Sunday, January 13, 2013

Brain Noodles

I sold these Brain Noodles (aka GIANT pipe cleaners) at institute last year the first question that came from everyone was, "What do I do with these?"  Without a plan I would just look back with a blank face, "Uhhhhhhh - anything you want, I guess."  (not a good sales-person, I know.)  My darling husband was much better at coming up with ideas and decorated my darling daughter's bow.  A cello teacher bought a bunch and taught an entire group class without talking just using the Brain Noodle.  Another teacher bought a bunch to take to another institute, but how she was using I'm not sure.  Since last summer I've used these a lot with my teaching.  I only have two left and they've been well-used.  This is one of the reasons I like these so much - they can be shaped and reshaped and reshaped again, and they are still useful!

Today my darling daughter didn't want to practice today so I had her be my model and demonstrate the different ways I've used Brain Noodles over the past year.  It was fun for her - and we actually got quite a bit of practicing done.

The Violin Cast
To kinesthetically feel the "slippery slide" and "mouse hole" with the left hand.

Royal Crown
Keep that head up high and don't let it fall over!

Blind Fold
Keep those eyes closed and listen to your tone (or intonation.)

Soft Bow Hold
Feel the wire with your thumb and pinky.  Let the fuzz slip through all your other fingers.  

Bow Hand Cast
Keep the fingers round and open

Highway Barriers
Don't hit the barriers on the highway!  Stay straight and keep your eyes on your bow.

Antennae or Goal Posts
I will transmit your playing to the President of the United States with these antennae.  OR  Keep the scroll up so you can make a touchdown with your eyes (I might make them squarish if I'm saying this.)

Thinking Cap
Let's put on that thinking cap so you can really think about your playing.

Pointer
I can safely point and touch different areas of the violin playing to attract attention to problem posture points.


I just love that these are so soft and malleable.  I don't sell them online, but I've seen a generic version of them for sale at my craft store.  I'm sure you can google "Brain Noodles" and get some online stores as well.  I will also sell them at The Practice Shoppe booth at ISSI again this summer!  I hope this gave you some fun new ideas for practicing or teaching!

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