sheet music for Elephants
N.B. You may need to put your printer in landscape mode to fit the music on the sheet

This piece is to be played slowly, with a sustained tone ( that includes the pianist too ). The Violinist should start with his / her bow raised up in the air. During the first rest a huge up bow arc is described with the right arm, eventually bringing the bow on the g string at the heel. The whole bow is drawn slowly on the open g producing an elephant sized sound. Though the bow must thoroughly adhere to the string for as long a down bow as possible, it should neither skate or slip across the string, nor should it squeeze and force the sound. The right hand is continuously following a huge imaginary circle ( counter clockwise from where the student stands ) while one counts out aloud " three, four " in time...... The bow should be lifted as high as possible during the rest, and this great arc helps the child reach that remotely strung g string ! The circle described should be slow and smooth, as if the music were still being bowed. This piece is very popular with children, and gives them the means to develop a beautifully rich sound full of bass using the natural weight of their arm. If the teacher cares to play together with the pupil, providing the strings are tuned together, the pupil will feel his / her sound has suddenly doubled in capacity ! 

Click here for a midi accompaniment !

Finally it is possible for each child to play a note sequentially in a group ; this way the more sensitive and refined hands of the better student will set an example for the weaker ones to follow. Much depends on setting a good example. Though the g string is harder to reach at first, the child will soon be rewarded by an introductory sound far superior to that of the e string. Warning ; do not give up this piece after 3 lessons as it can be kept in the repertoire for at least a year as a warming up exercise ! I still enjoy it 3 years after having invented it ! Even when your pupil sounds good, encourage him / her to sing from the first millimeter of bow to the last. The whole process is similar to spreading chocolate spread on a slice of bread. The final result should be a sound every bit as appetizing !!

The inverse / wrong way round "Ephelant" Parachutist goes backwards with up bows ( with clockwise circles ) sounding the G string. Imagine a plane "taking off" from the runway ..... slowly lifting up to the sky !

To view 13 other pieces such as this click here !



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Copyright 2000 Westbury Park Strings
Last modified: February 07, 2000