“Dances” for violin pieces (esp books 1-2)

Mengwei said: Sep 26, 2013
Mengwei Shen
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Cello
Jersey City, NJ
120 posts

Has anyone done, seen, made up, etc. “dances” for violin pieces or even simple hand movements—for students in group class who don’t play the piece? I have some other “non-playing” activities but could always use more ideas!

Laura said: Nov 4, 2013
Laura Mozena
Suzuki Association Member
Palm City, FL
105 posts

I have not used dances (except for the witches dance). But I do have students who do not know the pieces in group “air bow” on their shoulder while the other play, or for some early book 1 songs they just play along on open strings. I also give students jobs (like count the circle bows or listen for the trill). This keeps the ones not playing still involved in the class.


Celia Jones said: Nov 4, 2013
72 posts

Mengwei, there is a lovely Italian children’s song called “Girotondo”, which means roughly “circle dance”. The melody is Lightly Row, and the Italian words describe a dance. I had an Italian friend help me to adapt it somewhat for pre-schoolers to teach them the words “piano”, “forte”, “andante”, “allegro”. The children form a circle holding hands and step round to the beat, singing as they go.

Tutti qui si guicherà, Girotondo si farà
Con la mano nella man, Gira piano pian.
Canta canta canta ancor
Questo canto è come un fior:
S’apre al sole e dice ognor
L’allegria dei cuor.

…Gira forte, ‘fort.

… Gira andante, ‘dante

… Gira allegro, ‘legro

We had another dance for Song of the Wind, using hand height to show the pitch. The ground was A and hands above the head are high A and I think it was Ground, Ankles, knees, thighs, waist, shoulders, head, and straight up. Some of the children will notice the detail, but if they just get that strong physical connection of up= higher pitch that’s good.

The words are:

Autumn brings a blustery wind,
swirling through the trees,
swirling through the trees,
leaves are falling,
leaves are falling,
falling tumbling round and round.
Leaves are falling,
leaves are falling,
falling to the ground.

Winter brings a snowy wind,
Snow is falling, etc.

Spring time brings a flowery wind,
Blossom falling, etc.

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