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added dots to fingerboard
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Fiddlerman
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October 15, 2014 - 8:15 pm
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I did talk to a few of my colleagues who said that they are fantastic. This is what one of them wrote to me.

"I love them. Couldn't teach 40 plus kids (violin, viola, cello, bass) without them.
Of course, I tell them that tapes aren't always right and eventually we will take them off. "

Tried to get her to register and comment here but nothing so far. :(
I also know that one teacher uses automobile pin striping and prefers that over the stuff you get for violins.

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

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Gil
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October 16, 2014 - 3:42 am
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I used auto stripe tape for the first month, after that I found I was not looking at them and off they came. My sister in law had been trying to learn for about 2 years and could not play a tune until I put stripes on her violin, she is now getting better by the day. 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 16, 2014 - 7:55 am
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Differs from person to person. :)

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

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Mad_Wed
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October 18, 2014 - 3:46 pm
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1stimestar said
My teacher uses tapes.  I have been with her for 3 years now and am tired of having the tapes on there.  They are embarrassing.  I took them off about a year ago and she put them back on.  I'm going to take them off again after our lesson tomorrow.  So what if I do mess up occasionally while learning to play without them.  That's the point.  I CAN play without them but since they are there, I do find myself watching my fingers pretty often. 

That's weird. Did You tell your teacher about these concerns? I guess there should be ballance between your teacher's plans with tapes and your unnecessary (as You've said - You can play withou them) visual contacts. Especially if You feel embarrassed....duncecapdunno

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Fiddlerman
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October 19, 2014 - 8:44 pm
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1stimestar said
My teacher uses tapes.  I have been with her for 3 years now and am tired of having the tapes on there.  They are embarrassing.  I took them off about a year ago and she put them back on...............

Just out of curiosity, can you ask her at what time one should take off the tapes?  I need to know how she will answer that. At this point I have a hard time defending her. LOL

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

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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October 19, 2014 - 10:11 pm
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Tapes, huh...... In my personal opinion I see no advantage to them. IMO if the tapes are not placed properly to a properly tuned violin then what good are they. 

One should learn to recognize an out of tune instrument just by listening.

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coolpinkone
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October 20, 2014 - 1:17 pm
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@Fiddlestix that seems to be what most are saying.  I have no argument there. 

I have mentioned that I am taking a class on teaching the violin.  There are dots and tapes being utilized.   (the age group seems to be about 4-6 years old)

I am eager to see through out the course as the kids are progressing... at what point do the tapes come off.  And at this point I see more attention being paid to fingering than actually listening.

I have no opinion... I am just watching how it is being taught.  I was taught in a similar manner in my early days.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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DanielB
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October 20, 2014 - 4:32 pm
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Well, when you have a teacher, there are always at least three ways to do things.  The right way, the wrong way, and the teacher's way.  Someone that you pay for lessons, who presumably was trained as a teacher, is going to do things the way they were trained or feel is best.

If you don't like how the teacher wants things done, you have some possible choices.  You can fight with the teacher, you can quit taking lessons, you can find another teacher, or you can put up with it and learn what you can from their way of doing things.  That's for an adult, anyway.  For a small child whose parent signed them up for lessons and who maybe didn't have any say over what instrument they'd be taking or even if they'd be taking music lessons, the options are going to be more limited.

I'm taking the same class that Toni mentioned, and the students in the demos are very young, as she mentioned.  I have seen very little so far on how adults might be taught differently, and I am not at all sure from what feedback I've gotten when asking about versions or the exercises and etc for adult students, that the class/method/teacher considers that adults should be taught any differently.  I don't personally agree with that, but I'm there to get the info that the teacher is presenting, not to teach the class myself. 

From discussions in that class forum, I think that most of the people who are most highly supportive of using tapes are the ones who teach classes of like 20 kids in an elementary school and where with a 40 minute class once or twice a week that would work out to maybe 2 minutes of individual time with each student.  Assuming that all they did each class session was to check each student's intonation.  So for that kind of an environment, maybe tapes seem more practical.  Or within a particular style of teaching. 

My point being, that if you sign up for violin lessons with a teacher and they insist on tapes because that is how they know how to teach, you're kinda stuck with it if you actually want to take the lessons with that teacher.  Umm.. No pun intended.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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coolpinkone
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October 20, 2014 - 6:53 pm
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I see what you are saying Daniel. And I have no real preference.  I have noticed in the class, the kids are being taught  1. relaxed hands and posture 2. finger positions.   Also to count, hum or sing, and stomp their foot.  I haven't heard the teacher seem to care if they are playing in tune.  Maybe that is just for the segments that we are learning now.   I have to say that my teacher for 8 months never told me I was out of tune, (I was) but she was more about the patterns. 

Anyway... I don't mind the way the kids are being taught.  Maybe since we are only seeing samples of lessons and example of the bow strokes, it seems (to me) that there is a missing element. I am starting to really like the class.  (I can't keep up with the forums, they are too overwhelming)  Also in the forum there are differing opinions of how, what.. you know the typical many different ways to sew a quilt. 

As a preschool teacher, I ran my class a bit differently when dealing with 4 year olds. 

Anyway ...I was just surprised to see the heavy use of tapes and dots.  (I am not opposed, just my world was limited to what I had heard in my own violin adult peer group).

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Uzi
Georgia
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October 20, 2014 - 9:26 pm
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Ivan Galamian, in the Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching, said: The building of good intonation rests mainly on the sense of touch in combination with guidance of the ear.  The fingers are like blind people who guide themselves through a sightless existence by touching objects which mark their paths from place to place. [...] The hand learns gradually to orient itself, to find its proper location by the feel of the neck[...] From the hand position thus secured, the fingers in their turn learn to acquire, through their sense of touch the feeling for the correct placement and for proper stretch.  In this they are continually helped, guided and controlled by the ear.

