Stevens Point, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin--Stevens Point Telecommunications for the American Suzuki Talent Education Center
This is a condensation of lectures and lessons recorded at the 1976 Summer Institute at the University of WI.--Stevens Point. Part I: Dr. Suzuki discusses techniques for use with beginners including holding the bow with the thumb on the metal plate that secures the hair, instructing parents in aiding their children in achieving the correct bow hold, balance in the bow hand and preparation before beginning the stroke. Dr. Suzuki uses two unique methods for teaching beginners how to bow. They are asked to hold the bow with the thumb on the outside of the frog, half on the horsehair and half on the metal plate which secures the hair into the frog, until they have developed strong tone and good control. Mothers hand the bow over the child's left shoulder so that the child's hand is in proper position for grasping the frog. The second unusual procedure is having beginners play with small bows, gradually increasing the length as they gain ability. These two techniques insure good tone from the start. Natural positions and motions should be used as much as possible when bowing. Fingers overly spread out on the bow stick for bowing is just as awkward as straddled legs for walking. If the bow hand is too tipped to the left, the right elbow can't come down and tone produced is weak and crushed sounding. The little finger should stay curved and relaxed for tone at the tip. The top of the bow hand should stay parallel to the floor from the frog to tip. The top of the bow hand should stay parallel to the floor from frog to tip, avoiding excessive bending of the wrist. An understanding of the weight distribution of the bow is important for producing constant tone. Similarly, a sense of balance is necessary for smooth walking. Putting a weighted object at the tip of the bow, or reversing the hold from the frog to the tip, as well as lifting various fingers while playing are examples of training this balance awareness. Dr. Suzuki's formula for prepared sound is to put the bow on the string and balance it before starting each note. Preparation is like opening the door before entering a room.