Jonathan Poupore, a professional violinist/violist and dear friend, spent three years owning a copy of See Saw Swing but never used it. Rather, he tried it with one student and nothing happened.

We were having a Zoom session in September and he described having difficulty with a passage in the Dohnanyi Trio. I suggested experimenting with See Saw and he agreed. First, he tried the passage and got tangled in the string crossings. Then, he played the first page of See Saw, slow then fast. I told him to focus on the bow for the string crossings, and to focus on fingers for alternate bars (trusting the bow).

I had him try it at different parts of the bow and I did comment on his frozen right shoulder, and he agreed it might be wise to allow shoulder rotations.

Then, I said to try the passage again. He started and stopped in the third measure, saying “I can’t do this. I haven’t been practicing it.” I said, “Just play string crossings and fingerings. Separate them in your mind. That’s what you’ve been practicing with Metatechnique: differentiating string crossings from fingerings.”

He played the entire page error-free with an ever-spreading look of amazement on his face.”See Saw made the difference,” he said.

He immediately ordered copies for all his students. Here are text excerpts from some of his commentaries:

“But Gosh, I am loving teaching with See Saw so much!”

“I have much to learn but your opening notes are so helpful.”

“Another students showed good improvement through See Saw. AND… can simply play that 3rd mvmt of Dohnanyi without having practiced it since I last played it for you.”

In other words, when Jon experienced whole brain learning exercises first hand, he got it. I pray that every teacher, student, and player will give Metatechnical Exercises a chance. It is a paradigm shift. All Jon needed was the proper guidance to direct his practice. As he said, “the opening notes are so helpful.”

And feel free to contact me at mastrauss2@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Jon Poupore

Published by Michael Alexander Strauss

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

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