Welcome to Odds and Endpins! My name is Fiona and I am a very experienced 'Cello Teacher based in South Devon, England. In my career as a music teacher I have created teaching aids and other inventions for music students of all ages and disciplines.

In my role as a 'cello teacher I have over 30 years experience. I have worked in both County and Private schools, trained Youth Orchestra 'cello sections, coached string groups and taught privately, with age ranges from 4 to 72.

I developed Beat-blox to assist my students in reading printed music and I have used them extensively for the past 17 years. This method of teaching has been of great interest to the British Dyslexia Association, who invited me to speak at their conference in 2010. I have also given talks on the Beat-blox at Associated Board Teachers courses.

I have also created Pinstoppas: Handmade spike rests for young 'cellists. You can read more about Pinstoppas by clicking here

You can find all my inventions for sale in my Etsy store Odds & Endpins

Odds and Endpins, Pinstoppas and Beat-blox are all registered copyright to Fiona Greaves © 1993-2010 My photographs may not be used without my express permission.



Beat-blox is a tool designed to simplify the teaching and recognition of musical rhythm notation. It is a hands-on practical system that translates and demystifies the code of printed notation, using both visual and tactile stimuli. It allows students to learn at their own speed, and largely through their own observations.

Beat-blox is multi-sensory, extremely effective and so simple that students find it largely self-explanatory. However when introducing it for the first time, students will need some guidance from a music teacher or adult with basic understanding of musical notation.

Since written notes carry both pitch and length information, I have pared down this visual load by removing pitch, stave and all other distractions. After a short time using Beat-blox, those with any confusion over rhythm reading, and students with any learning difficulties usually produce the same reaction; a huge “Ahh, now I understand!”

The box contains 28 blox of wood, printed on both sides. A block length is dictated by the duration of the note printed on it.

There are a total of 17 different rhythms displayed on the box, some for single notes and some in commonly used groups. For instance a crochet sized block might have 4 semiquavers on the face and a crochet rest on the reverse.

Because the note heads are lined up very carefully, placing a block bearing a group of two quavers above a block bearing 4 semiquavers, shows clearly which note heads coincide. As a result, explanations often become superfluous, as the visual messages are totally consistent.

The sliding top of the box is used as a back-board for the blox. Bar and beat lines are printed on the front and back of this board denoting two bars of 4 time on one side, and two bars of 3 time on the other. If you turn the box over, it shows two bars of 6/8 time.

On the 4/4 board the beat lines are indented, introducing a tactile element to the beat division. If the student runs a fingernail across the board this gives the feeling of the beat. This helps to train the eye to move smoothly across the bars and it clarifies the comment that ‘a piece of music can be fast or slow, but the beat must remain constant within that piece’.

Beat-blox is an easy system that provides:
- A visual stimulus in the block length
- An appreciation of note length by just holding the block
- A tactile beat line
- A limited number of bars to play with, and so a small number of notes at a time to digest
- A subliminal suggestion that the medium of wood – reminding one of early childhood play – indicates that this language of rhythm is also easy to understand.

Each set of Beat-blox is handmade in our Devonshire woodwork studio, England.
You can buy Beat-blox either directly by contacting me at oddsandendpins@gmail.com 
or from my Etsy shop: www.oddsandendpins.etsy.com 
I will ship anywhere in the world. 


Pinstoppas - Handmade Spike Rests for Children

Pinstoppas are handmade spike rests for young children. Painted in a wide selection of colours and styles there is sure to be one perfect for your little 'cellist. I can also make custom Pinstoppas; you choose the colours and your child's initials can be included in the design.

Pinstoppas have many benefits:
- They protect your hard floors and carpets from the damage that a 'cello spike can cause
- They help to promote good posture in students by providing a consistent angle and position for the 'cello during practice and concerts.
- They are a fun and memorable tool, and the perfect gift for any young cellist. (Also available on request for adults)

Pinstoppas are hand painted wooden hemispheres with indentations for the cello spike to rest in. Fastened to this is a strong, adjustable coloured strap that has loops at the ends to hook around the chair legs. This system has been extensively tested with my young students and has proved to be a real hit!

To see my entire range, please visit my 

Pinstoppas are available to buy directly from me by sending an email to oddsandendpins@gmail.com 
or from my Etsy shop: www.oddsandendpins.etsy.com 



If you have any questions or queries, please contact Fiona Greaves at oddsandendpins@gmail.com