Best Way to Learn Violin Notes?
Giveaway Contest - Win the Fantastic Finger Guides!!!
Entering is easy, scroll down to learn how.
After almost a decade of teaching, Toby Weston, educator & creator of the Fantastic Finger Guides asked himself:
Why do we use finger tapes when first learning to play string instruments such as the violin, viola, or cello?
Is there a better way than finger tapes to get our beginners playing correctly with musical confidence?
Learn more about why using pitches instead of finger numbers is empowering to the learning process below by guest blog post author Toby Weston.
I have learned from teaching middle school music for the past 12 years that the best way to improve student learning is to improve the teaching system.
I wondered if there was a better way to teach than with finger tapes because finger tapes don't provide sufficient musical information to help the student grow musically smarter and they are a very abstract teaching tool.
I was concerned that by using finger tapes, my students were labeling the sound only by its physical location and not coding the actual musical language. At one point I used different color tapes for different locations:
1st finger was red, 2nd finger was white, and the 3rd finger was blue.
After a year of playing, most students using this system will code the location as 1st finger on the red tape on the A string, but not code the letter name nor musical language. By the time these students reached the 7th grade, many had deficiencies in understanding their fingerboard in terms of a musical alphabet.
After years of using finger tapes I had a breakthrough in the Fall of 2017:
Why don't we just put the letter names on the instrument?
This way the student has the information needed to move forward in the music. When a student practices on their own they build correct muscle memory for spacing and also musical alphabet memory. This leads to gaining confidence in their playing without their teacher present. The student can code the music alphabet as their primary thinking versus finger tapes that are too abstract and don't provide any musical information.
I ended up creating the Fantastic Finger Guides to solve this problem for my students. I created the D Major Beginner Guide for my first-year students and the All Notes guide for my second-year students. When students are beginning to learn the violin, less is better thus the rationale for a more simplified finger guide.
Receive 10% off the Fantastic Finger Guides thru July 31, 2020 with coupon code MFYV2020.
Click HERE to order the Fantastic Finger Guides.
How To Enter the Fantastic Finger Guide Giveaway Contest:
Win the book Vio's Violin by Kenesha T. Ryce & a $40 gift certificate to the Music for Young Violinists store.
Entering is easy, scroll down to learn how.
What was the best that happened this past school year?
Wow, just wow! It's so precious to have a moment to reflect on another school year. I just finished nursing school and am one step closer to bridging the gap between the arts and healing. My family is on a plane to visit and celebrate my graduation as I type and I am practicing my self-control by refraining from sampling the cookies I bought for my party.
At the beginning of the school year, I asked:
"What's the best that can happen?"
Now, with another year under our belts, I would love to hear back from you:
"What was the best that actually did happen?"
Please share in the blog comments by the end of this weekend, and you will be entered into a M4YV giveaway contest. The winner will be chosen at random by the end of the day on Sunday, June 16. They will win this fantastic book pictured above to inspire violin practice + a $40 gift certificate to the M4YV store.
Need a little inspiration to keep up the momentum on summer break?
Head on over to the M4YV sheet music store for some instant downloads where everything is 40% off thru the end of the weekend.
Flash Giveaway Contest
Win a Set of WonderThumbs!!!
Relax your hand and let the music flow...
I recently discovered these neat violin playing aids called the WonderThumbs and really like them. In fact, I am surprised it took so long for someone to create these - thank you Craig!
Lucky for us the creator was kind enough to donate a set to one of our lucky members. If you don't happen to be the lucky duck who wins, you can order these from the WonderThumb website or from Shar Music. They cost $24, and if you are thrifty like me, you may be on the fence for making this investment so I invite you to consider this price in comparison of 4 years of remedial violin lessons ($4,000+) if this is a product that could benefit you, your student or your child. Remedial lessons are costly and honestly, can be treachery for all parties involved. Just some food for thought as you consider this product.
I played around with several different sizes and as a 5"8 female with slightly larger sized hands am probably an L in the WonderThumb sizing. That being said, I tried all the sizes, and I like the XL for using backward which is a non-traditional use of the product, but it worked for supporting the neck of the violin. I also liked the smallest size for taking up as little space as possible. Just some ideas to consider when looking into these.
