Saturday, September 18, 2010

Week 2: Standing/Holding Positions & Making Bows

This week we split the classes in half so that Mr. Xia could work more closely with students to help them master their violin standing and holding positions.  The other half spent their session in the classroom with the kindergarten teacher making their violin bows. The class came together on the last day to "pass off" on their stances, "take a bow" for reaching Level 6 and celebrate the fact that they're ready to receive their paper violins next week.
Bow Making Process (30 minutes):
    1. An adult cuts hard wood dowel rods (3/8 x 48 inches) in half - enough for each child to have one.
    2. Children do the rest:  Cover the dowel rods completely with beeswax to fill in niches.
    3. Sand the dowel rod with medium grit and finish with a finer grade.  
    4. Test to be sure there's no remaining beeswax residue by rubbing a dark cloth over the dowel rod.  If it sticks or leaves a residue, keep sanding until it's nice and smooth.  
    So how do you make violin standing and holding positions engaging for a kindergartner so that they'll repeat and practice it at home?  Turn it into a Superhero Stance!   Ashiya, Nakia and Jarrell demonstrated each step below with a poem to help them remember:

    "Like a hero standing tall,
    Victorious, ready, proud and strong.
    Yes! Button by shoulder, chin to side
    Lift my arm up, I'm ready to fly."

    Position 1:  "Like a Hero Standing Tall" (Feet Together)
    Position 2:  "Victorious" (Feet in a "V" Shape)
    Position 3:  "Ready" (Left Foot Forward)
    Position 4:  "Proud and ..." (Head Up)
    Position 5:  "Strong."  (Left Arm Out Showing Your Muscles)
    Position 6:  "Yes!" (Elbow Inward above Stomach)
    Position 7:  "Button by Shoulder, Chin to the Side" (Button Placed on Side of Neck with Chin on Chin Rest)
    Position 8:  "Raise My Arm Up, I'm Ready to Fly ." (Lift Up Arm & Hold Position)
    Congratulations, You've Reached Level 8 in Violin!  Take a Bow!

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