tapes on fingerboards

Son Tung said: Jul 16, 2017
 1 posts

hello everyone

I can’t decide about tapes on fingerboard. If I put tapes, they can play easily, but students will trust eyes too much and they don’t listen at all. If I don’t put tape, they will listen carefully, but give tremendous amount of pressure and discourage to play. Is there opinion about this issue?

Donna Curry said: Jul 17, 2017
Donna CurryTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Winnetka, IL
4 posts

Dear Son Tung,

It has been a series of trials and now using only the 1st and 3rd tapes. From the initial lesson, no matter the age the discussion begins with the violin as a tactile instrument of half steps and whole steps. The finger tips feel the corner of the finger before and after placement for the half step, and a consciousness of open knuckles for a whole step.

All the Best,
Donna Curry, Teacher Trainer
Donna Curry Studio, Winnetka & Lake Forest, Il.

Hortencia Romero said: Jul 17, 2017
Hortencia RomeroCello, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
1 posts

Hello Hello, I’m a chelist, In my experience I use tapes only for the first finger and sometimes the fourth finger, I do that only in small children, in children like 8 years old for example, I have not had to do it. I think we have to use it as a last option, if they naturally do well, we should not use them I think.

Hoti Romero, Suzuki cello teacher.

Hoti Romero

Paula Bird said: Jul 17, 2017
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Viola
Wimberley, TX
394 posts

I put tapes on in beginning to help practice partner. As soon as a student feels comfortable, we take them off. Sometimes I put one or two back on. If posture is correct, they don’t need tapes.

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

Tanya said: Jul 18, 2017
Tanya CareyTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Glen Ellyn, IL
37 posts

I use dots instead of tapes. Dots give a reference but listening is paramont. Cellists can’t see tapes unless they use periferal vision or turn their heads (not advised). On small cellos the tapes are not straight across to be in tune. I am troubled when I encourage a young cellist to “play in tune” and their reply is “but my finger is on the tape”. I use dots for 1, 4 and tuning harmonics 3 and 1.

Jennifer Visick said: Jul 22, 2017
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1016 posts

I’ve been doing first and third finger only, at the beginning, (violin and viola) for a while now. I purposely use tapes that migrate or get torn off after a while, so that when they do move I pull them off and let the student try for a while without. Then they usually go back on, but the next time the tapes fall off or move, the student may decide they can work with just one tape, for a while longer, and so forth.

When I introduce fourth finger, there’s a tape for that, and then there’s a small sticker for the halfway harmonic point as well, when we start shifting.

I’m also pretty picky about intonation, so consistently asking the student to find the precisely in tune spot means they realize early on that touching the tape doesn’t necessarily mean “in tune”—they still have to use their ears.

After tapes are mostly off, I also will put a tape on for third finger again when a student moves up to a new instrument, if they seem to need it. That one usually comes off pretty soon.

Melanie Drake said: Jul 22, 2017
Melanie Drake29 posts

My kids have star stickers on their cellos. I was told that the stickers are for the parents, not for the kids. My kids never reference their stickers unless their parent or teacher specifically asks them to look at them. The stickers sit between the D & G strings and I’m not sure they offer any tactile assistance.

I have to say that, as a parent, I’d be a little lost without the stickers. I often reference the stickers in my notes from lessons (e.g., “2nd finger needs to be closer to green star”). I have a hard time imagining how my notes would read if I didn’t have these landmarks, but I imagine I’d use a lot of question marks (e.g., “3rd position? (maybe 4th pos?), 2 finger higher???”). I realize that the kids are supposed to find the finger positions by ear, which is great, but I find that I need to articulate adjustments in visual terms in my notes.

The stickers fall off eventually, and I take pride when that happens because it’s an indication of hard work. I know that one day they will not be reapplied, but I assume that will be when my notes are no longer needed.

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