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The Cup Game! (or, How to Introduce Classes of Dozens of Children to the Violin Bow Hold!)

Violin class students practice bow holds with Things 4 Strings® Bow Hold Buddies® accessories

 

We thank strings teacher Makena Clark for sharing these great pics from the first week of her beginning violin classes. With some classes as large as 35 students, the Cup Game was a great way to introduce the bow hold.

Violin class students practice bow holds with Things 4 Strings® Bow Hold Buddies® accessories

Makena reports that 100% of the class achieved a great bow hold, and the pictures attest to the great fun and excitement. What a great way to start the year. Bravo!

Violin class students practice bow holds with Things 4 Strings® Bow Hold Buddies® accessories

Postscript:

Teacher Lauren Mastrogiovanni Herrschaft asked "What is the cup game? Can you play it without having the bow accessory?"


I answered:


 Hi Lauren: The Cup Game is an introductory bow hold activity where a cup is passed from bow tip to bow tip, either just around a circle or, with a larger group, in a race between lines. The game requires a good enough bow hold for both enough bow control to control the tip of the bow. And since the students will be holding the bow for the duration of the activity, you want the students to have a bow hold that is relaxed and correct - as you are establishing muscle memory around this skill. This particular teacher sent these pics because she was thrilled that even in her largest classes, thanks to the Bow Hold Buddies® bow accessories, she was able to establish such a bow hold with 100% of students in the first class of the year. And you can see from her lesson plan on the whiteboard behind the students that this first class ended with the students actually putting bow to open strings, playing the "Mississippi Hot Dog" rhythm. While the bow accessories are not necessary for the Cup Game, they were definitely key to accomplishing the results of these first large classes.

 

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