Bow Buddies

said: Mar 6, 2011
 145 posts

How long do you recommend for children to use these ?

Ruth Brons said: Mar 6, 2011
Ruth Brons
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Livingston, NJ
148 posts

After using the Bow Hold Buddies™ accessory in my own studio and our large university based Suzuki program for about one and half years now, my short answer is:

I would prefer to have the students use their Bow Hold Buddies™ as long as they can stand it,
but to please self-wean before spiccato.

The students appreciate the help at first, and are proud [and usually correct] to announce when they don’t think they need it anymore.
My response to such pronouncements is to suggest that they store the frog designed part of the accessory set [the Frog Frog, we call it] in their case, for a refresher period of use if ever needed.
Many students find continued use of the Hold Fish™ pinky support part of the accessory set to be helpful—they can use it if as long as they wish, as it does not effect the balance of the bow.

A more complete answer is:

For most students, especially the younger ones, I would prefer to have their bow hold supported until at least student is securely playing into Book Two. The number of other skills that are introduced in the last half of Book One are more than enough for most students to assimilate, so I enjoy getting through that phase without them worrying about the bow hold.

Students who have had the benefit of the accessory from “first touch” need the accessory for a vastly shorter period of time than those who have used the accessory for remedial purposes.
Typically, school aged beginners [say Grade 2 and up] in my program who enjoyed use of the accessory from Day One in September have discontinued its use by January solo recitals, even though they are not through Book One.

Conversely, continuing students who had bow hold issues for a year or more prior to using the accessory set have needed to use the accessory for a full year or more before the hand was reliably re-trained.

As a teacher, I SO enjoy not to allocating valuable lesson minutes to correcting/monitoring the bow hold when I have come to trust the accessory will do that work for me passively.

Best Wishes,

said: Mar 10, 2011
 145 posts

I have all of of my beginner pupils using bow buddies now. I just find I dont have to go over and over the bow hold at every lesson now , my pupils are always very happy to use it too. I even have a teenager using it in her practise, she has another bow to use at orchestra practise as she feels a bit shy using it outside her home practise, she is 14 so I just go along with it.

One thing I do find and that is when my pupils are using it, their middle finger is inclind to move up the back of the frog . Is this a problem and if so what do you suggest I do, or am I putting it in he wrong place maybe ?

Thank you for your help.

Nelly

Ruth Brons said: Mar 10, 2011
Ruth Brons
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Livingston, NJ
148 posts

The Bow Hold Buddies™ bow accessory works so well not only because the thumb, index and pinky fingers are positioned well, but because the hand, and therefore the entire bow arm linkage, relaxes. Because the only message the accessory sends the middle is to relax, it is true that the middle finger may tend to explore about and find the frog’s nose.
In my studio, where I have used this accessory with dozens of students, I have come to terms with that the numerous benefits of the accessory [four or five out of 5 fingers under control, relaxed bow hand, improved bow control, hundreds of lesson minutes re-allocated to cover issues other than bow hold, faster repertoire acquisition, etc.] are definitely worth the few middle fingers that find the frog’s back or nose. After all, soon enough the accessory will be removed and there will no longer be a frog’s back to climb up. When I remove the accessory I often spend a few minutes talking about what those middle two fingers can do [other than relax!].

Best Wishes,

said: Mar 18, 2011
 145 posts

I had a new pupil today. Its the first time ive used a bow buddy right fom the very start…it was totally brilliant and the little boy was so excited by it. So good not to have to spend the whole lesson teaching the bow hold!

Thank you for your invention ! :)

said: Aug 9, 2011
 145 posts

One of my pupils has lost the fish to her bow buddy. Can I purchase just a fish !!
Thank you!
NTE

Ruth Brons said: Aug 9, 2011
Ruth Brons
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Livingston, NJ
148 posts

Yes, the Hold Fish™ accessory is now available alone,
in Concert black, Frosty Clear, Sparkly Pink, Sunny Yellow and Bright Blue!
http://www.things4strings.com/hold-fishlink

Ruth Brons said: Oct 1, 2011
Ruth Brons
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Livingston, NJ
148 posts

Strad Magazine, October 2011 Issue: “Young Person’s Guide” by Maggie Williams.
“…there are plenty of accessories around designed to appeal to children, while still supporting the serious business of music study,” including Things 4 Strings™ Patented accessories.
Click here for link to full article!

Irene said: Oct 3, 2011
Irene YeongViolin
160 posts

I bought the bow buddy last year and never really use it coz it was too big for my daughter’s bow. She was using 1/32 then. Now she is using 1/16 and we use just the ‘fish’ part. It is a lot easier for us as I dont have to teach her bow hold at home. But during lesson time, her teacher can teach her without using the Bow Buddy. Love this, no struggle at home for bow hold.. :)

Martha Yasuda said: Sep 20, 2012
Martha Yasuda
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Smyma, GA
7 posts

I have used this very handy invention successfully with several of my students. Two of my students have been able to move on without it quite comfortably, achieving the ultimate goal of having a nice, relaxed bow hold. Brava, Ruth and Martha, for your hard work and your creativity which simplifies the extremely important task of holding the bow correctly!

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