3 Misnomers in Violin Playing
Violin playing is a dynamic and complex learning process that can be cumbersome when the syntax is not built upon existing concepts.
Learn 3 misnomers in violin teaching and how to upgrade your languaging for better results.
Down Bows & Up Bows:
Since the bow moves in lateral directions, left and right, the actual words "up" and "down" do not correlate with the motions and can confuse both young violinists and their parents during home practice.
For violin players having difficulty integrating the words "down" and "up" into their playing, consider substituting the words "open" for down bows and "close" for up bows. Open refers to the arm opening up straight for what is termed the down bow, and close refers to abducting the forearm in what is termed an up bow.
I always told my students that if I could go back in time, I would change the term "chinrest" to "jawrest" since it's a misnomer. In reality, the chin is not involved in violin placement, and it is the jaw that contacts the face of the violin. This terminology has befuddled more than one student in my career, and they tried defeatedly to place their chin there. It is useful to point out this discrepancy so that the violin posture is not inadvertently misinterpreted during home practice.
Learn about my favorite type of "chinrest" HERE.
High and Low Fingers:
Words like "high" & "low" are confusing to beginning violin students while still learning how to play the instrument because these words are associated literally and do not yet connect with pitch vibrations.
Consider altering your instruction to be a description location like "closer to the bridge (or nose)" and "closer to the scroll" instead for more efficient results in the initial stages of learning these distinctions.
Learn a neat trick for teaching "low" 1st fingers HERE.
Have a languaging teaching tip?
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