Do you tire of asking your learners to correct posture, bow grip, or simply to look at the music instead of stopping and looking at their hand on the instrument? Here are some simple Violin Teacher Tools you’ll definitely want to keep in your toolbox that are affordable and will instantly make your violin studio FUN! If you’re not in our “ViolinTeacherTools” FB group, definitely join us for even more ideas for teaching violin joyfully! We are the largest group of vetted violin teachers on FB.
Snake Slap Bracelets:
Even better than the old rubber band around the scroll/wrist trick (and if you do like to use this trick I recommend these file rubber bands)
is this cute snake slap bracelet. Just place the snake head between the wrist and violin and remind your learners to not let the snake “bite” the violin.
While this is super cute, I even give out these bracelets to my adult learners who adore them! No one wants to look terrible while they play the violin and this bracelet is a quick fix and FUN!
Another oldie but goodie is the straws in the F holes to give learners a clear idea of where the bow should be placed. I cut my straws and they last twice as long but I’ve also found these paper straws work better for full size instruments and the plastic straws work better for fractional size instruments.
For learners who are a little obsessed with looking at their fingers (instead of the music) these dribble glasses are perfect! Originally designed for basketball players to practice their dribbling without looking, this simple and inexpensive tool is easy to keep in your studio and I just wash or Clorox wipe after each learner uses it.
Monkeys: A popular teaching tool used by many, I always keep a barrel of monkeys
in my Violin teacher toolbox, and have detailed instructions for this violin posture game in my method book for pre-twinkle learners:
however I also encourage my students (and motivate and give them the tools to practice this game at home) with these mini barrels that are super affordable and actually fit into the violin case!
Sometimes I am out of tiny barrels of monkeys or can’t purchase them and so I created this cute printable (I suggest card stock for durability) game you can purchase once and print forever here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Linking-Monkeys-and-Barrel-9889927
The monkeys are also a great, fun tool for counting repetitions when practicing!
Working on keeping your violin “tabletop flat” can be a hard concept for the learner to visualize because they really can’t see if their violin is level while they’re holding it until you model and give them feedback. A really inexpensive tool to keep in your violin teacher toolbox is to cut some small strips of tablecloth and place under the strings near the bridge. I also like to add some teddy bears
Finger Tapes: How many times have you tried unsuccessfully to scrape some finger tape glue off of fingerboards?Save your valuable lesson time for more diverting activities with these special (and surprisingly affordable) CAR DECAL tapes. The size (1/8) inch is important and I suggest a variety of colors to help the young learner differentiate and allow you to correct them verbally (the blue tape) during your lesson. Because the tape has a paper backing you can easily pre cut pieces of tape and have them organized by color and size.
Bow Buddies are a great tool to start your learners on their bow holding journey! Like any teaching tool we don’t use these forever, but they do enable beginner learners to get to that joyful music making stage a bit faster! I recently had a transfer student who had spent the previous summer doing nothing but bow holds and she never was even allowed to hold her violin. I do NOT think this is what Dr. Suzuki had in mind and with so many differentiated learners, we want to meet each learner where they’re at and bow buddies are GREAT for this!
I purchase bow buddies myself and give them to learners to use, then collect them to use with future students after a quick bath in my bathroom sink with some dawn dish soap, they’re good as new and last forever.
I keep my finger tapes, snakes, monkeys, dribble glasses, tablecloths, cut straws, animal counters, bow buddies and other violin teaching tools in this excellent drawer organizer,
and you know I have special labels that fit perfectly for these drawers at my teacherspayteachers store here: