A Trampoline in the Studio

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Inspired by this month’s Strad Magazine article on the Emile Jaques-Dalcroze method and seeing a similar trampoline in the kitchen of a Jessie Donovan, a fellow Cornwall, Vermont resident and famous triathlete, I’ve added a small low trampoline to the teaching studio.  Jessie uses her trampoline to get in a quick workout, but also finds it useful for having relaxed conversations with kids not able to sit still.  The Strad doesn’t really talk about uses of the trampoline, but does include a picture of a violinist practicing on one.

The trampoline is useful thus far for

  • jumping on to integrate the rhythm of a piece into our bodies.
  • noticing the physical change required to jump slowly and quickly — our bows must move similarly for long and short notes.
  • getting constant feedback when we just stand on it and play.
  • a fun game – guess what song I’m jumping!?
  • sometimes we want to have a conversation, but we can’t sit still, on the trampoline we can get out lots of energy and remain in the same room as the person we want to converse with.
  • when the student stands on the trampoline, that brings smaller stature players to my height so I don’t have to sit or kneel to bring myself to the players eye level — when I sit or kneel, often the student will do the same, which is not generally what I’m after.

I’m also experimenting with rolling a tennis ball across the table from one hand to another to expose the movement required to roll the ball at different speeds.  A few students have practice exercises this week to bounce a basketball to the beat of their review and current pieces.

While researching more about the Dalcroze method, I found this school devoted to it in the Rockies!


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