Friday, December 03, 2021


I used to struggle with reminding students about the placement of the first finger. "Low first finger" takes so much time to say, and for beginning students who are not sure about note names, saying "F natural" or "B flat" doesn't always register quickly enough to keep a musical line going.

But this little device I thought up a while ago and am sharing here for the first time works like a charm.

It is also very easy to write an "M" or a "Y" on a student's music to serve as a reminder. The one-syllable nature of these letters also makes it possible to provide an efficient verbal reminder while someone is playing. With one student I use a catchphrase: "Engage the dolphin, (i.e. use your intelligence) and apply the Y."

This opens the door, of course, to a discussion of the "why" of music, or the "why' of anything concerning the content of anything in a given piece of music, but that is the subject of another blog post.

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