Achieve Energized, Anxiety-Controlled Perfection in Any of Life’s Performances
The Charl Ann Gastineau’s Stop Bow Method, developed for violin students, can be applied to any discipline or endeavor in Life that requires the honing of a skill and/or the reduction of anxiety in performing the endeavor. Mary Smale’s book, The Bow Stops Here, will show you the Gastineau Method and how to apply it to any musical instrument, any martial art – anything that requires concentration and skill building.
Gastineau states: “There is a kaleidoscope of approaches to teaching a student to play
an instrument. I use the Suzuki Method for a myriad of reasons, and to it I’ve added my Stop Bow Method to further reduce mistake-driven anxieties. I’m constantly adding to my curriculum, especially when I find something that works well for another teacher. We all learn from each other, and should always be open to new ideas.”
In “typical” practice sessions, a musical student unwittingly practices mistakes as well as the correct execution. Gastineau observed that 90 percent of her “teaching” time was correcting mistakes and telling students to slow down. She developed two lists, one of Potential Mistakes and the other, Elements of Aggravation. She surmised that since athletes train by performing their motions very slowly, to develop the muscle-brain connection properly, playing an instrument should be approached in the same way. This was the “aha” behind her Stop Bow Method. Rather than hurrying through the playing of a piece, with the Stop Bow Method, the student avoids playing mistakes altogether and practices the piece of music very slowly for a significant period of time. With concentrated, dedicated practice, virtually anyone can reach a level of anxiety-free performance applying the Gastineau Stop Bow Method.