The best way to change a bad habit
I have found a brilliant way to change/improve a technique that a child does not realize effects their playing to a huge degree. Most kids are competitive we must concede, and if you can use that to their advantage in a good way so that they are competing against themselves you are on to a winner!
I like to choose one habit that needs improving to focus on from time to time - lets say a scratchy bow from my previous post, and then I bring it to my students attention.
I then say, lets play through your piece, and we will start with 5 points (5 stickers if more bribery needed). Every time they press too hard on the string, producing a scratchy sound, I will minus a point! You will be surprised how many kids love this! It's like a game to them. One kid loved this so much that she wanted to use this system with all of her pieces, and was so proud of herself when she kept most of her points. This also encourages your child to evaluate how they are playing themselves, and not just rely on the teacher or parent to tell them when they are not producing the best sound. My students often volunteer their own criticisms of how they could have played something better after this exercise, and they really start to listen to themselves objectively.
Remember only focus on one technique per practice session so it becomes a fun learning experience and not frustrating.
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Here I write my musings on teaching, or other things that come up in lessons/relate to violin learning. Anything suggested is just that, suggestions and my thoughts and may differ from the opinions of my other music colleagues!