This week, we tried out using a background recording in a hip hop style to help keep the beat so we could work on some basic Twinkle rhythms. This is the very first time students (and teachers) had tried this option, but it was an enormous success!! The students were not intimidated after playing for 4 minutes straight. They were interested in showing their classroom teachers what they had done (one student, who generally frowns all class, volunteered to play violin for her classroom teacher). They were also sad to leave the classroom after our final activity of bow arm technique work. It was wonderful to have an opportunity to congratulate students on their ability to play for a long amount of time without stopping.
It's important to make the classroom culturally relevant. In our population, that means finding non-classical backing tracks. However, while making the activities fun helps, fun is not the goal, a good bow arm is the goal of our activity. I hope this inspires you to try out a culturally relevant and creative idea in your studio or classroom!