2 2017 Tatyana Savinova, translator Marina Molchanova
The possibilities of using the application for mobile devices WAmetr in teaching children to music


Nowadays, more and more of various technological means comes to assist mankind. With the help of applications on a smartphone, it is possible to monitor and simulate any human actions. In this regard, we are need to use the appeared opportunities as much as possible. The purpose of this article is to consider the potential uses of the WAmetr application to help beginning musicians, their parents and teachers.

I have been a practicing teacher since 1996. All this time I observed the progress of students - from beginners 5-7 years old, to students in high school, college and university (16-21 years old). Therefore, I have reasons to insist that it is important for musicians to get the right initial skills of playing on the musical instrument. First in this case it is basics of sitting behind the instrument and correct position of hands on it. In the case of cellists, the correct position of the hand on the bow is responsible for the distribution and strength of sound and technologically correct execution of any strokes.

It is important for the parents of a young musician and the student himself to have a numerical control all over the aspects. It will reduce the influence of the teachers qualification factor in the first stage of training, which is especially important for small settlements. The student will be able to independently assess how accurately the performance of home exercises corresponds to classical patterns. It will help to reduce the time required to earn the necessary skill, and also will protect the musician from reworking the wrongly acquired skill.

Unfortunately, nowadays a few parents or even a teacher has the opportunity to control how the child does his homework. By the other hand the student doesnt have an opportunity to fix the mistake at the time, compare it with the sample and correct it. In this case, the skills of playing the instrument are acquired randomly, and it significantly slows down the progress in training.

Obviously, a young musician cannot independently analyze his actions, and direct his efforts in the right direction. The presence of a high-end application for smartphones will allow the child to assess the accuracy of doing homework. In addition, this application will greatly facilitate the work of teachers: they will be able to devote more time to technical subtleties of performing activities, rather than correcting annoying defects. I am sure that many music teachers in professional schools will agree with my opinion.

Notice that the main mistakes appear at the initial stage of training, accompany the student for a long time and interfere him to do assigned tasks correctly. Those occur due to mistakes in the teaching of the technique of playing a musical instrument. Experienced teachers can recognize them easily.

The situation is examined by the example of a child who learns to play the cello. There are major problems that he have to solve at the initial stage of training.

First, it is initial hands position:

Left hand problems:

1) inability to correctly fix the elbow - it leads problems with smooth moving from one position to another, and creates issues for pitch-intonation;

2) clenching of the thumb - it subsequently leads to an overload of all the muscles of the left hand and the inability to make quick transitions from position to position, to properly vibrate and to get better at virtuosity;

3) The wrong technology of finger moving leads to the inability of further improving the students virtuosic skills.

These are main problems that arise on the path of a beginning cellist.

Secondary the right hand, you can also note the key problems:

1) Inability to correctly divide the weight of the hand when keeping the bow. It leads to absence of correct sound sensations, inability to extract a sufficiently deep and timbre sound from the instrument, correctly use the nuances technique and causes the common clenching of the muscles of the right hand and also the forearm, shoulder and back.

2) The elbow is often in the wrong position (too high). So that the weight is held on the forearm, that leads not only to loss of sound, but also to muscle overstrain;

3) Improper control of the fingers location and operation on the bow leads to the inability to right strokes execution. Excessive pressure on the thumb leads to a common muscular overload and, as a consequence, to the common clenching of muscle and the inability to hold the bow;

4) Inability to correctly manage a bow (in the certain plane and in the same playing point).It leads to absence of quality sound and to common clenching of muscle.

Currently, in collaboration with a group of WAmetr application developers under the direction of Olga Panchenko we are developing an automated evaluation system of cellists movements accuracy. Our goal is to create an application that will help to assess the accuracy of the tasks implementation in real time and to get rid of drawbacks above-mentioned. The evaluation of the hands correct position is made on the basis of the hands position classical model that adopted on a professional environment, as well as personal physiometric and medical-biological data of the young musician. Support of the application with other features is in planes.

The use of the WAmetr application at the initial stage of the training will allow gifted children avoid annoying mistakes related to the teachers insufficient qualification and / or lack of proper control in self-study. After all, in practice, sad examples are often encountered, when execution technique defects that acquired in childhood have postponed an indelible imprint on the further fate of the musician.
 
Perm, June 2017


The interview with the head of the project WAmetr Olga Andreevna Panchenko for the online edition Text

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