by Rozanna Weinberger
Students have so many ways of taking in information. The question is how to teach in a way students understand with their bodies, and physical momentum. Any time rhythm and tempo are felt in the body as well as intellectually understood the student is much more likely to have a more natural physical approach.
Rhythm, tempo for example are concepts that can be physically understood when teacher asks students to walk at the tempo of certain animals and other creatures in nature for example: elephants, ants.
In the case of our new ‘Race Car’ design students and teachers can engage in dialogue about the speed of cars, how that speed is effected when turning a corner (or going from up to down bow and vice versa) and tempo differentiation.
Being conscious of change in movement/direction at tip of bow and frog are valuable experiences for young children. Just as the elbow ‘releases’ slightly during the bow change, the speed of the bow also slows slightly. Cars do the same thing when turning a corner. Imagine talking about how cars speed around corners using the shape of the violin and cars on it, and tactually tracing those movements.
Ah the newness of creating violins for children that have designs and are relatable sonically, physically as well as visually & imaginatively. But when seen from the perspective of a jumping off point for more tactile education, I think they have value!!