Beginner learns eight Suzuki songs in her first eight weeks of lessons

And she sounds good, really really good.


Because from her first notes, she used See Saw Swings, Volume I of Metatechnical Exercises.

By the way, this beginner is eight years old and in fourth grade. In the first lesson, she learned to hold the bow by holding pencil and then flipping it into a bowhold. Then she did a sequence of exercises to solidify and practice the hold: tip to her toes, tip to her nose, frog to her nose, shake the frog above her head, twirl the frog on her head (Catch an ant, ant to your nose, ant to the frog, shake ant into your hair, squash the ant).

Five minute of fun and achievement.

Then, yoga pose. Mountain pose, arms to the side, bow in bowhold, violin balanced on arm. Slide the violin up to your chin ad you bend your arm. Repeat. Then repeat catching ants.

Five more minutes of fun.

Sing the Song…See Saw See Saw Will You be my Friend. See Saw See Saw Yes I’ll be your friend.

Repeat Ants. Repeat Mountain Pose. Repeat Song.

Five more minutes.

Put bow on A string (viola) and with guidance, play See Saw See Saw Ten times. Repeat Ant catching. Repeat Mountain Pose. Sing Song. Play See Saw.

Five minutes. Rest.

Hold up left hand in letter L and crook first finger. Sing, Will you Be my Friend while working first finger in air.. Then hold viola, put left hand on neck, Play See Saw Saw Saw, and add…Will You be My Friend. Then repeat it on the D string. Repeat ten times.

Have all these exercises written down and also, if possible, videoed.

Your first 30 minute lesson is done, and you can play four bars of music.

In the Second lesson, Neha transferred the first line of See Saw into the first line of Twinkle, and learned the second to fifth lines of See Saw, employing three fingers on both the A and D strings.

She was playing Twinkle straight through in her third lesson, along with four pages of See Saw Swings. First she played Twinkle Theme, then we added Mississippi Hot Dog.

In her fifth lesson, she basically sightread French Folk Song, while adding more pages from See Saw Swings. She was a good practicer, playing her See Saws and her Twinkles every day.

In lesson six, she added Allegro and Song of the Wind.

In lesson seven, she added Lightly Row and Go Tell Aunt Rhody.

In lesson eight, she essentially sight read May Song and Long Long Ago, with no anxiety. She wanted to write in the fingerings herself, before she began, and was quick and accurate.

Neha is a very bright child from an academic family. Her progress may not be typical for an eight year old. At the same time, a seven year old only learned Twinkle, Allegro, Lightly Row, and Go Tell Aunt Rhody. Like…ok.

Go to opening page and click on a picture of the book for one stop shopping. if you teach beginners, this approach just may change your life.

Thank you for reading.

Published by Michael Alexander Strauss

Professional violist and teacher. Creator of See Saw Swings and Bowing Magic.

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