Movable Do and See Saw Swings

Yesterday I had a student, a girl in 3rd grade, beginning Suzuki Volume 2. She had tremendous difficulty learning the notes to “Judas Maccabeus.”

I took her into See Saw Swings, playing an exercise on the A and D strings. I introduced her to Kodaly style solfege, with movable Do.

So do so do la la la la so     So do so do re re re re do….

We sang most of the page. I jotted down just enough symbols so she could extrapolate, and I was quite amazed at how well she sang through the exercises. I explained the difference between traditional solfege and movable Do. And we sang.

When she played the See Saw Swings exercise on her violin, it was her best playing ever! Then we went back to the music by Handel. We sang the first phrase only.

So mi fa so do re mi fa so fa mi re…

I cannot express my amazement at how easily she then performed the entire piece. This, of course, is an endorsement for solfege and the importance of singing. But it is so easy for the student to solfege the simple progressions of See Saw Swings, and then the connection to music happened as if by magic.

Fun at the ASTA Conference in Atlanta!

I took a giant step by attending the American String Teacher’s Association  conference in Atlanta last week. I learned so much at the various workshops. Most amazing was to learn about the latissimus dorsi muscles and their role in supporting the instrument and the bow, at a class called “Body Mapping.”

I also reconnected with Christopher Smith, a student of mine in Omaha almost 30 years ago.  He and I became great friends and I’ll be doing a workshop for him in Nebraska next year. Two workshops actually. An intonation class with my cousin Paul Lindsay, who is getting the world’s first doctorate in intonation from George Mason University. And a workshop on See Saw Swings.

I distributed hundreds of See Saw Swings flyers and more than 40 free books. My intention is to prime the pump! Dr. Alice Lindsay, my Aunt, was in attendance and told me that everyone she spoke to liked See Saw Swings.