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The musical journey of a 11 year old
How my son is lernin the violinfiddle from me.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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November 18, 2012 - 2:33 pm
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dancingSo last wed my son attempted to play the D maj scale in class and failed. I dont know if it was nerves or just didnt know how. So they are with me this weekend and I brought his Violin home with me since thats been the excuse these past weeks. Im trying to get him to understand the value of practice, since its not happening at his house. He struggles with holding the violin and bow so this is where we began this past friday. I reasoned that if you cant hold it you cant play it.....yup, no shortage of juice in the ol grey matter!

Once I was able to get him to relax his hands and be comfortable with the holds we moved on to bowing. open strings, different rythyms and string changes.

I noticed that he was having trouble bowing and finding the fingerings so we are practicing them separately until he is comfortable with both.

So, I am having him hold the 1/2 size violin in the guitar style. this allows him to have his hand oriented properly and find the fingerings. I let him pluck the strings guitar style and he has the biggest smile on his face. He is a closet guitarist, so I told him if he gets his ribbons Id teach  him the "ukelele" which he's had his eye on.

So now its Sunday and Im watching football with him and Tampa scores. Now Jon (like all normal kids) hates to practice, but I know hes got to if hes gonna be great. I told him each time a team scores he has to play the Dmaj scale and arpeggio. Dutifully he has serenaded us each of the four scores so far. And, he is sounding better with each touchdown!

Monday he will be able to play for his green ribbon. I know he will be proud of himself and I wont hesistate to remind him its because he practiced. Gmaj scale is next.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
November 18, 2012 - 6:20 pm
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Sounds like a good strategy to me, Rob. Make a fun game out of it, a game tied to something else that he enjoys: football. Before he knows it, he'll have developed violin skills. As long as the Buccaneers keep scoring touchdowns, that is...

crossedfingers

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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November 18, 2012 - 6:34 pm
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it got complicated quick as I wanted some variety. My team scores he has to bow the scale. If his team scores he gets to pluck it guitar style. A field goal meant he had to only do the arpeggio. At the end of each quarter he had to practice bowing open strings, at half time he practiced his left hand fingering to the metronome until he was perfect at 120 bpm, started at 80 bpm. lol. He played alot more than he probably thought he was gonna. By the end of the football game he was really good and accurate at 80 bpm with arpeggio so he was excited and happy, bragging to his older sister when she came to pick him up at 6pm. No school on Wed so I wont see them again for two weeks.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Tyberius
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November 18, 2012 - 6:41 pm
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Thats a great idea. I should start that process myself.

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 19, 2012 - 10:58 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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I love your creativity Robert. You should design my next Fiddlerman learning game. :-)

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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December 12, 2012 - 7:25 pm
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Tonight was his school winter recital. They all did good and I took some video which I will be posting. He did have his Gmaj ribbon on the instrument so I was very proud of him. Now to teach him the D and A scales.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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January 21, 2013 - 9:31 am
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Finally my son has brought his violin with him this weekend. So saturday was garage sale day and it was 8 am and he was excited to help. He has always been a cheerful, helpful bundle of energy! So while we were hangin out waiting for browsers, he was playing on his electronic gadget. So I asked him to go get his violin and play the G scale for me and I promised I wouldnt critique or help. So he got it and scratched out the scale. I said thats great now put it away and that was that, or so he thought. In an hour, I leaned over to him as asked if I could show him two of the smallest adjustments to his techniques that would make him sound better. He thought that would be ok, I also offered to rosin his bow for him since it didnt seem to have a trace on it. lol. So while he once again began to bow the scale, I put my hand up against his elbow so he could bow straight and encouraged him to pull and push with longer bow strokes. When we were done I pointed out his wrist flexibility seemed better, didnt he agree? He nodded. I also asked him if he thought he sounded better, he agreed again. I told him I thought he did great and had him put it away. An hour later, between talking with shoppers and promoting giving lessons, I asked him to get it out again. He's beginning to notice a pattern. By the time we were done, 5 hours had gone by and hed accumulated 20 min of practice time. His bowing and intonation had improved and He could use good form without my assistance. I read in the suzuki book that small children benefit from this type of practice, small manageable chunks. I thought that at 11 my son was old enough to have regular practice times, 30 min at a shot. The good news is I have  unlocked another secret to getting him to practice, the bad news is....I dont get to encourage him daily. We are "still eating the Elephant, one bite at a time".

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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ozmous
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January 21, 2013 - 12:01 pm
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this progress is one of the greatest documented "into-success" Suzuki method I've ever encountered!

great job PF!!!

don't worry bout the bad news...as long as he enjoyed it!

cheers! - ⁰ℨ

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Mt. Fiddler
Adirondacks, NY
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January 21, 2013 - 12:26 pm
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Hey Picklefish what a great heartwarming story!  This is great... you both could watch the game and get some practice in too!  I would love to see the video if you could post some of it. Very encouraging.  My daughter age 11 started playing guitar and is holding steady with Grandfather's Clock.  No luck getting her into the violin yet.  I figure just her exposure to my passion for it will be good for her future interest!

 

Mtviolin-1267. Fiddler

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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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January 30, 2013 - 10:21 pm
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Mt. Fiddler- I have a version of Grandfathers Clock in Wicklunds book I believe. What style of guitar is she started with?

 

Oz- thanks.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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