To: Parents of the Grahamwood Elementary Strings Students
Shoulder Rest Day was this week. The students were taught several important concepts concerning proper use of the shoulder rest. They’re excited about this step in their progress. Here’s a quick checklist that you should have your student review with you. Have them teach YOU how to do these steps.
1. How to prepare to attach the shoulder rest- hold the instrument face down, on their left side, pegs behind them.
2. How to attach one shoulder rest “foot” on the “chin rest lower bout” first, then pivot the shoulder rest and slide the other “foot” until the shoulder rest securely on the lower bouts.
3. When holding the instrument with the pegs toward the sky, the shoulder rest should curve in a “frown.”
4. How to place the instrument on their shoulder and collar bone, and then place their chin in the chin rest.
5. How to play open string pizzicato with their first finger (“thumbs down” on the side of the fingerboard).
6. How to place the left hand in playing position for notes on the D string.
7. How to remove the shoulder rest (rubber bands can stay on, but the sponge and shoulder rest must be removed).
8. How to store and carry the shoulder rest. Unless there is a specific compartment for the shoulder rest, it must be carried with the book, and not crammed next to, or on top of, the instrument in the case.
Have your student practice attaching and removing the shoulder rest. They should experiment with the placement, the height of the individual “feet,” and make sure that the set-up is comfortable while using correct posture. For the cellists and bassists in class, we appreciate your patience.
At this time, ALL students are expected to have an instrument and their supplies for every class. When they leave materials at home (or in their classroom), they are not able to fully participate in the day’s lesson, and that makes it harder to practice and review at home, too.
It’s a great group of enthusiastic students. I’m looking forward to a lot of progress and growth this year!
Dr. Palmer, Strings Specialist
REMIND: “rmd.at/gwstring18” or text @gwstring18 to 81010 (or 901-881-9447).
September 11, 2018
To: Parents of the Grahamwood Elementary String Students
The Strings class at Grahamwood is off to a good start this year. We are currently working on holding the instrument properly and taking care of the instrument. We have just started shaping the left hand on the instrument, which is found on page 6. Students should be practicing a few times a week, 10-15 minutes each time. Please take the time to watch the introductary videos available in the Essential Elements downloads, and experiment with the software on your computer.
At this point in the school year, all strings students need to have an instrument and all of their supplies to fully participate in class. Those who requested a school instrument received the loan application form several weeks ago, and needed to obtain all of the necessary supplies before a school instrument would be issued. The supplies include: Essential Elements- Book I, rosin, a cleaning rag, a pencil, and a shoulder rest (violin & viola) or rock stop (cello & bass). There are still a few instruments available for loan from the school. Of course, you may still rent or buy an instrument from one of the local music stores.
Thursday, September 20, will be Shoulder Rest Day. Cellists and Bassists will not need to come on Thursday, September 20. All violinists and violists MUST have their shoulder rest that day. The students will learn how to attach, adjust, and care for their shoulder rest. This only affects September 20. Monday is a regular Strings day for everyone.
I will be sending updates throughout the year concerning concerts and programs, schedule updates, and other necessary information. Last minute changes and reminders will be sent through REMIND. Please sign up for this service! Thank you for your support of the strings program at your school.
Here is my contact information:
1. My e-mail address is: email@example.com.
2. REMIND at “rmd.at/gwstring18” or text @gwstring18 to 81010
3. My website is www.drpalmerstrings.weebly.com .
Dr. Andrew Palmer teaches Fifth Grade Beginning Strings at four Elementary Schools, directs the Honors Orchestras at White Station High School, and travels throughout the school district as a Double Bass Specialist.