Teaching student with cerebral palsy and legally blind

Angela said: Feb 26, 2016
Angela Villanueva
Suzuki Association Member
Cello, Viola, Violin
Naples, FL
25 posts

I have a new student taking cello lessons with me that is in her 50s and has cerebral palsy and it’s legally blind. She is about a book 2 level and does a great job listening but has lots of issues with controlling the bow. Anyone have advice on helping her to relax her bow hand?

Angie Villanueva

Joyce McGlaun said: Feb 26, 2016
Joyce McGlaun
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
39 posts

The way I understand cerebral palsy is that it is the brain, not the relaxation, you are dealing with. Or rather, she is dealing with. I would talk to both a physical therapist and an occupational therapist. They may have some great ideas to help her get that part of her brain to cooperate with her muscles. I went to school with a girl who had profound CP and yet was quite a pianist/organist. Her biggest difficulty was playing rhythmically since her brain would not tell her hands to play in continuous rhythm. Just allowing her to “play”—since she listens well—may give her great joy. That seems like the whole point for all of us!

Joyce McGlaun
Strings Unlimited Violin Studio & Quartet
Baby Music of Abilene, http://suzukibabymusic.blogspot.com
325-677-5766; 325-829-4440
www.stringsunltd.com

Angela said: Feb 27, 2016
Angela Villanueva
Suzuki Association Member
Cello, Viola, Violin
Naples, FL
25 posts

Thanks Joyce. She absolutely loves to play and can play back almost immediately anything I play for her, even with the correct bowings

Angie Villanueva

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