tapes on fingerboards


Nobuaki said: Sep 14, 2005
Nobuaki Tanaka
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Mount Prospect, IL
115 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?

said: Sep 14, 2005
 55 posts

I use tapes so the student can learn where to place the finger and learn the correct intonation. If you are concerned about relying on tapes have the student play with closed eyes. Really, the tapes are only for the student in the beginning and then more for the parents. If I have a student with a good ear or possibly violin is a second instrument I will likely use a 1st finger tape only in the beginning and then remove it in a short period of time.

said: Sep 15, 2005
 9 posts

Yes, I give my students tapes on the fingerboard at least for book 1. Depending on the student, I only leave one or two tapes until the middle of book 2.

said: Sep 15, 2005
 122 posts

Even if we teach beautiful intonation in the private lesson the beginning student who has untrained, ears and a potentially untrained eared parent, has 6 more days to practice horribly out of tune intonation. :shock:

I use the tapes for the twinkles and start taking them off throughout Book 1. Usually my students begin Book 2 without tapes. Though my students who start in late grade school might need at least the 3rd tape to stay in tune in Book 2. My students who begin young tend to have trained ears very quickly.

Last night I was browsing through an old Suzuki Journal and there was an artcle on Suzuki myths written by a man who studied with Suzuki for years. Apparently Dr Suzuki used tapes until the beginning of the Minuets and then began taking them off. By the time the child started Book 2 generally all his student’s had no tapes.

If you can easily, without much suffering on anyone’s part, teach a beginner to play without finger tapes, please share your ideas! I’m all for experimentation and sharing of your knowledge.

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

Debbie said: Sep 15, 2005
Debbie MiViolin
138 posts

I have seen teachers use the Bornoff method without tapes in the beginning and succeed.

The secret was (and this was with a cello student who already had an excellent ear for music and some Suzuki violin with tapes under his belt) having the student memorize the different finger patterns and constantly recheck for ring notes and constantly try to match the teacher’s pitch.

I still think tapes work better for most beginners though. As Junebug pointed out, part of the reason for tapes is so that they hear themselves playing the right notes! They are not used to any intonation yet, and since they will be hearing themselves play more than anyone else (except for listening to the Suzuki CD), it is good to have them hearing and fealing the right notes. 10,000 times playing the wrong notes will only help them learn to play the wrong notes!

Lisa Miles said: Sep 19, 2005
Lisa MilesViolin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools, Cello, Viola
Juneau, AK
4 posts

Between us, the tapes are for the parents. ;-)

They give the parent a way to check and see if the child is truly in tune.

I take the tapes off beginning by removing 2nd finger tape at G Major and Etude. Then one by one, they come off leaving only the most needed unti they’re all gone.

Sometimes, the 1st and 3rd tape come back for a very short time while we study thumb placement and shifting exercises, but it’s only for visual reference then and doesn’t last long.

May Your Heart Forever Sing,
Lisa Miles, TheHeartStrings.org

Nobuaki said: Sep 19, 2005
Nobuaki Tanaka
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Mount Prospect, IL
115 posts

thank you very much for all information. The tape issue may be related to traditional V.S. Suzuki teaching. Sometimes it’s very difficult to convince parents about this issue, because some parents believe that they should learn from ear, not from a tape.

Fabio Dos Santos said: Apr 24, 2016
Fabio Dos Santos
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Campinas, SP, Brazil
11 posts

Hi everyone!

Reviving this thread, I’d like to ask:

Do any of you know the origin of the use of Finger Tapes?

Thanks for any feedback!

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