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).
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.