School orchestra student

Sara said: Mar 27, 2010
 Violin
191 posts

I am just wondering what you all do with school orchestra students. Typically I still start from the ground up simply because so many techniques are not in place with posture etc. But in doing that I am getting the feeling that they are feeling like they are not being given music that matches what they think their level is. In orchestra they are shifting and playing double stops but in Suzuki they may only be in book 2.

So, do you place them in higher level books and just work with the techniques as you go ~ that seems cumbersome from my point of view or do you you start from basics and work up?

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

Karra said: Mar 27, 2010
 Cello
51 posts

I usually start from the basics and build up. Some of the first exercises I teach pre-twinkle (ski jumps and sirens, don’t know if those have been used for violin or viola) are intended eventually to help kids learn basic left hand balance and shifting, so if the kid needs to do shifting for orchestra, I stress those. For cellists those exercises do the trick pretty well if practiced properly. Then I give them the first page of shifting exercises out of Feuilliard’s Method for the Young Cellist, which gives them a chance to try 4th position (I don’t know if there’s a violin equivalent to this book, but the kids love this set of exercises- I can copy the page and post it here if you want). Typically I give them one thing to work on for each hand every lesson, unless I see that one side needs more attention than the other. I hope this makes sense!

“It may very well be music that will one day save the world”— Pablo Casals

Ruth Brons said: Mar 27, 2010
Ruth Brons
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Livingston, NJ
148 posts

A strategy I have used with success for students new to my studio who may have some remedial work to do to is to assign them a piece at or near what they think is their level, while simultaneously working through from the beginning of Book One. I explain that there are important and specific techniques in each of the Book One pieces that I like to cover with all my students. I resort to a bit of flattery by saying that since the early pieces will be so easy to learn for such an experienced player that they are the perfect vehicles whizz through to learn the specific teaching points we need to cover.

Best Wishes,

Ruth Brons
http://www.things4strings.com

Sara said: Mar 29, 2010
 Violin
191 posts

Thanks for both of your posts. Both were helpful and enlightening.

Caramia ~ if it’s not too much trouble, I would be interested to see that page. Perhaps if it’s not already converted to violin—it could be. Thank you!

Ruth, what a clever approach ~ I love it!

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

Karra said: Mar 30, 2010
 Cello
51 posts

Hmm. I’ve scanned the page, but I can’t figure out how to attach it here. I could send it via e mail, but I’d rather post it here so others can see it as well. Anyone know how I can do that?

“It may very well be music that will one day save the world”— Pablo Casals

Jennifer Visick said: Mar 30, 2010
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

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Karra said: Mar 30, 2010
 Cello
51 posts

Thanks RaineJen,

I tried to upload the file, but I think it was just too large :(

“It may very well be music that will one day save the world”— Pablo Casals

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