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:
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!