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Three Styles of Bowing (Week 3)


Level:        Book One


Purpose:   To learn about three bowing styles -  Martelé,  Détaché,  and  Slow.


Notes:       This lesson works well when spread out over three or four classes.

       Suggestions for the teacher’s verbal presentation are in italics.

       Definitions of the bow strokes are included so that the goal of the activities is clear.


Set-up:     (1) Play through Allegro from Suzuki Volume One

                  (2) "There are three styles of bowing in this piece:

- Martelé 

- Détaché

- Slow

       (3) Give a brief demonstration of each.

       (4) "We are going to add style to Allegro by learning to do these bow strokes."



ActivitiesWeek Three - Slow Bows

Move the bow slowly, adding enough arm weight to produce a full tone. Feel the bow hair pulling the string from the side on the down bow and pushing against the other side on the up bow.


(1)   Slow Motion

  • Place the bows on the ground. Pick them up in slow motion


(2)   Slow Bow Race

  • How slowly can you move your bow and still make a sound?

            On your mark, get set – SLOW!”


(3)   Pass the Slow

  • Take turns playing slow bows

  • Work for a clear and even sound


(4)   Play Twinkle Theme

  • Move the bow slowly on the half notes, using the same amount as the quarter notes


(5)   The Slow Bow Strokes in Allegro

  • Have students play the half notes & the 3rd phrase, while you play everything else

© 2018 CAM Publications

"I've never known a musician who regretted being one. Whatever deceptions life may have in store for you, music itself is not going to let you down."  - Virgil Thomson

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