Best Way to Learn Violin Notes?
Giveaway Contest - Win the Fantastic Finger Guides!!!
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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:
Making Violin Fun
Use stick-on jewels on the fine tuners to help make violin playing fun and personalized for young students.
This idea for making violin fun comes from one of my 5-year-old students who brought in some stick-on jewels one lesson. While I have a strict rule for no stickers on the face of the violin, I thought to add these to the fine tuners would not damage the instrument and they helped a young musician make her music-making a little more personalized and festive.
You can purchase these on Amazon by searching for stick-on jewels and also at many stores in the scrapbooking and craft sections.
For more ideas on how to make violin fun for young musicians, please visit the Violin Hacks & Bow Hold Helpers page and download some free PDF's on the FREEBIES page.
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!