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Getting better through healthier effectiveness

Practicing can be fun

ema is a young initiative from Germany that aims to combine improvement on the instrument through healthier effectiveness. Closely related to this is that teaching should also be fun. One thing they have in common is that the activity as such should make sense. Our experience is that seeing and hearing progress brings joy, fun and motivation. The world of practicing and teaching does not have to be reinvented every day: a freshly view from different perspectives and a little joy in experimenting are a good basis to develop own solutions. What is offered here are the results of our discovering journey: You are cordially invited to go on your discovery tour.

This is what concerns us

How the body can support us - and we it - is an important question for us, because it is not possible without the body and it is not always easy with it. We asked ourselves how the “body” and “practicing” can complement each other. In short: we are looking for win-win effects, i.e. how one can support the other. Preliminary results: We have made a division into three areas, into a) conscious activities during practicing, b) evoking moments and c) things that are good for the body.

Rhythm stability is a fundamental skill for making music. This begins with the requirements of the score, one's own voice and ends in practical interaction with others. Rhythm stability as such is only one part of this, as it must be translated into playing technique skills, integrated into one's own ideas and into the ideas of fellow players. We are motivated to develop concrete, meaningful, cross-method approaches that can be used by all performance levels. The first interim results are already available.

The topic of vibrato “targeted practicing” and “targeted teaching” is often simply ignored, the hurdles seem so insurmountable. But what are these hurdles? If you want to use vibrato specifically as a means of expression, i.e. not leave it to chance, then good vibrato technique is essential. We deal with the question of how the necessary movement complexes can be practiced. The requirement to be able to “release” ingrained movement patterns plays a major role here. We experiment with solutions that focus on the three biggest challenges from the perspective of practitioners and teachers: Sufficient mobility in the arm, wrist and finger joints, regulating and establishing the ideal finger pressure and improving the independence between bow speed and vibrato movement. The first interim results are now available.

Which findings from the interim results already mentioned can be integrated into the beginners' lessons across all methods? How can music-making, the creation of one's own sound, be brought to the fore while at the same time developing a fundamental instrumental playing technique? Our aim here is to develop timeless and cross-method offers for teachers. Here too, the first interim results are already available.

Erdmute Maria Hohage - Angelika S. Schepke
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