Foundational Ideas of FiddleQuest

Teaching students about The Force

When my students start FiddleQuest Level 3, they learn about The Force.

Star Wars came out when I was 12 years old. I can still remember the scene when Obi Wan is showing Luke how to use a light saber. Just as Luke is getting the hang of it, Obi Wan gives him a fighter helmet and tells him to put the blast shield down — to not use his eyes.

Luke is resistant and scared. Han Solo is skeptical.

The drone zaps Luke with tiny laser blasts. And then, with a little encouragement from Obi Wan, he perseveres and successfully anticipates the next laser blasts.

It is a turning point for Luke. He learns he has a power in him that he was unaware of.

Through Levels 1 and 2, everything is visual for my students. I show them how to use their bow arm in Level 1. I show them how to use their left hand in Level 2. They watch and copy.

But in Level 3, everything changes. And it happens the same way every time.

I play the opening phrase of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. Then I ask them to copy the phrase.

Predictably, students will look to my left hand to see what fingers to use. But I have put it out of their view. They look resistant and scared.

So, we put our violins down. I tell them about Star Wars and the blast shield and The Force. And how Luke gets zapped a few times.

We pick up our violins again. They make a few mistakes. And then they find the notes and a big smile emerges.

They discover a power they were unaware of.