Many times it is important to find a creative way to teach the same concepts week after week after week. This past year, I've tried to document many of my attempts to teach the same material in new ways. I found these two games through a friend and online and have incorporated them into my regular teaching routine.

Cups
Who knew this simple purchase of some cups would serve me so well? The students and I have practiced passing the cup around the circle while maintaining our perfect bow hold.

A variation of this game is to have students tap a bow finger in a rhythm (Tiri Tiri Ti Ti or other twinkle rhythms) to allow for finger adjustments while balancing.

Another variation is to have the students bow the rhythm in the air before passing the cup.


The students love to race against the clock and have a friendly competition going between different Book 1 classes.


Balloons
Trying to get students to cue at the beginning of their violin career can be a daunting task. I remember in a high school summer program I had a chamber coach who would try to push me off the chair to get me to move while playing. I understood his point that I needed to move with the music, but I literally did not know how!

You'll see in this clip the students are giving a cue by bopping a balloon. We have already covered the three aspects of a basic (standing) cue: knees, breath, and scroll. We have practiced those three endlessly with the beginning of a song, but now it is time to cue our friends.


Variations include altering the dynamics and speed. The students are now just getting into these variations after a few months of practicing the basics.

How do you add or vary your teaching to get the same ideas across week after week after week?