Kids who like to run

Rebeca Padilla said: Feb 28, 2017
11 posts

Hello everyone, I’m new in this forum and the Suzuki method as well (3 years) I’m having difficulties with a violin student who started with another teacher, yet she left so she got switched to my class. Her bow isn’t “clean” and steady, and as she rushes through the piece it’s hard to correct it. She had already learned up to song of the wind, yet her notes aren’t clear and she gets bored when I try to get her to play slowly so we can focus on her bowing control.

She is 7 years old, what strategies have worked for you? What can I do?

I’m from Mexico, so excuse my English redaction.
Thanks a lot.

Constance Jahrmarkt said: Mar 1, 2017
Constance Jahrmarkt
Suzuki Association Member
Scottsdale, AZ
4 posts

I would play echo games with her. Have her imitate you… you only play one or 2 notes and she without looking at you much make the same sound on her violin. You can do scales this way as well.
Another idea: you two play a piece… only this time she does the fingers and you do the bow. Then she can hear your tone production on her violin, on her shoulder and in her ear. And then you can have a conversation about how your two sounds were different….. asking which was louder, were there any ghost notes? And when 2 people are playing the same violin there is a natural excuse to slow the tempo a bit.

Connie J.

Rebecca said: Apr 1, 2017
 20 posts

A few years ago I remember having a student with the same issue. I tried different things with her, but the one that seemed to work the best was called a “slow race”. I’m not saying it would work for everyone, but it worked for her.

Basically, we played together, but the winner was the one who went the slowest, not the fastest. Of course, my goal was to get her to win (without her knowing I was letting her), so I never did have to play extremely slow, just enough to make sure she was with me or behind me. I was able to play close tempo most the time and watch her as she concentrated on each note and bow stroke to play it slower.

The first time we started she giggled so much we had to start over. It was very fun for her. I don’t even remember how many times or how often we did this, but she was able to figure it out pretty quick. Every once in a while we’d run into the same issue in a piece and I would call out “time for a slow race” and she knew what that meant.

Rebeca Padilla said: Apr 1, 2017
11 posts

Thanks! I’ve been using all of your ideas, she is sounding more clear and better, last class she was excited cause even she was noticing the difference, I also read that for kids who like to move a lot it’s useful to make them sit on an exercise ball, the big ones they use on pilates, I’ve tried that too and as she is forced to stay still and balanced to be sited she slows down, is not like we take the whole class in the ball, just once in a while when she is really restless, and it’s not a professional ball just one of the music stimulation classroom.

Thankyou all to your replies, and for sharing your experience, I hope to hear more ideas.

Gail said: Apr 2, 2017
Gail GebhartTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Farmington Hills, MI
14 posts

I’m going to try this for a speedy 6 year old boy pianist—slow race. Thanks for the suggestion!

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