Connecting notes successfully in a melody means the difference between sounding like a typewriter and a singer with a beautiful voice. I often use the phrase “passing off the pinch” to help describe the principle of correct left hand movement occurring between the notes of a melody. The basic principle is simply to ensure the new pinch is down before lifting the old pinch. Or if you prefer, make sure the old pinch doesn’t move until the new pinch is in place. This sounds simple but it presents many challenges to young students. The first challenge is training the fingers to temporarily pinch two notes briefly which requires more left hand strength. The other challenge is knowing exactly when to lift the old pinch or how long to hold on to the old pinch. As a parent, sit and watch your child play through a melody at turtle speed and observe whether a slight overlap in pinching occurs from pinch to pinch. This motion unfortunately is not possible between every single note of a melody, though it is often possible to leave a pinch down when moving to an adjacent open string. Nevertheless, by watching out for this proper movement in the early stages of learning, your child’s fingers will tend to remain closer to the fretboard and ultimately become more efficient and musical.