The Grossman Method© Newsletter

I hope everyone had a wonderful summer. I presented my Grossman Method workshops from coast to coast this summer and had a great time at each and every presentation. Special thanks to the Aria International Summer Academy, Marrowstone Music Festival, Texas Strings Camp, and Camp Musica for bringing healthy string playing to their wonderful and important festivals. You can see pictures and videos from those presentations on my Facebook page. 

IT’S COMING! The workshop booklet is on its way. I will be taking Meghan Irwin’s fantastical drawings, see above, to the printers this month and then the booklet will be ready for you.  I’m super excited about this and I know you will be too. The booklet will be hand bound, printed on premium paper, and will fit in your instrument case so you can access the workshop poses anytime. If you would like to pre-order, just send me a note here BOOKLET and I’ll put you on the list.
The fun continues this fall as I have a busy travel schedule.  Please look on Facebook for more pictures and videos from my presentations in New York City, Chicago, South Carolina, Nebraska, and Delaware. And now you can Tweet me as well!
Happy and healthy playing to you all !
  Ask the Teacher
From A New Viola Teacher in South Carolina:
“How do I teach independence
between the hands?”
Answer from:
Dr. Charlene Dell 
University of Oklahoma 
Professor of Music Education – Strings 

How Your Brain Coordinates the Left and Right Hand in String Playing
As performers and as teachers it is very important that we break technique down in order to focus attention on what each hand needs to be doing separately before putting them together. Teaching our students to break materials down will ensure that their technique will develop balanced between left and right hand.

Understanding how the brain monitors input from multiple levels.
The right hemisphere of the brain controls the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right side of the body.  Usually the brain can keep the two sides separate, but when one side of the brain is so deep in concentration that it “spills over” to the other side, the hands mimic each other.
Another way to trick the brain is to involve the midline.  Any time one of the hands crosses the center of the body and “invades” the other hand’s space, the brain reassigns the messages as if you really had two left hands.  Of course, string playing requires us to cross over the midline all the time!!! It is important to train the skill using one hand on its correct side before you try to do it crossed over the midline.
While both sides of the brain are being used, the information crosses over a thick band of nerve fibers called the Corpus Callosum. Information can only travel in one direction at a time, so one hemisphere must wait to send its messages until the other hemisphere is finished.  String players have the strongest and most highly developed Corpus Callosum of all musicians, because messages have to cross over lightning fast.  We develop multi-lane neural pathways so that we can get the job done. 

Guiding the Left Hand
When learning to play a string instrument, it quickly becomes very evident that the left hand will dominate the right hand. Students are much more likely to ignore bow direction and dynamics when sight-reading, because they are so concerned about “getting the notes right”. 

Guiding the Right Hand
The bow hand is the most often neglected component to playing. As with the left hand, developing a vocabulary of bow rhythms at different speeds and bow lengths will greatly help students to become stronger players and sight-readers.  Practicing a difficult passage by playing just the open strings that the printed notes are on will greatly clarify bow planes and strengthen the players ability to sight-read string levels.
Teaching our students
Breaking down technique by hands is a very effective way of training young students. It also fosters a more varied practice time, as students can spend a great deal of time on one passage, but focusing on many different elements of that passage rather than just repeating the passage over and over.   When we always practice the same way, the brain eventually stops paying attention.  Learning to practice with different hand focus is a very efficient way of developing well rounded technique while keeping the student well focused, and makes practice time much more effective and fun.


Upcoming Workshops & Masterclasses

Click on the links below for details!

Sept. 27, 2014
University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

Oct. 1, 2014
University of Delaware

Oct. 3, 2014
Manhattan School
of Music

Oct. 26-27, 2014
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Nov. 10-14, 2014
University of Wyoming

December 11, 2014
DePaul University

Dates are subject to change. Please message me HERE to confirm!
Featured Stretch
Rhomboid Rumble
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Please consult with your physician before beginning this or any exercise program. Exercise at your own risk. If you feel any discomfort, please stop immediately and consult with your physician. The Grossman Method, LLC, accepts no liability for injuries from this or any of The Grossman Method© videos. The Grossman Method, LLC, makes no representations or warranties concerning any usage of the information offered here and will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other losses or damages that may result. Reliance on any information appearing on this site or from me is strictly at your own risk.