Exercises for Beginning Players 

Popcorn Ball

The Popcorn Ball pattern (named “Peanut Brittle” in earlier versions of the book) works on obtaining a clear, crisp staccato and awareness of up-bow and down-bow. The use of hooked bows ensures a perfect pause between every note!

Raisin Bread

The Raisin Bread pattern works on using full bows, building comfort at the extremes of the bow, and developing the correct movement in the fingers of the bow hand.

Bread & Cheese

The Bread & Cheese pattern works on control of bow speed, bow division, rhythmic precision, and bow direction.

Bow & Arrow

The martele (“rocket bow”) stroke helps the student draw a straight bow more easily. Because mid-course corrections are not possible, it’s all about “feeling” the path of the bow!

Gooseberry Pie

The Gooseberry pattern works on developing the Martele stroke. Facility with martele gives students better control of bow straightness, which in turn builds comfort in using the whole bow.

Principles for Teaching Young Beginners

Working with Young Children

A refreshing glimpse into the world of a young child. What does the world look like through their eyes? The first secret to teaching young beginners is to intrigue their mind and captivate their imagination.

Interacting During the Lesson

Creating structure, setting boundaries, and yet bringing imagination and spontaneity … how to find the balance that creates a delightful relationship and intensive, high-quality learning for each child.

Using Language to Engage & Connect

Learn how to communicate in a way that mirrors a child’s experience, both emotionally, physically and cognitively. Make learning enjoyable for your little ones!

Setting Up Great  Practice Parents

Learn how to set up practice parents so that your students consistently show up to lessons with great results.




Introducing skills too early can create frustration for a young child and slow the learning process.  Here are tips for sequencing skills and recognizing when you’ve missed a “hidden” prerequisite skill. We’ll also look at overview of the learning process

Singing &


Movable-do solfége is a perfect tool for learning songs, internalizing tonal patterns, transposing and reading music. With singing and solfége built into lessons, your students will have a natural foundation for learning the language of music.

Structuring Lessons

Lessons for young beginners weave together piano, violin movements, and literacy. Learn how to create a natural flow in lessons, with intrinsically enjoyable activities that keep the child fresh and engaged.

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