Making a great bowhold

Learning to make a great bowhold from the very beginning has great benefits down the track, enabling exquisite control of the bow techniques that determine shape and colour in music.  And practising it correctly during the first couple of weeks is crucial, as with any new skill.

I teach bowhold at the first or second lesson to both parent and child, first teaching the parent how to make it, then the student and finally teaching the parent how to teach it at home – going over it until I’m confident they will both get it right every time. Practised carefully every day, reinforced at the Saturday class and reviewed at subsequent lessons, it quickly becomes a habit.

Here’s the 5 steps I use:

  • Place child’s right hand, palm up, on my left palm;
  • Position the bow on the student’s hand with the two middle fingers at the leather;
  • Ask them to place place their thumb (corner) between these fingers and bend it;
  • Place little finger – curved softly – on the stick;
  • Turn over and rest the bow on left shoulder, checking that knuckles are flat and soft, little finger is curved, thumb bent and in position.

Why do I teach it with palm up? It keeps the child’s hand relaxed and the knuckles soft. Members can view a short video at this link – bow hold of me teaching it to a young child at the group class. If you haven’t already done so, please register as a member to view it.

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Cheers, John

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