Standing and Sitting Statues


Students will be able to apply their knowledge of Suzuki principles to the body and voice by completing the Suzuki sitting statue exercise as individuals with one line from their competition piece and by evaluating each other through group discussion.


Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook
Have the students do 3 minutes of Rhythmic Stomping.



Transition: Last time we worked on harnessing animal energy to create presence on stage. Today we will use this harnessed energy as well as all we’ve learned about maintaining a center of gravity and apply it to text.


Guided Practice: This exercise is called Standing and Sitting Statues. Establish yourself firmly in the Suzuki crouch, low centre of gravity, feet apart. Respond to a given cue by rising with speed onto the toes, at the same time creating a statue. On second cue return to the neutral crouch. Repeat the sequence several times, each statue being a unique, creative , visual image. There are three levels to the statues: low, medium, and high. Alternate between these (low, medium, high, medium, low, medium, etc.) each time you go into a statue. When this exercise is secure add voice. Use text from your competition piece. Begin in the silent crouch position. On cue, after you rise to first statue position, begin vocalizing the passage. Each time you return to the crouch fall silent. Continue the dialogue after forming your second statue and so on. Vary lengths of silence and speech.


Transition: Now that we’ve explored this exercise standing up, let’s look at it sitting down.


Guided Practice: This is the Sitting Statues part. Start in a relaxed, seated, tucked ball and, on a beat given by the instructor, in one motion stretch your feet out in front of you, just off the ground in a statue pose that involves both your legs and arms. You must pull the spine and head up to make the back straight and keep the center revealed. When the instructor shouts, “Text,” immediately begin speaking your competition piece text in the fast, energized, monotonous form encouraged by Suzuki. This requires a strong center of gravity and strength.


Discussion: How did that feel? How did it change your voice? How can this be applied to your competition pieces? Ask the students what their ideas are on being tested on applying Suzuki to their pieces. How do they think they should be tested in a fair manner? Come up with a few areas that should be on their rubric for their final performances.


Group Practice: Have the students get into pairs. Divide whatever class time is remaining and have one member of the partnership watch the other while the other practices their regional competition piece, applying the Suzuki ideas of voice, animal energy, grounding to the floor, maintaining a center of gravity, etc. At “halftime” have them switch.


As the students, leave …………..O-tsukare-sama deshita (oat-SCAR-ee saw-maw desh-taw).



Assess group performances and discussions.