feets of great strength
Rest Position: Feet in rest position should be together but they
need not touch.
Play Position: Feet in play position should be comfortably separated
with body weight evenly distributed between both feet. Check balance
by having someone touch various points on the head lightly and resist
this hurts, should it hurt?
Our goal in teaching music is to make it as free and natural as
possible while providing the technique to play the instrument to
its fullest potential. Fatigue should never be ignored! Analyze
why and where the tension lies and try to relax that area, tension
often originates in the larger muscles, higher in the arm, shoulders
and back, and is transmitted to the rest of the arm. The upright
position for playing adds weight to the front so we must think in
terms of counterbalances.
When straining to hold the violin or bow, stop, shake out the tension
and try again. If still fatigued, stop completely and do something
else, musical or otherwise. Remember, practice time needs to be
lengthened over time as concentration and stamina increases.
Start out with 5 or 10 minute sessions and gradually (over months)
increase this time period. Two 5-10 minute sessions a day are great
Use imagination! Like a teeter-totter, imagine that violin on one
side is being balanced on the other side by some imaginary weight
sitting on your opposite shoulder. Use this principle of balances
to help remove the feeling of a heavy violin.
basic finger positions
Press thumb into hand, just above where there's the most pressure
is where the violin sits (on top of the first joint of the thumb
and the knuckle of the first finger.)
1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th fingers, wrist mostly straight (don't bend
it inward!) Place fingers carefully on tapes and be "half on
the pads, half on the tips" of the fingers in general
Violin or viola gently held under right arm with left hand providing
support. The bow need not be pointed straight down, but should be
held generally pointing down. Bow in rest position should not be
held in the finger positions for playing. Dont forget feet
in rest position too!
In preparing to hold the instrument, place the left hand on the
right shoulder and turn head to the left. Watch for tension in the
left shoulder (raised unnaturally), if tense, make sure that the
left hand is placed lightly on the right shoulder and bring the
left shoulder down.
Practice turning the head from center to left repeatedly, like
exercise. This will help loosen up the neck muscles and make this
position easier to maintain.
Next, add the instrument with hand on right shoulder. To begin
with, parents or helper should hold the instrument so that it doesnt
fall, or cause apprehension of it falling. Chin should start in
an upward position, the instrument inserted touching neck, and then
the chin lowered so that it has just enough weight to hold the instrument
up. No more weight than that! Watch out for clamping of the instrument.
Think of the instrument as floating. Always try to perceive the
violin/viola as light.