Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Progress Tuesday

Learning: Minuet 2
Working Piece: Minuet 1 (This is her recital piece in 2.5 weeks)
Struggle: Fast passage in Minuet 1, keeping 3rd finger down, when she puts 4th down
Looking forward to: the recital

Learning: Cello! Posture......... Violin: Also started Minuet 2, and finishing up Minuet 1 line 3.
Working Piece: Etude singles and doubles (That's the recital piece)
Struggles: Proper bow hold for each instrument. Without fail she does violin bow hold when practicing cello and vice versa.
Looking forward to: cello cello cello cello!!!!

Struggle: Not enough time! I really need to work on having more effective practices.
Looking Forward to: Minuets! I love them all, and I will be very happy to be "done" with Etude, until AM gets to it again on the cello

Enter Cello

Recently AM decided that violin is overrated. Not really, but she did decide that she LOOOOOOVES the cello. How did she come to that conclusion? Well my brother plays the cello, and he is so awesome and cool (11 years old), and the girls look up to him. That's where she got the idea. Plus you can sit while you play cello! She decided it is hard to stand for an hour... Can't blame her honestly.

We discussed with the school. Apparently they encourage siblings to pursue different instruments. Who knew? When I was registering, they didn't tell me, I just registered for 2 violins. Well it has gotten to the point where they were comparing which MEASURE of Etude/Minuet they were learning... At which point I decided I have had enough, so we gently encouraged AM to consider cello.

AE loves her violin. She loves playing it, and enjoys the music. She also works really hard to fix mistakes/fix posture, etc. AM -- not so much. She prefers to play through songs without being interrupted and be done. She is not great at working on small passages (not that cello would fix that). But it seemed like an easy way to let AE do her thing and encourage AM to switch. (Then I tried to dissuade her, but her mind was made up at that point).

So last week I picked up a tiny 1/8 size cello from a local rental place. We started lessons a couple of days ago. She will continue with violin until the recital at the end of the term, and as of summer she will be doing cello exclusively. In fact I switched her to cello for the summer institute too. She seems very excited, and I hope she continues being excited.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Progress Tuesday

Learning: Minuet 1!
Working Piece: Etude singles and doubles
Struggle: Remembering to do correct bow hold
Looking forward to: starting to color Minuet 1 boxes!

Learning: Minuet 1
Working Piece: Etude singles and doubles
Struggles: Left hand thumb, it has gotten better over last week, but we still need lots of reminders
Looking forward to: Next reading lesson

Struggle: Posture. I feel like I have to tell the girls over and over again to keep their posture.
Looking Forward to: Hearing a lot more Minuets!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Violin Left Hand Thumb

We have been struggling with this for both girls, so I figured I'd write a post about what worked for us. AM in particular has been having major issues, and her teacher has been on her case to fix it before she can move on.

I have discovered that for us, the problem has stemmed from the fact that AM has been using her hand to actually hold up the violin instead of her chin, so as a result, she was actually using the thumb for support. So once I figure that out, we did a few exercises every day to work on the proper hold.

Exercise 1: Thumb taps.
The idea is to put a finger down on E/A string, and then tap with the thumb on the neck 10/20/40 times. This is hard to do if you use the thumb to hold a violin up.

Exercise 2: No thumb playing.
This was harder to do, but more effective. We did this with scales. The idea is to remove the thumb from the neck of the violin completely and hold it about an inch away, then proceed to play the scale/twinkle. AM needed some help with this, I helped her hold the scroll up, but mostly she managed :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Progress Tuesday

I skipped one, but honestly not much has changed.

Learning: slurred and "minuet" bows
Working Piece: Etude singles and doubles
Struggle: Remembering to use staccato...
Looking forward to: starting Minuet 1.

Learning: To keep her thumb of the left hand in place
Working Piece: Etude singles and doubles
Struggles: Left hand thumb, it keeps bending while she plays, and sometime even wraps around onto the G string
Looking forward to: Finally starting Minuets!

Struggle: Fixing AM's thumb. I don't know what else I can do for that thumb! We have tried virtually everything! It just won't stay straight!
Looking Forward to: Spring :) This is not Suzuki related, but I am just so done with Winter! We had snow yesterday. Enough is enough!