See Saw Swing is a book of exercises for beginning and remedial string students. One melody is developed over more than 60 pages, with a hypothesis: any student who can negotiate the entire book will be ready to learn the Vivaldi Concerto in a minor, or a similar piece.
How long does this take? Not nearly as long as you would think. When you follow the directions as presented in the book, for students over eight years of age, it will take less than a year. It frequently takes my students less than six months, with high quality tone and intonation, and great pride in their accomplishment.
And here is how: a summation of all 64 pages in 12 lines:
Because it uses one simple tune, the student quickly adapts to different finger patterns and shifting. In the first four lines, note how one note changes with every bar: this is Musical Phonics, and it accelerates note reading. The different finger patterns and variants all use the same theme; this is a metatechnical principle, which frees the student from having to learn new melodies for every new pattern. The shifting pages are called VOCALIZATION and rely on half steps. Most importantly, this system engages both hemispheres of the brain because of the alternation that you see from See Saws to fingerings.
Also, because every exercise is written out for the three string pairs, there are actually only about twenty pages to learn, and then to practice on all the strings.
There are rhythms supplied, so that when a student gets a little bored, have them play a different rhythm.
Another essential element is to move the student forward technically as soon as possible. There is no reason to wait a year or two to teach shifting; vocalization comes easily to everyone who tries it.
This is a new paradigm for training string players. There is, to my knowledge, no other beginner book that incorporates shifting, scales in every major key, and such a plethora of rhythms. It also adapts for double stop practice.
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I am seeking one teacher at a time willing to embrace a paradigm shift. One at a time.
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