Grace said: Jul 29, 2008
110 posts

Do you have any creative, fun tricks for getting little ones to stay still? I have a student (she started at 2.5 and just turned 3) so of course it is totally normal for her to be wiggly. Of course I don’t expect her to stand perfectly still for the entire lesson, but I have noticed that if I can turn something into a “game”, she can easily do it if she wants.

For example, she loves the “shoulder tickle monster” so she covers her shoulder with her violin ever since I told her about that. One that I just made up was she kept sticking her tongue out :roll:, so I told her she’d better keep her tongue safe inside her mouth or else I was going to pinch it! She thought that was really funny, so we make sure her tongue is nice and safe and protected inside her mouth, and it worked like a charm.

Today, I tried “let’s pretend to be ice statues and FREEZE for 5 seconds” but that didn’t work so well. She just didn’t really get the concept about statues—maybe she doesn’t know what they are. I was thinking about it some more this evening, and maybe I’ll try something about her foot chart being a safe island in the ocean with sharks swimming all around so she has to stay on her safe foot chart… Anyway, any fun tips for little wigglers?

Connie Sunday said: Jul 30, 2008
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
667 posts

Some of the students just have “wiggle-worts,” and I tell them they do. The parents gets exasperated sometimes, so my job is to note that it’s normal.

I have problems with children playing with their feet, or touching their feet, at the piano. They’re all so sweet and not dirty, really, but I don’t think it’s good to touch the feet and then touch the piano keys.

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students:

Laurel said: Jul 31, 2008
Laurel MacCullochViolin
Langley, BC
120 posts

At preschool, my son’s teacher will notice if a few kids are getting wiggly, and they’ll “shake their sillies out” with this song—all the kids have to stand up and shake around:

We’re going to shake, shake, shake our sillies out
Shake, shake, shake our sillies out
Shake, shake, shake our sillies out
Wiggle our waggles away!

They seem better able to calm their bodies down after a break like that.


said: Jul 31, 2008
 145 posts

What’s the tune to this song ? I’m really interested to try it out.

Grace said: Aug 1, 2008
110 posts

It’s by Raffi. I know that song… I’ll try it!

Here’s one place with the mp3 you can listen to it for free, just click on the “play” triangle/arrow: http://www.last.fm/music/Raffi/_/Shake+My+sillies+Out

said: Aug 1, 2008
 145 posts

Brill, I’m going to try it out now ! :D

Luciana De Araujo said: Sep 2, 2008
Luciana De Araujo CaixetaViolin
São Carlos, SP, Brazil
3 posts

Something that might only show results in the long run is to have the child stand comfortably on the foot chart (rest position or no violin) in the beginning of the lesson, ask her to look at you and count to 10 (or 15, 20, etc) without wiggling. I noticed that this helps them to calm down, focus and look at me when I talk to them.
But I loved the Raffi song! I want to try it!

said: Sep 2, 2008
 145 posts

Putting sweets under their feet is quite good. They don’t get to eat them at the end of the lesson if you see them. You can wrap them in cling film if they dont have wrappers. I guess choc’late isn’t such a good idea!

Elizabeth Ortiz said: Sep 2, 2008
Elizabeth Ortiz
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Cary, IL
14 posts

I also put things under students’ feet, usually pennies or stickers. If I see the pennies or stickers I grab them up and put them away until the next lesson. If I don’t see them for the whole lesson, at the end of the lesson the student gets to pick them up and take them home. This works really well unless the whole lesson is just too long for a little one to stay still. Then I either start with a smaller amount of time, say half or one third of the lesson and gradually work up to having them stand in place for the whole lesson. Or I just give them wiggle breaks when I say “It’s ok to step off the pennies now and I won’t grab them if you go give mom a hug (or roll around the studio once or whatever) and then come right back and cover the pennies up with your feet.”

said: Sep 30, 2008
 5 posts

Sometimes I have them stand on a chair. No wandering around the room and no bending over for me! Of course I don’t do it if they’re scared. Most of them enjoy the novelty of being up high. :)


You must log in to post comments.

A note about the discussion forum: Public discussion forum posts are viewable by anyone. Anyone can read the forums, but you must create an account with your email address to post. Private forums are viewable by anyone that is a part of that private forum's group. Discussion forum posts are the opinion of the poster and do not constitute endorsement by or official position of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc.

Please do not use the discussion forums to advertise products or services