posts

Haha Rachel! Thanks for the reminder to keep things simple. Most little ones know A-B-C before starting school, so I just write the letters on the bridge so the student can see them.

As for whole and half rests, the whole rest got a whole night’s sleep and is strong enough to hang from the line. The half rest got half a night’s rest and has to sit on the line to rest.

Paula E. Bird
TX State University
Wildflower Suzuki Studio
http://teachsuzuki.blogspot.com (blog)
http://teachsuzuki.com (podcast)

Barb said: Sep 20, 2011
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Do we really need a song for that? No. And the phonics connection may be difficult for the youngest pre-twinklers. (On the other hand it might be a good introduction for them.)

BUT I’m sure you will recognize the value of teaching them to pizz the strings in time to a song, and the ear training in the descending scale the song uses for a tune. The Ants Song has helped my students to learn the string names. I even tell my adult students, “This is how I teach the kids to remember the names.” And just going over it once with them seems to help them remember more easily!

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

Griena Goody said: Sep 20, 2011
Griena Goody Choi-Trask
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Voice, Viola
Mountain House, CA
8 posts

This actually really helps me as I am teaching public school strings and used the Ants Song for cellos (which is what I learned in my string tech class in college) but had not learned one for the violin students to learn their string names. I had taught pre-twinklers in studio settings for 14 years without using the “Eek Song” so I’m sure it works either way. For me it just really helps for group public school strings. I will also try it on my studio pre-twinklers too.

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 20, 2011
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

It’s true, the ant song is not necessary to learn the string names. I would consider MOST Of the point of the Ant song to be a really easy pre-twinkle stepping-song that also teaches that for everything there is a time and a season… a time (for the instrument) to be silent, and a time (for the instrument) to speak (in a specific rhythm and pitch)…

The fact that we can make it a mnemonic for string names is a side benefit.

Patricia Purcell said: Sep 20, 2011
Patricia Purcell
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki in the Schools, Viola
Fort Worth, TX
100 posts

Nice perspective. Thank you.

Wendy said: Sep 22, 2011
Wendy Seravalle-Smith
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Cello, Violin
Thornhill, ON
119 posts

E E cried the chipmunk
I want some A-corns
They are D-licious
G G I want some more

Ian Salmon said: Sep 26, 2011
Ian Salmon
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Addison, TX
21 posts

I value the process of learning note names, and rapid mastery of a song for early pre-twinks. However, I find that the most valuable skill presented in the ant song is the development of a curved hand frame with fingers over the strings. In a way, it serves to undo much of the damage I cause with the flower song :)

If you teach it with a thumb in the crook of the neck, where it meets the body, the palm can lean up into the upper body, resulting in a nice shape!

Ian Salmon
Violin and Viola Instructor
Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas
www.SuzukiMusicDallas.org

Patricia Purcell said: Sep 26, 2011
Patricia Purcell
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki in the Schools, Viola
Fort Worth, TX
100 posts

I agree, Ian. The ‘Eek’ or ‘ANTS’ song is a great opportunity to develop left hand frame as you describe. When teaching bass students, I use ‘Flower Song’ as the next step. Flower Song is played on one string. First finger on the first note—open string is the the last note. What do you think about trying that on violin? —4th position (1st finger, 2nd finger, 1st finger, open string). I’ve never tried it on violin. It works well on bass because it establishes the hand frame—1st finger, 4th finger, 1st finger, open string.

Ian Salmon said: Sep 26, 2011
Ian Salmon
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Addison, TX
21 posts

Patty, I think you are onto something! I like this idea. Many teachers including myself teach 4 position as a “hand against upper body” frame. The sol-la-sol-do movement can be a good ear training exercise transposed to each string once basic tonality is established. It is very Francois Rabbath/George Vance! Get them playing in position well before they learn to fear it! Perhaps starting on the A string is appropriate, so they can also learn to check first finger with the open E string. I think parents can handle it… I have a few kids in mind, will let you know how it goes.

Ian Salmon
Violin and Viola Instructor
Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas
www.SuzukiMusicDallas.org

Allison Sargent said: Sep 26, 2011
Allison SargentViolin, Viola
Pflugerville, TX
13 posts

I also teach the flower song (or the truck song for boys) in the beginning
for my violin students.

E “see the pretty flowers” or “see the awesome red truck”

Set first finger

1 on E (f#) “growing in the garden ” or “going down the black street”

E “see the pretty flowers” or “see the awesome red truck”

Rock to A

A “red and pink and purple” or “going over my feet”

:) a 3 year old student helped me make up the truck song lyrics!
On Sep 26, 2011 9:12 PM, “SAA Discussion”
wrote:

Allison K. Sargent
http://sargentstrings.com

Peter Gomez said: Oct 28, 2011
 1 posts

The ants go marching one by one, Hurrah!! Hurrah!!
The ants go marching one by one, Hurrah!! Hurrah!!
The ants go marching one by one,
The little one stopped to suck his thumb,
And they all go marching down, around, and up-side down.

Continue in successive rounds:

Two by two/Tie his shoe
Three by three/Take a pee
Four by four/Slam the door
Five by five/Take a dive
Six by six/Pick Up sticks
Seven by seven/At a 7-11

Liz Biswas said: Jan 25, 2012
Liz Biswas
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Waterloo, ON
3 posts

eek eek eek ( pizz:E,E,E)
look at all the
ants ants ants (pizz:A,A,A)

digging in the dirt dirt dirt (pizz: D,D,D)
digging in the ground ground ground (Pizz G,G,G)

Sue Hunt said: Jan 26, 2012
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
390 posts

And violists and cellists go: All the way to China, China, China (pizz: C,C,C)

Music in Practice

Barb said: Jan 26, 2012
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Or, as I heard last summer,
“Carrying their cellos, cellos, cellos.”

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

Robin Lohse said: Jan 27, 2012
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Cello, Viola
Souderton, PA
29 posts

Ants ants ants
Digging in Dirt
underneath the Ground
all way to
China
this is what my son learned many years ago and i use it for teaching
viola students the string names too.
On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 1:15 PM, SAA Discussion
wrote:

Robin Lohse

You must log in to post comments.

A note about the discussion forum: Public discussion forum posts are viewable by anyone. Anyone can read the forums, but you must create an account with your email address to post. Private forums are viewable by anyone that is a part of that private forum's group. Discussion forum posts are the opinion of the poster and do not constitute endorsement by or official position of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc.

Please do not use the discussion forums to advertise products or services