September 19, 2018
To: Parents of the Riverwood Elementary Strings Students
Shoulder Rest Day was today. The students were taught several important concepts concerning proper use of the shoulder rest. Here’s a quick list that you should have your student review with you. Have them teach YOU how to do these steps.
1. 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 remove the shoulder rest (rubber bands can stay on, but the sponge and shoulder rest must be removed).
5. 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.
Unfortunately, we ran out of time before I could teach the students how to properly place the instrument on their shoulder. Some students were more interested in other things in the room (strumming, talking, a friend’s rosin, etc.). I was frustrated that we did not complete the lesson.
If they try to fit the instrument on their shoulder this week, there is a very strong chance that they will do something incorrectly, and then it will take even longer to learn how to properly use the shoulder rest. Have your student practice attaching and removing the shoulder rest, but remind them NOT to place it on their shoulder yet. It is essential that the students now bring their shoulder rest to every class.
All students are expected in Strings next week, September 26. That will be the last day to turn in a school instrument loan request form and show their supplies to me. After September 26, only students WITH instruments and materials will be allowed to participate in Strings.
Dr. Palmer, Strings Specialist
REMIND: “rmd.at/rwstring18” or text @rwstring18 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.