Simon Hewitt Jones is the Director of ViolinSchool.
And when you're dealing with something as complicated as violin playing (or flying a plane, or carrying out surgery, etc.!) - well, a checklist can come in very handy indeed.
For a few months now, we've been handing out three core checklists at the end of our Beginner Violin Classes. And we're pleased to share these new updated checklists with ViolinSchool members here today.
The first checklist is our full body checklist, which reminds you to keep a good posture at all times when playing the violin. The second checklist considers the right arm and hand, and the third covers the left arm and hand.
VS Members can download all three checklists here, in this printable PDF:
It's really important for us to internalise the concepts represented on these checklists, until they become so automatic to you that you always remember to carry out each step.
Therefore, a good aim in your violin practice is to refer to the checklists every single time you're about to play, so that you can reset your body posture. A good strategy would be:
If you do this consistently and conscientiously for several weeks, you'll start to see a good improvement in your posture. And most importantly, you'll start to set your body position correctly without even thinking about it.
And it's when that automatic-ness, that automaticity really starts to take hold, that you truly have the freedom to focus on the music... knowing that your body is doing the right thing... even when you're not thinking about it!