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String Project - California State University, Sacramento

Box Progression

The complete progression from using simulated instruments to the real instruments usually takes 4 to 8 class sessions:

  1. Draw the foot chart – both rest position and playing position feet, add name. Make an extra one for home practice.

  2. Establish instrumental rest position and the ability to get to playing position (and the reverse.)
    box, no bow
  3. Establish a bow hold. Do bow movement exercises (up - down, circles, etc.)
    violin bow hold
  4. Hold the stick bow and simulated instrument at the same time.
    stick cello, stick bow
  5. Learn to play rhythms and change strings. Practice playing on command keeping the bow direction correct (up/down/angle with the instruments).

  6. Place the left hand. Learn correct hand position and practice placing fingers properly.
    box, left hand placed, no bow box, left hand placed, no bow
  7. Learn scale and simple piece fingerings. A piano or violin/viola/cello can provide accompaniment.
  8. Replace the stick bow with the real bow and repeat all the steps on the pretend instrument.
    stick cello, real bow, left hand box, real bow, left hand
  9. Graduate to real instruments.

  10. Continue with the real instrument, preferably playing by rote until good positions and tone are established.