OK, now onto the FUN STUFF - enter this giveaway contest by saying "Hello" (or "你好" or "Bonjour" or "Dzień Dobry") in the comments below and a winner will be chosen in 24 hours.
Things 4 Strings® Studio Kit:
If you have an extra 20 seconds today, I will value your thoughts on music and money in a 3 question survey. Feedback will be used to better serve the Music for Young Violinists community with future content. You can access the survey by clicking the button below. Thanks! Heather
WIN THESE: a Set of Poly-Pads!!!!
To WIN simply write in the blog comments below what your favorite shoulder pad(s) are and why. Winner will be chosen at random November 20. Thanks!
To Visit the Poly-Pad website click HERE.
Some of the items listed here are things that have stood the test of time and worthy of praise such as my Korg metronome which has been dropped 100 times in 15 years, rarely needs a battery replacement and still works fine. Other resources may be lesser known products worthy of spreading the good word about like the Poly-Pad shoulder sponge. This page will be growing on a regular basis so please check back soon.
Featured on “Things I Love” is Helping Parents Practice (Ideas for Making it Easier) Volume 1 by Edmund Sprunger. This is HANDS DOWN my favorite resource to use in supporting parents practicing with their children. I appreciate this book so much that I have practically underlined every sentence in my copy because it is so clarifying and poignant.
Sprunger combines decades of experience teaching Suzuki violin with his formal training in psychology to offer wise and compassionate perspectives that will elevate a parents understanding of why their child is responding or behaving in a certain way. He also offers solutions that are effective and healthy for addressing these specific situations.
The book is divided into sections by practice topic and then further broken down into 2-5 page solutions for specific scenarios that a parent would encounter while helping their child practice. This concise organization was done with the busy teacher/parent in mind and makes it an especially convenient tool because you can look up your immediate situation without having to read an entire book.
Thank you Ed and please let us know when Volume 2 is available. Learn more about Ed Sprunger and his resources HERE.
To celebrate this new page we are giving away Ed Sprunger’s new book: Building Violin Skills: A Set of Plans Designed to Help Parents and Children Construct Positive Practices.
Winner, Winner - We Have a Winner!!! Now, Share Your Wishlist for the Next Giveaway Contest
Thank you so much for your enthusiastic entries in my second giveaway contest and congratulations to Laura for winning the 5 StringVision Bow Grips! It was fantastic hearing from all of you and I especially appreciated the conversations about the pros and cons of this particular bow hold product. Everyone who entered got a little musical gift from me in their email inbox - a sample of my new collection, a rousing fiddle tune arranged for 3 violins and a coupon to the store.
Your excited entries got my mind thinking about hosting more contests and I would love to hear from you about what you want to see offered in the future. Please let me know in the comments below. I can not make any promises but I will do my best to continue this fun tradition that Music for Young Violinists has started.
Here is a short video of me choosing the winner. I have seen other websites do raffles with computer programs but I thought pulling a name out of a bowl would be so much more fun. Happy music making and bye for now, Heather
PS- My last giveaway contest of 2 Aloha Tuners only had 2 participants and they both won. We are a small group, your odds for winning are good.
Art & War
Beginning Violin Music
Blue Jello Cards
Boil Them Cabbage Down
By Ear Tune
Check Off Chart
Easy Violin Music
Free Gift With Purchase
Free Holiday Music
Free Sheet Music
Free Violin Music
How To Attract Students
How To Build Studio
How To Buy Violin
Inspiring String Players
Jingle Bells For 2 Violins
Jingle Bells For Beginning Violin
LARGE Print Music
Left Hand Technique
Make Practice Fun
Music Mind Games
Ode To Joy
Praeludium & Allegro
Sheet Music For Violin
Violin Sheet Music
Violin Teaching Tip
Hi! It's me, Heather. I absolutely love working on the Music for Young Violinists project and all the many facets: blogging, website, music, teaching materials, freebies, videos, newsletter and giveaway contests. The best part is connecting with you so feel free to drop me a line. You can learn more about me on the "ABOUT" page. Thanks!