Why are we using the term “Muscle Memory” in the teaching of the violin or any instrument.
The term is extremely misleading, giving us the illusion that if we repeat a motion over and over, our muscle somehow magically learns this movement, with the help of the brain of course and thus able to repeat the movement with very little or no thought. The term is a “layman’s term” and doesn’t describe at all what’s really going on.
Playing the violin in tune isn’t necessary learning the exact spot on the finger board. It’s about the minds ability to learn to control and understand the distance and perception of our limbs fingers and hands. Perception, being the key word in the understanding of how we can play an instrument with no frets.
“Proprioception” the sixth sense that makes a lot of sense. I don’t understand why we don’t use this term in the teaching of the violin. Muscle memory as we know it doesn’t exist, but proprioception is a real medical term that’s explains how our mind, nervous system, muscle and bones work together.
Proprioception techniques work extremely well, their excellent mind builders. Were as mindless excessive repetition is counter productive.
Examples of proprioception at work.
At the end of this vid at 4:oo .It’s our sense of proprioception that learns to keep the bow straight, and helps prove that the perspective of proprioception is much more accurate then visual perspective
We all know this one. We find a note on a string, let’s say 1st finger on” A” string, drop the hand to your waist, then bring it back to the note. You will find that students are more likely to hit the note in tune with their eyes closed then open.
The out of tune string. Paganini was onto to something here
First make sure your violin is in tune. Play a one octave d scale starting on open d, using 4th finger for the A note. No problem. Now take the A sting out of tune. Now play the D scale again, using 4th finger for the A note. The first time you do it you might end up with an out of tune D note, but after a few tries you should get it. Again, close your eyes, you may learn it quicker.
Propriocetion is an important sense for a violinist that needs to be developed ,in the same way a palate is for a chief. And we need to teach this !
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