Something the teacher cannot do on Zoom
As I'm getting better at assisting my students via Zoom I ran into something that I just could not do - tune the student's instrument.
I could tell, watching the parent tying to follow my instructions, that her daughter's instrument has a slipping peg.
The upshot is that she's bringing over the instrument tomorrow and I'll try to teach her how to tune the instrument. Yes, her daughter has been taught how to fine-tune but when the strings are really out and the pegs not holding...
I think I need to give all the parents classes in how to tune their young musician's violins.
Technology is great but,...
I don't understand why this is not part of Suzuki Book 1: Parents learning how to tune the child's violin. How else, then, do they keep it in tune between lessons? I accompany a Suzuki violin group and often at the start of the session I'm asked to help tune the kids violins. I'm delighted to do so, as it makes me feel useful. But it's astonishing how many of them are woefully out of tune, and you just wonder, "How on earth have you been practicing?" But of course the answer is: "They haven't been."
I just told my students how to use the fine tuners, right is up, left is down, just like a jar cap.
Parents of my students learn this skill early on, using an electronic tuner on phones and plucking until in tune. If my adult students can learn this, then parents can too. I think it’s really important, and something I didn’t have as a child. My mum never learned to tune my instrument when I was a youngster, which meant I played on out of tune instruments for several years. But I also wasn’t taught how to properly tune until I decided to learn via YouTube videos and patience. Geared pegs really would help with this as George says, but I can’t see any of the parents being up for this expense, when they don’t even want to buy strings more expensive than those Green packaged Astrea strings...
Here I'm envisioning George sitting in an old Fotomat kiosk fixing kids' violins with "social distancing" with a dozen cars queued up.
To be fair, pegs on those little fractional violins can be quite tricky
Yes they certainly can.
And if a parent isn't a trained musician and doesn't understand the fragility of the wood, if you tell them to "push and turn" they can easily push too hard and split the wood.
Paul, et al.,
David "Suzuki book 1" was meant to convey "at the outset of their programs." It wasn't a slight against the Suzuki method. I'm a huge Suzuki fan. But, inasmuch as Suzuki is probably the most popular and best-developed method with a national organization (SAA) behind it and so on, maybe they could take the initiative to provide better coaching for students and parents on the proper care and maintenance of stringed instruments. (And maybe it's already there, I don't know.) As far as "teaching the parents" vs. "parents learning," I agree wholeheartedly. That's why I wrote "parents learning how to tune the child's violin" in my very first post on this thread.
Very little is "implicit". There's not a teacher alive who doesn't tell their young students -- in the presence of their parents -- how much they should be practicing, how they should be referring to their notes every day, how they should be wiping off the violin and the strings, using their practice journal/chart, loosening the bow every time, tightening the bow again, applying rosin regularly, etc. Nobody assumes that stuff.
One of my acquaintance-colleagues seemingly does not tune instruments at the beginning of lessons but requires students/parents to do it. I assume they don't get to the "playing" until the instrument is tuned so they learn that they had better figure it out if they want to get to the rest of the lesson. Unfortunately, I'm one of those who had previously enabled parents to not have to learn to tune, meaning I covered the subject, but didn't "force" them to get it done (under pressure of not continuing with the non tuning part of the lesson).