Violinists playing while lying flat on the ground in the Camp Clayton Dining Room, with tutor Joanna Drimatis. Caption in Impact Typeface says "RSSC 2016 Freycinet First Violins Hard at Work".

Practice Like an RSSC Tutor

For those of us unfortunately at home this week, here is some of the best advice we have received from RSSC Tutors over the first 31 camps. If you remember others, please let us know in the comments.


Play while lying flat on your back, to get used to how your spine feels when it is properly straight.

[Recommended for violin and viola, may present a challenge for ‘cello and double bass.]


Sometimes you need to play vibrato, but you are playing on an open string.

Cello part with a semibreve to play on the open C string and the technique instruction "molto vibrato".

Place your finger where on the next string up where you would play the note an octave higher than the one written. [In this case, a C on the G string.]

Or place your finger on top of your head and play vibrato there, that works too. [Works for ‘cello, challenging for other instruments.]


Breathe in just before you start playing.

No you’re not breathing in loudly enough. Breathe in more.

Breathe in even more.

Now remember, fail big.

Thank you for playing music with me today.


Sing your part in Solfège. Build your muscle memory by making the hand shapes.


Play a scale, breaking each bow into thirds. Feel the separate motions your shoulder, elbow and wrist need to make for each third.

G major scale with each note repeated three times on the same bow.

Then smoothly slur the notes together in threes.

G major scale in crotches, each three notes slurred together.

Also learn to yodel.

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