fine motor skills in the right hand

Amelia Taylor said: Oct 22, 2016
Amelia Taylor
Suzuki Association Member
1 posts

I have a new student who is 10yrs old and doesn’t have fine motor skills in her right hand. So that means she finds it hard making a bow bunny and also holding the bow. She has many tasks that she has to do everyday and someday she will have about %90 use of her right hand.

So what are some things I can do with her to help her? I thought of the bow buddies as a start.
She has trouble bending her thumb although after 40mins she made one bow bunny with a bent thumb. She also has trouble with her pinky.

Any help would be amazing!

Elizabeth Stoltzfus said: Oct 23, 2016
 Cello, Viola, Violin
Lancaster, PA
8 posts

Hi Amelia!

If this were my student, I’d use a modified bow hold. Since she has a physical issue with her hand, I feel it would be unfair to force her hand to do something that she is unable to do. Since this student is 10 years old, she likely knows she has a difference in her hand versus her peers, so she would probably understand the reasons for using a modified bow hold. The bow hold buddies are a great place to start, as is the rubber band trick. I think for this student, as with any other, you could meet her where she is and look at her bow hold as a slow progression toward the standard bow hold. If she were my student, I’d celebrate any small success she has, build up her confidence and praise her for her efforts, not just the end result. I think this approach fits with Dr Suzuki’s philosophy of child centered learning.

Good luck to you and your new student!

Edward said: Nov 12, 2016
Edward Obermueller
Suzuki Association Member
Morris Plains, NJ
73 posts

Do these with a dowel or straw, they seem to help to wake up the motor pathways in the fingers, even if only done partially.

Do keep in touch about what else you’ve found that is helpful.

Happy practicing,

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Kurt Meisenbach said: Nov 12, 2016
Kurt Meisenbach
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
Plano, TX
45 posts

Hi Amelia,

This may be a long shot—does your student have a piano? Sometimes practicing some specific piano exercises designed for violinists an violists can be helpful in developing fine motor skills. I have a series of special piano exercises that I give my students. They accelerate the development of left and right hand technique. Maybe they would be helpful for your student. In her case she should only need to play them about 5 minutes each day.

Any keyboard will do as long as it has some resistance /action.

Let me know if you are interested and I will send them to you. No charge.

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