I hope that these ideas bring you and your students joy!
Welcome to the AUSTA Melbourne 2022 workshop notes and videos!
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The Stringosaurus Approach
Stringosaurus has been meticulously designed to be age appropriate, taking into consideration developmental milestones for Early Years children. Research shows the importance of play to enrich a child’s brain, body and life. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) conducted a study which outlined the importance of play. It found that play reduced toxic stress and developed prosocial cognition and executive function in children. Educators are realising that play and inquiry based learning are crucial to the well being of Early Years children.
Having a curriculum that values the ‘whole child’ is vital. Through music we encourage children to develop their creativity and intelligence. Through play and by sparking the child’s imagination, we as teachers are able to form connections with our students which opens up a world of laughter and play where your students can seamlessly learn and be thoroughly engaged. Connection is the magic ingredient which is key to a beautiful learning experience.
You’ve got to walk, walk, walk and stop!
This will be one of your most used songs!
Away from the violin it is useful so the children can focus on following you and you can really turn it into a game to see who’s actually watching!
If you just start singing this, you will be surprised that your students will immediately stop what they are doing in their enthusiasm to join in!
Movement songs are a great way to break up the lessons and to vary the pace. What you will love the most about this simple song is, you can easily adapt it for pizzicato on open strings (You’ve got to pluck, pluck, pluck and stop) and the same for arco (You’ve got to bow, bow, bow and stop).
You can really extend this and use the arco version to practice only playing in certain parts of the bow, measuring the bow carefully.
This song is written by music therapist and educator Stephanie Leavell from Music for Kiddos.
Why use this resource?
- To encourage our students to self-regulate and follow instructions to stay safe and to be able to have a full learning experience.
- To have a strong sense of pulse.
- To develop early string playing skills.
Who is it for?
Teachers, this video tutorial is for you to watch.
When to use it?
Watch this 5 minute tutorial in preparation before the lesson and try it out. Use it in your lessons when you want to see if your students are listening and following instructions.
How to use it?
Make this singing game playful by mixing it up. The kids have to try and follow you. When the kids really get to know it, they can lead it and you can follow them. Extend this onto their instruments firstly pizzicato, followed by arco.
Simon Says – Singing version
Simon Says is a classic game which children adore. Use it to your advantage. This is also fun if you sing it and keep a beat! You can be cheeky and use musical cues to try and confuse the children further! For instance, if you sing a perfect cadence without singing Simon Says, then most children will feel that the song has ended and will follow the instruction anyway. They quickly become pretty adept at this game though, so be warned, you won’t catch them out for long!
Why use this resource?
- To help children develop their listening skills so they can follow instructions, remain safe and can ultimately learn effectively.
- To help develop children’s aural skills using musical cues, singing and beat work.
- To give children the opportunity to develop motor skills and ultimately string skills.
Who is it for?
Teachers, this video tutorial is a stepping stone for you… you can then extend this singing game into what is best for your students.
When to use it?
Watch this before your lessons to practice it, and then try it out during your lessons, especially when you need to re-focus busy minds and bodies!
How to use it?
Use this song as a transition or a way to help students focus on a particular learning objective.
There’s a dino in my kitchen!
Teachers, this little rhyme away from the instrument will be a GAME CHANGER when it comes to preparing the beginnings of a pre-bowing gross motor movement!
It is incredibly popular with my students because it’s catchy, simple and they can input their ideas into the rhyme of what they would like Stringosaurus to eat and drink.
They love stroking the scales and the plop of the wrist at the end of the rhyme! 😉
Inspired by Stephanie Leavell from Music For Kiddos.
Row your boat warm-ups!
Children love this song, especially all the different verses that make them burst into laughter!
This warm-up is scaffolded, away from the violin to start with, to loosen the shoulders and arms.
The violin is then added and children are encouraged to swing their arm under the instrument.
Finally, children enjoy the third verse, skating their hand and fingers lightly up and down the fingerboard.
How do you hold your toothbrush?
A quick video tutorial for teachers. This catchy and humorous song has everyone giggling! I mean who brings a toothbrush to a music lesson?!
This song guides children to look at how they use their hands when they pick up everyday items such as their toothbrush, pencil or chopsticks.
Feeding birdy bow holds!
A quick video tutorial for teachers. A great idea that children belly laugh at… Feeding Birdy their marshmallow, squishy, yummy bow-holds!
Students will always remember how to form an amazing bow hold with this interactive story and all the hilarious finger and thumb characters! Check out the great exercises to ensure that the fingers and hand are supple and well balanced.
There are currently two versions of this story in play… one version is a video with Competitive Pointer, (the index finger) and in the book version, we have the index finger starring as Pirate Pointer. See which version suits you and your students.
Children’s Video Storybook and Teachers’ Tutorial
This game is the biggest hit with children… they honestly never tire of it and immediately focus. It’s an amazing tool for practicing the bow hold and provides the opportunity for connection and laughter! The great news is, all you need are your arms as the prop!
Here’s what you get when you join us
Violin teachers, this library was written for you and your beginner students to enjoy together. String teachers, there are oodles and oodles of resources here for you and you can adapt these resources specifically for your instrument. There are even play-along videos and storybooks for children to enjoy at home with their parents.
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No! With our paid membership, the resource library is available for you to access at any time. Regarding the community calls, we will try to find a time for the live calls that work for most people. If it doesn’t work for you, you can always email me questions to include in our discussion. The videos will be recorded and available for you to watch later. There will also be a tight-knit online community group available for paid members to ask as many questions as you like and to share those exciting breakthrough moments.
There has never been a better time to have the flexibility of an e-resources hub! Whether you are teaching in person or suddenly thrown into online teaching, these resources will be a life saver!
Have you ever found that you often need to supplement your beginner books with extra materials? Then you end up spending your precious time searching the internet for quality resources and even end up having to write your own supplements!
Or maybe you are bored with using the same resources and teaching ideas over and over again and you’re ready for something fresh?
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Early childhood, in this instance, 3-7 years as a general rule of thumb. You could certainly adapt resources for older beginners too.
These resources are for complete beginners, or beginners needing a range of material in order to retain new information. We break down extremely complex skills into tiny steps, to allow you to scaffold for the benefit of your students.
These videos are on average around 5 minutes each and are crammed full of implementation and teaching inspiration. These will be 5 minutes of investing in you and your students will love you all the more for it!
Use your internet to log in to the hub, download or access resources anywhere, anytime. Download resources straight from the hub to build your own Stringosaurus library ready to use offline. Take Stringosaurus with you anywhere!
Watch the resources hub grow as we add more unique and exciting resources on a monthly basis. If you’re teaching in person, share the resources with your students on any portable device or on the desktop computer.
If you’re teaching online, screen share the hub with your students. Download and email students specific resources or put your favorites in a shared drive.
Use these resources in your teaching with all your personal students. You can even download resources to email home for your students so they can practice. This is a small, family business and I would appreciate any recommendations to friends and colleagues, but would ask that you keep all resources for just your own teaching and do not sell them or make copies of them.
If you have any troubles viewing or downloading a resource, try opening the hub in a different browser. Chrome is a great choice for viewing the site. If you still need help, just contact Laura and she can directly send you the resource.