Last Mouse Lost review

Instruments: violin, viola, cello, & piano

Level: beginner-early intermediate

Used for: finger shape

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As addictive as bubble wrap (and way easier on the ears)! This is an incredible way to encourage a violin, viola, cello, or piano student to practice keeping their fingers nicely curved. It also helps with learning finger numbers and (later) with using multiple fingers at a time.

Note: This is a tool just for fingers, not thumb, since none of the instruments I teach need a thumb oriented the way it would have to be in order to pop the bubble.

I start all of the above instrumentalists on just the index finger until the curve is consistent. 

For piano players I then expand out to middle and ring fingers. Typically a beginner's pinky is too weak to maintain a good curve by itself, so I tend to stick with the middle three (piano fingers 2, 3, & 4) for beginning pianists. Later we practice landing fingers in pairs and then the pinky gets to play.

For violin, viola, and cello I add fingers cumulatively to help establish the concept of keeping fingers down. So one the pointer is staying nicely curved, we do string fingers 1 & 2 together, then 1, 2, & 3 simultaneously, and then all four.