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The acclimatisation phase, when a person learns to use the roller while playing the violin or viola, can for instance be structured as follows. First shift your chair to the desired place and slip a roller under your foot. Starting slowly, try to perform the backwards and forwards motion in time with the beat, such as in quavers or crotchets. Once your foot is accustomed to rolling, simply put the instrument to your neck and follow the beat. If the player feels fine with that, the roller should be placed under the other foot and the procedure repeated.
The difference is enormous: use a roller while practising and not only are your feet massaged but your entire body relaxes. And all the time your can focus on different musical parameters such as the phrasing or a particular rhythm.
For teachers who want to ensure their pupils have a good posture, right into old age, the rollers are an excellent means. What's more, they are small and fit into every bag.
Laura loves to face a rhythmic challenge when practising her viola. She has played viola for half a year and began right from the start to roll different rhythms with her feet. Particularly recommendable for beginners is to first pluck the strings, which helps create independence between the feet and hands. Once this has been done, children can set up two different rhythms with their feet and at the same time play or pluck a melody.
Laura has a rhythm book on her music stand with two different rhythm staves. Here she is practising – also with her foot – to perform the lower stave rhythmically with the roller and the upper stave with left-handed pizzicato. One can clearly see in the photos that she is using her whole foot to roll with. One can also profit from this as a teacher. It is always important for children to join in. And almost incidentally one can use the time to relax.
The rollers can also be used to great effect for cello playing. It is important here to realise that one can also make slightly smaller movements at first. Everything must find its own level and once again independence should first be established between the hands and feet. Once this independence has been established cellists are likewise free to experiment.
It is ideal if one combines the roller for cello playing with a Mini Ballkissen®Kids, which ensures the correct placement of the feet while leaving the legs mobile.