Friday, December 17, 2010

Twinkle Flashcards

For a twinkler, flashcards are very versatile.

I start teaching the young twinklers to recognize a twinkle rhythm. As soon as they master this we do it to break up practice sessions. There's something fun about flashcards for a 4-year-old.

The twinkle flashcards are also a good way to decide what to play next during practicing. My 4-year-old has learned all variations of twinkle and we have to play them all every day. However, she HATES when I tell her what to do, so she chooses a flashcard and plays that particular twinkle.

Other flashcards that I use to break up practicing or lessons are note value cards (quarter note, half note, eight note, quarter rest, etc.)

I'm also starting note flashcards with my early twinklers and they are really picking it up. I start with the open strings, then the A string notes, E string notes, etc.

I don't do flashcards every day, but it is a great excuse for a child to put her violin down and have a little break - but still be learning.

You can download these twinkle rhythm flashcards here at The Practice Shoppe.


One of my favorite articles in the SAA is "The Official Medical Guide to Practicitis." My daughter has had a bad case of practicitis this week. She particularly has a problem with Physical Avoidance Syndrome. "The major sign is a request to use the bathroom." EVERY practice, EVERY lesson! Another sign of her practicitis is Acute Spontaneous Juvenile Pain Syndrome. "Symptoms range from something like toe aches and headaches to whole limbs being sore and unable to move." It doesn't matter what it is - it's magnified 100 times when practicing. She also seemed to have a certain amount of sadness or fatigue whenever she had to perform. However, as soon as she was off the stage - she was all smiles again. One way I got over this little problem was a bit of bribery. "If you play your violin happily at the concert tonight you can have some ice cream after!" "Okay!!!" At our last concert, she was all smiles - too much. She was giggling, waving to me and my parents (10 times), and whispering to the girl next to her the whole time! Well, I suppose it was more amusing for concertgoers to see this side of her personality than the crying/tired side. It's all part of the journey...