Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/876

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Learning the Violin Without an Instrument

Knobbed sticks are used to teach the fingering

���A class of violin teachers at New York University learning the Mitchell method of violin in- stuuction. The fingerboard chart on the blackboard shows the exact position of the sounds on a regular violin fingerboard

����In circle: The finger- board on the substi- tute violin. The little knobs teach

��The substi- tute violin and bow used in the Mit- chell method of violin in- struction , and on which the students learn to play without go- ing to the ex- pense of pur- chasing an in T strument for practise work

��FROM the day when Nero fiddled to a burning Rome up to the present time the only way any one learned to play the violin was by getting one and employing the services of an in- structor. Now all that is changed. Dr. Albert G. Mitchell, of New York Univer- sity, has devised a method whereby an entire class learns to play the violin at once. And the strangest part of the Mitchell method is that in the beginning, the class does not use a violin at all. The pupils are taught the correct position for the bow and the fingering on the violin by means of an imitation violin and an imitation bow. The substitute

��the pupil just where to place his fingers in order to produce the different notes

���Learning how to use the violin bow. The two short pieces of wood nailed on the substitute violin act as guides for the bow. It is impossible to use the bow in the wrong manner when this method is employed

��Showing how t he bow should be held. The fingers are rounded and unstiffened. The axis of the wrist joint (an im- aginary line running across the wrist) should be parallel with the bow

��for the violin is a straight piece of wood with little knobs at the top to indicate the places where the fingers should rest in order to produce the various notes. The pupil learns to use the bow in the proper place because there are two small pieces cf wood fast- ened to the imitation violin between which the bow must pass. If it is not handled correctly it will break.

A large fingerboard chart is drawn on a blackboard so all the pupils can see it. Dr. Mitchell's class at the university is conducted for teach- ers of the violin. They learn the meth- od and are then able to instruct large classes of children.

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