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Musical devices-pros and cons

(59 Posts)
Worriedandlost Tue 19-May-15 19:27:03

Friend of mine was using this device with her dc
When I asked about it my dd's violin teacher she was very adamant that dd should not use anything of that kind.

Last week I finally gave up and bought it. As well as this one which arrived today

And after a practice with a straight bow thing, I am sitting and thinking now-why I wasted all this time and did not buy something like that in a first place? She still needs to learn to play properly without using all these devices but at least we can avoid constant nagging and my frustration.

Did anyone use things like that? What is your opinion and experience?

downandoutindulwich Tue 19-May-15 19:50:14

Strongly recommend you don't use one, or when your child stops they will have to relearn bow hold.

Noteventhebestdrummer Tue 19-May-15 19:57:09

I have one student who has the first one. It's really helped his frustration at constantly dropping the bow. They are very expensive I think!
In general I wouldn't recommend them unless there's an extraordinary issue that needs help.

Worriedandlost Tue 19-May-15 20:18:49

Friend's dc are not using bow buddy anymore, and have an excellent bow hold as far as I am concerned (our children started the lessons approximately the same time and are on approximately the same level). It is actually seeing how they bow hold now, that made me to buy one.

Fiddlerontheroof Tue 19-May-15 20:24:33

OMG....I've seen it all now. I started learning age 6, and then worked professionally for years....really you don't need one of these!

Worriedandlost Tue 19-May-15 20:52:17

I went to concert of a local symphony orchestra recently, a mixture of armature and professional musicians, unfortunately I could see straight away who was one and who was another sad. Same mistakes as dd does, and I don't want her to carry them on into her adult playing life hence trying to find ways to fix them now smile

Does it mean that nobody believes into muscles memory?

Fiddlerontheroof Tue 19-May-15 21:17:10

If your dd went on to go to music college, her technique would be completely taken apart at the start and rebuilt anyway. Of course you can sometimes spot the difference, but lets be honest...professionals spend hours practicing every day, amateur, or those who have other full time jobs and don't work professionally but play for pleasure...don't. So of course they are going to play in a different way, in some cases. I do however know some outrageously brilliant non professional players, who have superb technique.

I would leave the mistake fixing to the teacher! How old is dd? Because if she's only been learning a year or are getting very worked up over nothing!

Sometimes it's easier to change technique when stamina has been built up.. technique develops over time really, so comparing what she's doing to adults is probably pointless.

If she's been learning much longer, and still has poor technique, then perhaps you might need to acknowledge it may not be her thing, or possibly a different teacher!

Hard to say without more info!

Worriedandlost Tue 19-May-15 21:51:53

Fiddlerontheroof thank you for your opinion, it matches my dh's opinion but I told him that I am doing practice and therefore I need these devices to keep me sane smile. But your words are very re assuring and make me feel much better smile.
Dd is preparing for grade 3 and I feel it is as much as she can survive with her far from ideal technique, once the complexity increases it may significantly affect her performance and a final result. I already had a second teacher opinion but changing (or improving rather) technique takes time and I am too tired to remind the same thing over and over again, it is my fault though, that I did not take it too seriously from the very beginning and there are too many bad habits now.

Fiddlerontheroof Tue 19-May-15 22:01:02

At grade three, keep it fun, encourage her to join local orchestras and ensembles, don't make it a chore or a pressure...or she'll ditch it eventually.

That's how it was for me, and you can name pretty much any orchestra in the UK, and I was lucky enough to work for them at some point....

.....until you discover it's an appalling and very difficult way to earn a living once you have kids...and then you retrain in order not to spend your entire life on tour and living out a suitcase, driving up and down motorways ;)

Worriedandlost Tue 19-May-15 22:24:51

I think one day she has a pretty strong chance to be in that local orchestra I mentioned above grin.
And when I am sitting in front, very proud mummy, I don't want to think - oh, what a horrible bow hold she has! grin
So I am working on it now smile))))

Worriedandlost Tue 19-May-15 22:25:56

Sorry, I am not very serious now, but you really eased my tension towards this subject smile

morethanpotatoprints Tue 19-May-15 22:31:38

Oh, worriedandlost what is the point of having a teacher if you do the opposite of what they say?
You are paying for their knowledge. I know it's easy to get carried away and I would have been exactly the same if it wasn't for dh stopping me.
Please leave it to the teacher and trust them, otherwise you are wasting your money and time.
Very stern look from me.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 19-May-15 22:35:04


Really big the life of a musician up grin
It can have it's good side too, especially if you want it more than life itself.
I married one like this, I knew what I was letting myself and the dc in for though grin

Fiddlerontheroof Tue 19-May-15 22:37:17

You do sound very involved! I would def agree with morethan to leave it to the teacher!....and please read my disclaimer! It's a shit way to live! And not glamorous in the slightest! I would advise any young person wanting to enter the business that they need to have a good strong second option to fall back on. at grade three, she's got a long way to go in a very very competitive field! X

Worriedandlost Tue 19-May-15 22:47:12

morethanpotatoprints smile

When teacher gets annoyed with dd's bow hold herself she starts pushing me to keep an eye on it (she is a very strict teacher, I am really scared of her!). So, everything I am trying to do is to prevent teacher's stern looks and disapproval smile

Fiddlerontheroof, I am joking about the orchestra, the one I am talking about is a mixture of all sorts of people, so she does not really need to be a musician to be in there, just to have some serious grades (like 6-8 I would assume).

