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As many violin teachers have also done, Ruth Brons had often improvised “pinky houses” for the wandering pinky fingers of her violin students. But in 2008, she went on to also improvise duct tape supports for the thumb and index fingers. Students loved their “guaranteed perfect bow holds”, and Ruth was astonished at their relaxed hands. But within just a week or two these temporary fixes started peeling off, and students complained the supports were stiff and ugly. Ruth promised her students she would think of a better solution.
Working with modeling compounds, Ruth came up with a two-part, universal-fit bow accessory. Ruth visited a rubber manufacturer to see if she could have a few dozen accessories made. She learned her devices could indeed be made -- but at great cost. Wanting the accessories so much for her own students, she immediately got to work refining her idea, adding the finishing touch of the frog and fish designs, and decided to share her idea with the string world.
Ruth and her mother, Martha Brons, a master cello teacher, then worked together to come up with a support idea for cello, which underwent further refining back in the studio. Neither Ruth or Martha cannot even imagine not having this valuable teaching tool available in their own studios now!
Things 4 Strings® accessories, invented by the American String Teachers Association honored mother-daughter teaching team of Ruth and Martha Brons, are teacher designed, tested and approved as the gentlest, fastest way for beginning players to learn a relaxed and effective bow hold.
Things 4 Strings® accessories were developed to help students in the inventors' own studios, each of which counts numerous alumni continuing on as professional musicians. Between them, Ruth and Martha now have over 90 years of teaching experiece! Once Ruth and Martha arrived at the concept of these accessories as a solution to the frustrations both students and teachers to often face over the bow hold issue, they realized these accessories just had to exist -- and it was up to them to make it happen!
Ruth Brons was honored for her work in music education by the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) in 2014 with the prestigious Kudos Award. Ruth maintains a full private lesson studio in conjunction with her work as Suzuki Violin Program Coordinator and Visiting Specialist for Montclair State University in New Jersey. She has also served as a clinician for the South Carolina Suzuki Institute (over twenty years), a music education conference session presenter, and as active free-lance violinist/violist and chamber music coach in the greater New York City area. She holds a Master of Music Degree in Viola Performance from Temple University (Philadelphia)and a Bachelor of Music Degree in Viola Performance from The New School of Music (Philadelphia), and is an alumna of Charles Castleman's Quartet Program. She studied with Max Aronoff, Leonard Mogill, Heidi Castleman, Evelyn Jacobs Luis, and Davyd Booth.
Distinguished performer and teacher, Martha Brons, named South Carolina Teacher of the Year 2008 by the American String Teacher Association™, cited for her Vision and Leadership by the South Carolina Suzuki Association, and has had numerous cello students win local, state and national concerto competitions. She has recently relocated her cello studio from Greenville, SC to West Orange, NJ. Martha studied with members of the Walden String Quartet at the University of Illinois, where she earned a B. Music degree in Cello Performance, and holds a Master's Degree in Cello Performance from the Philadelphia Music Academy, where she studied with the legendary Elsa Hilger.
Bow Hold Buddies® brand bow accessories are protected by US Patents 8,273,973, D650,828 and D650,829, Australia Patent AU2009241598, Mexico Patente No. 313970, European Union Design Registration Nos. 001156830-0001, and 001156830-0002, with additional US and International Patents Pending. CelloPhant® brand bow accessories are protected by US Patents 8,273,973 and D650,830, Australia Patent AU2009241598, Mexico Patente No. 313970, and European Union Design Registration No. 001156830-0003, with additional US and International Patents Pending. Frog Frog™ brand bow accessories are protected by US Patents, 8,273,973, D650,828, Australia Patent AU2009241598, and European Union Design Registration Nos. 001156830-0001. Hold Fish® brand bow accessories are protected by US Patents 8,273,973 and D650,829, Australia Patent AU2009241598, Mexico Patente No. 313970, and European Union Design Registration Nos.001156830-0002, with additional US and International Patents Pending. Logo protected by Chinese Copyright Registration No. 2016-F-00246588. The trademarks Things 4 Strings®, CelloPhant®, Bow Hold Buddies®, and Hold Fish® are U.S. Registered Trademarks of Things 4 Strings, LLC. The trademark Things 4 Strings is Chinese Trademark Registration No. 19825050; the trademark Bow Hold Buddies is Chinese Trademark Registration No. 19825051; the trademark CelloPhant is Chinese Trademark Registration No. 19825052; and the trademark Hold Fish is Chinese Trademark Registration No. 19825053.
Things 4 Strings, LLC periodically awards grants of Things 4 Strings® bow accessories, on a limited basis, to string programs in need.
Grant recipients will receive, at no cost to their program, a Standard Studio Kit of their choice. For your Things 4 Strings, LLC Grant Application, click here!
To participate in this program your school must be in the United States and meet one of the following criteria:
Grant recipients will be notified and applications not selected may be considered for a future award.
Grant recipients may be announced on www.Things4Strings.com, Facebook pages, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other online and print media.