The Science of Accelerating Violin Students begins, like all scientific inquiry, with an hypothesis. The hypothesis has to answer a burning question. In medicine, the question was: what makes people sick? The hypothesis generated during the 19th century: germs.

I propose that the conventional approach to developing skill on stringed instruments is sick. The sickness comes from a left hemisphere approach to learning: the idea that the student can only master one new concept at a time and should never go on to the next until the immediate problem has been mastered.

It sounds sensible but it’s wrong. This is not how children learn to walk, talk, use a toilet, or read.

In See Saw Swing -the Metatechnical approach to instrumental study- Whole Brain Learning combines with Musical Phonics to accelerate students in quality of tone, intonation, and the ability to master new music.

It employs an essential idea from Alexander Technique: “All together One at a Time.” In other words, the longer the teacher waits to teach a student a new finger pattern, the more difficult it is for the student to learn the new pattern.

Whole Brain Learning is the essence of Montessori Education, in which children are given agency in choosing their activities and allowed to progress at their own best rate.

See Saw Swing presents an hypothesis: Any student who can negotiate all 60 pages of See Saw Swing is ready to learn the Vivaldi Concerto in a minor, or a piece of like complexity.

I regularly take my beginners from Twinkle to Vivaldi in one year or less. With remedial students, it takes as little as three months before they can study Vivaldi.

For all violin/viola/cello teachers reading this blog, I invite you to use scientific method and experiment with See Saw Swing (formerly known as See Saw Swings). The trick is to move the student forward through all eight chapters before you think they are ready, while continuing to teach them your favored developmental musical pieces.

I predict that they will learn their songs faster and better if they commit to at least ten minutes of See Saw Swing practice every day.


The John Dewey educational philosophy; Dewey was an apostle of F. M. Alexander.


Thank you for reading, and I invite you to purchase a copy of See Saw Swing at

Published by Michael Alexander Strauss

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

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