I’m really excited to get to share a new series of posts with all of you this spring! Sensory Spotlight posts will give you all a little glimpse into some of the fun, hands-on toys and activities we use in my studio when we’re learning new pieces (or perhaps working on some trouble spots in not-so-new pieces!). I hope you enjoy!!
Resistance Band Rhythms
Does anyone recognize this bright-colored piece of exercise paraphernalia? Resistance bands, designed for strength training and physical therapy, can be re-purposed into a great rhythm helper! (And now is the perfect time to go snag one from one of those store-front post-New-Year’s exercise equipment displays!!).
These bands are one of my go-to tools when students are struggling to hold long notes for their full durations. With a band in their hands, the long notes suddenly become fun notes!
In this video clip, Sonia demonstrates how we use the band to show duration. In the first part of the clip, we practice the motions she’ll use with different notes. Once she’s comfortable with the band, I ask her to stretch as I play a passage:
After we’ve worked, and she can successfully match her motions to my sound, I ask her to look at the printed music as she stretches. Ideally, she’ll make a connection between what she feels, hears and finally sees:
Now we’re ready to head back to the piano to see if her long notes have improved!
You can find resistance bands at most stores that carry sporting or exercise equipment. The bands come in a variety of strengths; you’ll want one with a light resistance level so young arms can handle it!
P.S. Sorry about the fact that the videos are showing in a funky vertical orientation. I didn’t discover until I had shot several clips on my new iPad that I need to record with it sitting in horizontal orientation, NOT vertical!! Please excuse my learning curve!!