Instructions for Beginning Students and Parents

I do require the parents of my beginners to attend lessons for at least the first six months of lessons and take notes. (Ideally, the parents attend lessons always, but I understand that life is very busy.) If I am going to be the most effective teacher for your child, I need to be able to focus entirely on the student and not on note taking. Also, if the parent is observing, they are in a much better position to help their child practice correctly at home.

Parts of the Violin

Violin Diagram

Taking care of your violin

  1. Your violin is not to be left in the car for any length of time. Extreme heat or cold can ruin your instrument. At best, if will not stay in tune very well. An out of tune violin will not help your practicing in the slightest.
  2. Do not tighten the bow too much. A pencil should fit between the stick and the horse hair, but the gap should not be any wider than that.
  3. Wipe the rosin off your instrument daily. (Also, remember to put rosin on your bow regularly.)
  4. Wash your hands before playing.

Strings of the Violin

G D A E (lowest to highest)

Bow Song (Keep the bow/pencil straight up and down)
Up like a rocket, down like the rain
Back and forth like a choo choo train
Round and round like a great big sun –(the circle should be counter-clockwise)
Put it in your palm, curved pinky bent thumb

Getting Ready to Play!

  • Rest Position, Violin under the right arm
  • Sway like a tree in the wind, bend knees
  • Statue of Liberty (place right hand index finger on the button)
  • Place the violin on your shoulder, always standing tall
  • Stop sign
  • Mouse hole

Fourth Finger Pizzicato

  • Strum all four strings from low to high (G-E)
  • Pizzicato individual strings while saying the string name (G-D-A-E)
  • Slide along the magic x (thumb will lightly touch at the first knuckle)


  • “Motorcycle stop stop” or “pepperoni pizza”
  • “Candy and popcorn” or “1 2 sh 4”
  • “Down pony up pony”
  • “Elevator Operator” or “Watermelon Watermelon”
  • “Strawberry blueberry”

Steps to forming the bow hold*

  1. With a relaxed hand, form a circle with the thumb and the middle two fingers. The tip of the thumb should meet the fingers at the top knuckle so that there is an overlap. (Bunny bow hold.)
  2. Turn the hand upside down. (Bunny falls asleep.)
  3. Open the circle so that a pencil (or a bow) can be inserted in the opening. (Bunny opens its mouth.)
  4. Place the pencil in the opening and hold the pencil the three fingers used to make the circle. (Bite the carrot.)
  5. Tap the pinky to make sure it is curved and relaxed.
  6. Tap the index finger and make sure that the fingers are not clenched tightly or spread too far apart.
  7. Return the bow/pencil to right side up.

*Practice with a pencil- it’s much easier to manage!




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *