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Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's Showtime!

i thought you would enjoy seeing a few videos of one of my three year old students as she plays "Squeaky Mouse" and the left hand pizzicato exercise.

The "Squeaky Mouse" song is a song that developed by accident. A teacher must always be prepared to pounce on a new idea the minute it rears its head. In this case one of my former three year old students was struggling with "Flower Song," and she inadvertently let the bow slip off the track. The bow veered behind the bridge, made a horrible pipsqueak, and thus was the new "Squeaky Mouse" song born!

The words are quite simple: "Little Mice are Squeaky" repeated four times, and the notes alternate between the E string and F# (1st finger on E string). At the end of those four notes, the student puts the bow behind the bridge and plays a nasty squeaky sound.

The kids love this, and I enjoy setting it up as something fun to do because it will "annoy" and drive the child's parents crazy. All good fun! Here is one of my current three year old students playing "Squeaky Mouse" for you. This video gives you a good idea of how much interaction the teacher or the parent has with the child at this stage. This student has been playing this song for about 2 weeks now.

In a previous post, I described how I set up a child's left hand posture. One of the preliminary exercises I use is the left hand pizzicato. Here is the same three year old student performing this exercise. She had been doing this about 2 days when I took the video. I am not shushing her when she giggles; I'm actually saying "whoosh" as I whoosh each finger up after playing.

And finally, my 5 year old student Pajia wanted to show you how she gets her bow hold ready. Pajia is just beginning to learn "O Come Little Children." We noticed that her bow hold was starting to slip a little bit, so she started getting her bow hold ready very carefully without her violin. She places the bow on her shoulder and then very slowly and precisely sets all her fingers where they belong. Here is our little video of this process. It was tricky for me to film this and hold onto her violin at the same time.

I thought you would enjoy these next videos because of the cuteness factor. The little 3 year old girl is just the cutest, and her 5 year old brother was so excited about having his very first lesson on a real violin that he couldn't stand still. Enjoy.


I AM SO EXCITED (but trying to look cool)!

In this next video, we had been talking about the recent Artisan Quartet concert, which was the second concert in its Beethoven cycle. The Artisan had performed an all-Beethoven program, including the Grosse Fuge. When my little student heard us talking about Beethoven, that got her talking about her favorite symphony, composer, and song. She needed a little prompting to repeat her words for the video.

What? Ode to Joy? Not the Grosse Fuge?

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