Or your child has just eaten the frosting off three cupcakes and you think the addition of one more chocolate molecule would turn her into a giant squid. Here's a game to play with a violin practice that will make it fun and sugar-free.
1. Make your programs!
How many times do you want your child to repeat her assignment? In Sadie's case, we are working on the very first part of variation A, and I want her to go through it six times per practice. So we made six programs. The programs were each 1/3 of a sheet of paper, and they said TUKA TUKA STOP STOP in big letters. Of course, this is a good time to practice letters. You will also need a sheet of stickers, any size, for later.
2. Collect your audience!
Walk through the house, with a megaphone if you have one, calling, "Who wants to come to a violin show?" Collect whichever dolls/toys/animals are interested in the performance. Arrange them like an audience, and distribute the programs. Of course, your violin student will want to participate in all this, as is right and proper and educational.
3. Start the show!
Give the child a big introduction and let him/her take over. You be the audience. Maybe the dolls will heckle, and have to be subdued. Maybe the animals will have many questions about the parts of the violin. Maybe the action figures will shriek for more, more, more Twinkle Little Star.
4. Bring on the stickers!
Every time the child plays the song (in Sadie's case the first phrase of Twinkle, all the way through, with violin hand and bow hand working together) she gets a sticker to put on the program of one of toys. Beware -- all the toys will clamor for a sticker and demand a certain one, or a certain color, and be difficult. When every program has a sticker, the practice is over, EVEN IF THE CHILD WANTS TO DO MORE. Next time, you can pass out the programs again, and everyone can get another sticker. Until then, Buzz Lightyear and Barbie will just have to hum Twinkle to themselves.
There you have it! Today's method. Is it worth it, for forty-eight tuka-tuka-stop-stops? Absolutely. Dr. Suzuki recommended five minutes with JOY. How we bring about the joy is up to us. Watch this space for more diabolical violin practice manipulations!
Edit: Hey, I just found a very cool post on awesome gadgety violin tricks from my friend Karen.
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