Fiddlerontheroof Tue 19-May-15 22:57:58

Lol...ok, there were some amazing moments, I was very very lucky. I was also married to a musician who is still a principal player in a uk orchestra...I had a lot of fun, I have some amazing memories, but it simply got too hard for the both of us to be doing it
Lol xx

morethanpotatoprints Tue 19-May-15 23:04:12


I think violin is like that tbh, dds teacher went to a conservatoire and had to start right back at the beginning because she had so many bad habits.
Apparently though it is a pretty standard thing at some stage to be told you have it all wrong. perhaps this is better whilst still very young.

I know where you are coming from, my dh is a jazz musician and I was an entertainer and had my own agency/consultancy business.
I gave it all up when ds1 was born as we both couldn't continue, its a hard game I agree.
Obviously I could have gone down the nanny route, I had the choice but didn't want to continue.
Now we have a dd who is destined for a life as a musician, so help us. grin

JulieMichelleRobinson Wed 20-May-15 00:41:02

No props. My students don't even get sticky stripes - I have an adult transfer who arrived at 19yo still with them on the fiddle and it horrified me so much! So I have 7yos who just have to listen to what they play. Harder. One day I may cave in.

And yep, I got picked apart at 17, but I couldn't have taken it younger. Everything from how to stand,how to hold the instrument, bowing long open strings... For months.

AlpacaMyBags Wed 20-May-15 00:57:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 20-May-15 09:35:19

I never knew there are such devices! DS2 has a strict teacher too but we just keep on with the reminding of bow hold and straight bowing. It's an ongoing thing. I figure that if he reaches perfection at 8 years old the rest of his violin career is going to be pretty dull. grin Seriously though. I play an instrument myself (not violin) and you don't stop correcting and relearning.

Worriedandlost Wed 20-May-15 11:26:10

Bow buddy arrived today. I put my fingers on it as on the picture, it feels so natural and right! Really interesting to see how dd will feel about it!

AlpacaMyBags I am not going to inform the teacher, as well as using this staff during the lesson. However, I am not 100% happy with the way teacher handles the technique. Saying that, she is a good teacher otherwise.

JulieMichelleRobinson thanks for your opinion which I appreciate taking into account you are a teacher! Dd used to have sticky stripes, but I removed them some time ago, she does not need them anymore.

UptoapointLordCopper, I keep reminding too, but either I have low tolerance, or dd's concentration is far from good, it just does not work. I bought these things not as much as to help her but to take care of my nerves. + I feel that constant nagging puts her off playing.

In a way I feel it is like using a metronome. Some teachers are against using it, the others think it is a good help.

Worriedandlost Wed 20-May-15 11:29:55

Yesterday, when we used bow right device, she did all the practice in about 20 mins, was really focused and concentrating smile, no refusal, tantrums, etc. Saying that I did not say "put your bow straigt!" a single time! So it already works one way or another smile

Fiddlerontheroof Wed 20-May-15 13:07:06

I've got to be honest, all it will do is prolong her poor technique as if she uses it to practice then goes to a lesson without it... She actually won't have practised what her teacher has asked her to do.

as her teacher I would be very hacked off to discover you were interfering in this way.

I also don't understand how you seem to think you know better than the teacher! The greatest indication will be her progress, it's a skill to be learnt!

But I'm guessing you don't want to listen to the good advice here!

morethanpotatoprints Wed 20-May-15 14:16:40


Please listen to the teacher and those on here, they do know what they are talking about.
If you have no faith in your teacher then you must change, but it seems to me she knows what she is talking about.
If its any consolation my dd is 11 and around gr5 standard (not taking exam as fourth study now) she has been playing since she was 7 and still her teacher is working on bow hold and positioning.
It is a steady process, one that can't be rushed and learning properly will save your dd many hours of correction when she is older, please listen.
If you want to be a proud mummy watching the orchestra, make sure you are noting your dds lovely technique, not cringing thinking you wished you'd listened.

Worriedandlost Wed 20-May-15 14:52:01

Fiddlerontheroof I am not saying "I know better" than the teacher, I rather know something too smile. I read some booкs on technique, I watched the videos, I asked another teacher (who actually studied here as well as abroad, therefore familiar with different approaches) and I spoke to my friend whose dd is learning violin and who used to play herself. This second teacher actually confirmed my every concern. And if someone is a teacher it does not mean they can not be wrong, can they?

However, following the above replies, I am pleased to know that it is a lengthy process - to build the correct posture and movements, but it does not mean I cannot try and speed process up a bit smile. I do listen to all the advice and very appreciate it. I am taking it on board. But, yes, I am quite involved into music lessons, I do not just follow teacher's guidance, I am trying to understand what we are doing and why. And making my contribution smile (not only pushy mum grin, just genuinely interested, as dh is playing three instruments and one of his relatives is high profile professional musician but lives abroad - so there is some relation to professional music in our family)
Teacher's attitude is a bit like that - whatever great is happening - it is thanks' to her, whatever bad is happening- it is dd's fault smile

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