Today I had some plans for my classes at Child of God, but when I got there I remembered it was a half day for the kids…which means they were hyper and super excited! I quickly changed gears and decided to play Hangman. You know the rules of Hangman, right? What we do is divide into two teams (ended up being just two on each team, or you can do even one versus two and switch around). One team comes up with a word, phrase, or sentence, and the other team has to guess. The violin part comes in here–before a guess, each person must do something on the violin that I request, i.e. perform a line of a song or execute ten perfect bow circles, that sort of thing. If they accomplish their task (which I want them to do so it is a fun, positive, experience, so I usually give them more than one chance) they get to guess a letter. It worked out really well today as the kids had a great time but they SECRETLY got a lot of practice/work done. I did this for three classes in a round, ages K through 4 and it was great for everyone.
I wanted to link to a great blog entry from Laurie Niles, who runs the site violinist.com. Here is a well-written article about cheap violins. I have a couple of students who play on these “VSO’s” as she refers to them, and they have about 4 times the trouble the other students do. Any new students of mine definitely need to read this!