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Early Violin Activities

These exercises build the foundation for left- and right-hand technique for a beginning player.

Playing in Cello Position

MBB Cello position

For a young child (age 3-5) who is still learning to cross the midline, having their left hand rotated and to the side (i.e. violin position) is tricky. Maneuvering their fingers initially in cello position builds skill in a more child-friendly way.

During the “cello position” stage they are learning to place their fingers on the string (rather than between the strings), press the string to the fingerboard, and coordinate pressing (left hand) with plucking (right hand).

Who Ate My Pie? (open strings)

SS Who Ate My Pie – open strings

This is the child’s very experience playing with the bow on the violin.┬áThis exercise is initially practiced in tandem, with the parent drawing the bow. Meanwhile, the child maintains their bowhold and focuses on holding the violin high.

Strive for clear note endings, space between notes, and bow division. There should be a significant pause between each note. Keep the bow perpendicular to the string, with a modest pressure into the string.

The tandem activity allows the child to feel the bow path and a model of a warm, clear tone. Once the child can maintain their bowhold and posture during tandem playing, they are ready to draw the bow for themselves.

Preparing & Strengthening the Bow Hand

These exercises build a young player’s bowing facility and build strength and awareness in the bow hand.

Thumb & Pinky Taps

SS Thumb & Pinky Taps

This exercise builds a stronger mind-to-body connection, so the student can gain the ability to maintain a curved pinky and bent thumb.

Silent Rocking

SS Silent rocking

This trains the motion for crossing strings. A relaxed and balanced arm is required to pivot silently between strings.

Spider Crawl

SS Spider crawl

This exercise helps the student feel the balance of the bow and develop independence and coordination among their fingers.

Elevator Lifts

SS Elevator lifts

Landing without bounces requires being aware of and controlling the tip of the bow.

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