Violinist with a broken arm


Rebecca said: Dec 20, 2010
Rebecca SchiblerViolin, Viola
24 posts

One of my students broke their arm last night (falling off a Shetland Pony of all things :shock: ) and I find myself confronted with a new situation.
His mother said he’ll be in a cast for at least 6 weeks, but doesn’t want to discontinue lessons- I took my lead from the below post suggesting theory work, and I think we can do some left hand work too. We’re on a two week Christmas vacation anyway, so I’ve some time to prepare what to do with him, but I’d really appreciate some advice.
The student is 9, and just finished learning Song of the Wind (He did Lightly Row and Joy to the World for our Christmas Concert). We were working on Go Tell Aunt Rhody bowing before break. I plan to work on note names, reinforce twinkle rhythms, left hand shape, posture… but what else can I do with him while his bow arm is in a cast?
Part Two: If you’ve run into this before, any advice on how to rehabilitate that right arm when he can begin playing again would be great- I’ve asked the mom to mention this specifically to his doctor so I can get some of that feedback and I’ve got a pediatrician parent that I’ll ask, but I assume the arm will be weak at first. Do we go back to pre-Twinkle? I don’t want to frustrate him.
Anyway, any wisdom would greatly appreciated. Thanks, and Merry Christmas.

“Music exists for the purpose of growing an admirable heart.” -Dr. Suzuki

Kim said: Dec 21, 2010
 39 posts

Can the mom play at all? He could learn quite a bit of fingering if she is willing to bow for him. My 6 year old has learned harder fingering with me bowing and her concentrating on fingers.

Sara said: Dec 21, 2010
191 posts

After all the theory work/games and left hand work, you could do some fun listening activities and learn about the different composers.

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

Jennifer Visick said: Dec 21, 2010
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

perhaps this is a bit radical, but at age 9 (even in book 1) there’s no reason you can’t spend 4 weeks solidifying his intonation and start preliminary vibrato work. That is, if he wants to learn vibrato yet.

And then spend the next several weeks finishing vibrato and intonation work while you simultaneously get the right hand back into shape.

Phankao said: Dec 24, 2010
Phankao WanPiano, Viola, Violin
128 posts

My son broke his arm last year when he was 9+yrs old, incidentally, and yes, he was in a cast for 6 weeks. He was at around grade 5 standard already. For those 6 weeks, he still went for lessons and all they did was aural and theory. He didn’t want to practise at all for those 6 weeks, nor do any reflections, despite what was suggested by his teacher. But although his arm was weak the day his cast came off, by that evening, he was back to practising and it didn’t sound all that bad. We let him wear a support band on his arm for a few weeks though, from the day his cast came off. His arm healed well. He did well at a public performance just 2 months after that.


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