Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Heifetz ... the silent, left hand warm up

While watching an old video that an adult student had given me, I came across a unique, warming up exercise that Jascha Heifetz used in his own personal practice.  It occurred to me that this would make a great exercise for my students.  The Heifetz rendition was a bit random and fast paced so I decided to simplify some of the main concepts before introducing the exercise.

I demonstrated the exercise to approximately 8 students.  The following week, we all began our lessons with our 'Heifetz' warm up.  I mirrored their efforts in the background.  

Much to my surprise, at the end of two weeks of teaching the exercise to my students, I noticed such a difference in my own finger strength and articulation that I have made it a permanent part of my left hand warm up.

Since some of my students are learning basic rhythm, I have adapted the original exercise to include subdivision of the basic beat.  And for myself, I have exaggerated the stretches to improve my reach on the fingerboard.  

Feel free to use your own favorite finger patterns.  I hope that Mr. Heifetz would approve ...

For more practice tips, 
visit vivian@violinsync.com, Online Violin Lessons

1 comment:

  1. That's a very good exercise! I will use that with my students as well. Thank you for sharing.