Keeping the violin held up


Anna said: Feb 27, 2011
 145 posts

I never seem to stop saying to my pupils

Hold your violin up

put it up onto your shoulder

push the violin right into your neck so there’s no air between your neck and the violin

stand sideways to the stand, turn head so your nose and scroll points to music

Im always checking their feet, that they are balanced on both feet

but I just have to go on saying it so many times.

Am I doing something wrong, because still they come to their lessons not standing the correct way without me saying it all again

Wow its hard work !!

Can someone help me?!!

(I’m talking mainly about children from beginners to up 2 years of study)

Thank you NTE

Irene said: Mar 2, 2011
Irene Yeong160 posts

do you say all of that in one lesson or one at a time?

Celia Jones said: Mar 5, 2011
72 posts

You might find this useful:

“The Teaching of Action in String Playing” by Paul Rolland.

I got it to use at home and I think it is wonderful. There are lots of ideas. For example, the “case walk”, where students pick up their (empty!) cases, hold them over their heads, and march around the room, to strengthen back and arm muscles.

Sara said: Mar 9, 2011
191 posts

Also, “How Muscles Learn” by Susan Kempter is really great!

“What is man’s ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty.” Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Jennifer Visick said: Mar 11, 2011
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1069 posts

How old are these students? Do their parents nag them to do these things at home?

Is there a way for you to make a physical correction without saying the words? Can you teach the parents to do this at home for the student (and make a “contract” with the student that they will allow a certain number of physical corrections each day—say, 10)

-Jenny Visick-

Rachel Schott said: May 2, 2011
Rachel SchottViolin
Harrogate, TN
127 posts

BOY do I know the feeling…I found that 99% of my students knew what they were supposed to do but just didn’t, for a variety of reaons. I have an opinion about that, too for another time. :)

Here is what I’ve done:
1. Have students show you their very, very, best violin hold.
2. Scrutinize silently
3. Make any minor adjustments
4. Say, “PEFECT!” and beam like crazy.
5. Now come up with a code word, sound, look, or sign that means “come to this position”.

If the student is young enough we’ll even come up with an imaginary violin player whose name is something very close to theirs (for Hank, we called his imaginary player Heinrich) and that is our code word. “Where’s Heinrich?!” It put a bit of fun in, and most of all showed the parent their kid knew how to do it right, they just have to be motivated to do it.

Rachel Schott said: May 2, 2011
Rachel SchottViolin
Harrogate, TN
127 posts

p.s. In our zeal to be helpful we may accidentally teach beginners to put their violin up on their shoulder however it lands and then wait for corrections. We may accidentally teach parents there is a lot to be done, and you probably won’t be able to do it at home just right.

It is worth spending an entire lesson on empowering them while they practice their super-duper-code-word violin hold…this will look like this: you scrutinizing silently, carefully so they know you aren’t dismissing their effort. You making only silent, minor, gentle corrections. You beaming and giving a big thumbs up when they hit the nail on the head.

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