Bowing

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said: Feb 20, 2005
 1 posts

Do you and your students bow to each other

before and after lessons? Why or why not?

Elizabeth Ortiz said: Feb 21, 2005
Elizabeth Ortiz
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Cary, IL
14 posts

Yes, we do. Young children like routines. The

bow establishes the beginging and end of the lesson, is a sign of respect for eachother, for learning, and for

music. For very chatty children, they can only talk about violin lesson related subjects between the bows.

Subjects such as “I got new shoes, my birthday is next week, my friend has a kitten,” must be saved for after the

bow at the end of the lesson. It’s also a good opportunity to get kids comfortable with bowing and make sure

they are doing it corectly so they are prepared for performance. And if they will be going to a summer institute,

they will be expected to bow at lessons there, so I want them to get used to the idea at home.

Christine said: Feb 21, 2005
Christine Goodner
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Viola
Hillsboro, OR
72 posts

I agree with the reasons that Elizabeth stated

above. I also make a big point of telling students they are to bow before and after there home lesson with mom or

dad. This helps reinforce a level of respect in between bows at home too.

Christine Goodner

Studio Website: Brookside Suzuki Strings

Blog: The Suzuki Triangle

Free eBook: Painless Practice: 7 Principles for Setting up Effective Practice Routines

“When Love is Deep, Much can be Accomplished” ~ Suzuki

Ghost People said: Feb 21, 2005
 93 posts

I don’t feel comfortable with bowing. I

don’t know why; when I tried it, it just always felt awkward and kind of artificial to me. I do have clear and

definite beginnings and endings to the lesson, establish eye contact, and expect respect from, and give respect

to, the students. I teach good bowing in preparation for recitals and we do them at group lessons. Does anyone

else not use the bow?

Ghost People said: Feb 21, 2005
 93 posts

I used to bow at every lesson (until teenage, that

is), but no longer do. I do, however, still do the bow for my beginners. I find it is more for praciticing to

bow for recitals (watch non-Suzuki recitals—I seldom see the majority of kids bow, if any at all bow). I also

use it for my beginners, because it is a good way for them to practice one more direction-following, focus-

centered, activity.
I do bow at groups fairly consistently through book 4.

Christine said: Feb 21, 2005
Christine Goodner
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Viola
Hillsboro, OR
72 posts

Besides just bowing I have them say “please teach

me” and “thank you” respectively. At the institute I do my teacher training at the students are taught to say

both in Japanese (many of the master teachers knew or studied with Dr Suzuki and many students at the institute

are from Japan)

Christine Goodner

Studio Website: Brookside Suzuki Strings

Blog: The Suzuki Triangle

Free eBook: Painless Practice: 7 Principles for Setting up Effective Practice Routines

“When Love is Deep, Much can be Accomplished” ~ Suzuki

said: Feb 21, 2005
 122 posts

I do bows both at the begining and end of lesson,

even with my teens. I also have them say thank you at the end of the bow. I think it’s a great boundary for the

little ones-they know between bows they need to focus on violin. The older kids know that the bows are a sign of

respect.

I too found it odd when I first started teaching. Now I think it’s a great thing to do.

“When love is deep, much can be accomplished.”
-Shinichi Suzuki

Ghost People said: Feb 21, 2005
 93 posts

I do bows on both ends of the lesson, it lets the

child know the boundaries. I do say the words in Japanese. “Oh-nay-guy-she-moss.” I tell them that it means

“I’m ready to learn.” I ask them to notice that we BOTH say it, hopefully the student will learn something from

me, and I will learn how the student likes to learn the best. When I explain all that to them, they start to

understand that I am coming to the lessons with all sorts of respect, and they should, too. The end bow words for

thank you in Japanese are “Arigato go-zai-moss”. (please, anyone, help me with the spelling!) I think kids like

to say these formal words in a language they are not familiar with, it turns into special thank you words just for

violin lessons.

Emily said: Sep 22, 2013
 59 posts

As bowing is not really a part of western culture I can see how it may be a bit foreign to some. It is a major element of teacher/student relationships throughout the Eastern world and is certainly an inherent aspect in the methods of Dr. Suzuki. At the end of the day it seems this should be left up to the individual teacher, however.

On a strictly practical note it is a great way to mark the beginning and end of the lesson, much like the school bell marks the beginning and end of classes at school.

Emily Christensen
Music Teacher & Writer
www.musiceducationmadness.org

Caitlin said: Sep 26, 2013
Caitlin HunsuckViolin
Merced, CA
41 posts

As a Suzuki kid, bowing before and after the lesson feels actually “right” for me. Remember you are setting a normal for these kids (it may feel weird to you, but will be normal for them over time). I can see it would be easier for the younger ones to feel okay with it than the older ones.

If you think about it, its not a completely eastern thing. Most actors/performers take a bow after performing. If the student does it every week, it will feel more natural for them then just doing it only on stage. And in karate they still bow (eastern, but they all do it here!). With sports you great the other team before that game, with fencing you do a sward salute. I guess it makes sense we as teacher and student should acknowledge that we entering a lesson with each other.

In college I didn’t bow for violin lessons, and I wish we would have. I think it clears my head and makes me enter a thresh hold of “lesson mode.”

As a teacher, it makes me focus on teaching that student, and is also a great signal for “lesson stars” and “lesson ends.”

For some reason, when the students are around age 13, I stop doing the beginning bow, and just do a end bow.

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