I seriously doubt that any really good fiddle players look at their fingers for targets on the fingerboard.  However, I'll bet there are a lot of them that had to break the habit of trying. Specifically, those that once used finger tape.  As we all know, it is much harder to break a well-worn bad habit, than it is to acquire a shiny, brand new one.  I personally think that using finger tape is intentionally acquiring a bad habit, in an attempt to take a short cut through the long, difficult and sometimes tedious process that defines learning to play the fiddle. In the short-term, it really won't help with intonation, since the correct spot is so tiny that the eyes won't be of much use, and in the long-term will be detrimental to acquiring the muscle memory and ear required to reliably move your finger to the correct location and make the necessary rapid micro-adjustments to the pitch every single time a particular note is required. 

Edit:

Speaking of which the book Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching can be had (including shipping) for under $10 here at Amazon: The Book  I highly recommend reading it.  If you'd like to read it for free, but in a somewhat inconvenient way it's also available in the link at the top of this post. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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Georganne
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October 21, 2014 - 1:54 am
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Fiddlerman said

1stimestar said
My teacher uses tapes.  I have been with her for 3 years now and am tired of having the tapes on there.  They are embarrassing.  I took them off about a year ago and she put them back on...............

Just out of curiosity, can you ask her at what time one should take off the tapes?  I need to know how she will answer that. At this point I have a hard time defending her. LOL

She said, oh you still need them.  I'm going to change strings this week and then take them off.  I'll let you know what she says.

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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Georganne
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October 21, 2014 - 1:59 am
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DanielB said 

My point being, that if you sign up for violin lessons with a teacher and they insist on tapes because that is how they know how to teach, you're kinda stuck with it if you actually want to take the lessons with that teacher.  Umm.. No pun intended.

Yes and that is why I didn't argue with her last time I took them off and she put them right back on.  This time there will be more discussion. 

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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Fiddlerman
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October 21, 2014 - 7:08 am
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1stimestar said

Fiddlerman said

1stimestar said
My teacher uses tapes.  I have been with her for 3 years now and am tired of having the tapes on there.  They are embarrassing.  I took them off about a year ago and she put them back on...............

Just out of curiosity, can you ask her at what time one should take off the tapes?  I need to know how she will answer that. At this point I have a hard time defending her. LOL

She said, oh you still need them.  I'm going to change strings this week and then take them off.  I'll let you know what she says.

The choice is yours now. You need to form your own opinion not only about the tapes but about your teacher. I'd make the comparison to driving a stickshift car and staring at the stick-shift while shifting. Or typing while looking at the keys. Is it necessary? Is it effective? I can see why teachers might use it to get students started.

You are not a beginner. As a matter of a fact, in your case, the tapes can cause you to play out of tune. If you look at that tape to find the note and adjust accordingly, there is no way to know exactly where to put your finger. Should your fingertip hit the tape in the center, the front edge or back edge? Is your teachers placement based on where you put your finger or where she puts it for everyone. I was once hired to go through a schools instruments and at the end, the teacher started putting on tapes and I figured I could help her but so help me, I tried to see what the students should see looking from behind the violin over the fingerboard and there is no definite spot. No sure fire way to mark that. Plus it seems to differ on some instruments from string to string. If you know approximately where to place your finger, use your tonal recognition to fine tune afterwards. Play slow scales in the key of the pieces you are working on and try to focus on each and every note.

Have you ever tried the "Intonation Game" from the menu above?

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

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
October 21, 2014 - 12:09 pm
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Last year in December 2013, I removed the two tapes on my violin.  It was hard for me to find my way and I have struggled a bit, but I have to say after 10 months I am good without them. 

However the temptation is to put the tiniest little star or bump for shifting.  I don't believe I will do this as I took a long time to feel right without the tapes.   

As Pierre says, I am not a beginner.. (much).... I am obviously obsessed with this topic. :)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
October 21, 2014 - 12:11 pm
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Uzi said
Ivan Galamian, in the Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching, said: The building of good intonation rests mainly on the sense of touch in combination with guidance of the ear.  The fingers are like blind people who guide themselves through a sightless existence by touching objects which mark their paths from place to place. [...] The hand learns gradually to orient itself, to find its proper location by the feel of the neck[...] From the hand position thus secured, the fingers in their turn learn to acquire, through their sense of touch the feeling for the correct placement and for proper stretch.  In this they are continually helped, guided and controlled by the ear.

I seriously doubt that any really good fiddle players look at their fingers for targets on the fingerboard.  However, I'll bet there are a lot of them that had to break the habit of trying. Specifically, those that once used finger tape.  As we all know, it is much harder to break a well-worn bad habit, than it is to acquire a shiny, brand new one.  I personally think that using finger tape is intentionally acquiring a bad habit, in an attempt to take a short cut through the long, difficult and sometimes tedious process that defines learning to play the fiddle. In the short-term, it really won't help with intonation, since the correct spot is so tiny that the eyes won't be of much use, and in the long-term will be detrimental to acquiring the muscle memory and ear required to reliably move your finger to the correct location and make the necessary rapid micro-adjustments to the pitch every single time a particular note is required. 

Edit:

Speaking of which the book Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching can be had (including shipping) for under $10 here at Amazon: The Book  I highly recommend reading it.  If you'd like to read it for free, but in a somewhat inconvenient way it's also available in the link at the top of this post. 

Thank you Uzi.  

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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