MECHANICS EXERCISES 5

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BALANCING YOUR BRANCHES
  • Begin with your feet placed as before – in both of the top boxes. Close your eyes and relax.
  • Retrieve and re-create the stable feel of your shoulder horizon floating over your roots.
  • Extend both arms directly in front of you and hold them in place.
  • Slowly swing both of your arms to your right side and hold them in place. Remain Still.
  • Slowly swing them back in front of you again and hold them in place.
  • Slowly swing both of your arms to your left side and hold them in place.
  • Return your arms to your side. Now, extend your arms directly over your head.
  • Keep your arms straight above you. Lean your weight forward, shifting it toward your toes.
  • Lift your heels off the ground, balancing on your toes, keeping your arms raised.
  • Drop your weight back down to your heels and stand normally. Feel the force that gravity has on the weight of your arms as they land.
  • Now, extended your arms directly over your head, reaching up to the sky. Now drop them to form a straight line extension from your shoulder-horizon.
  • Suspend your arms and use your imagination to feel as if they are like your tree branches.
  • Leave both arms extended and stand only on your left foot.
  • Slowly lower your left foot and switch your feet to stand only on your right foot.
  • Now drop your arms to your side and relax.
Teachers should guide the class through the exercises by reading the following aloud.
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Congratulations! You learned to Balance Your Branches and Visualize a Physical Position!

You must have the skill to be able to successfully imagine pin-pointing the position of your arms, hands and fingers in order to set-up your instrument position and to play well. Visualization skills improve your string playing comfort.
At this point, the teachers should encourage feedback from the class. Ask students to express how their arms felt before dropping them and for any other observations. 
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