Books 2-3 group ideas

Debra Cutler said: Sep 14, 2011
Debra CutlerViolin
3 posts

Hi everyone,

As group classes are starting up once again this year, I am looking for some new ideas for groups for Violin Books 2-3. I am specifically looking for activities or group exercises that review specific techniques or new concepts from pieces in those books that are not simply “let’s find a common thread in some pieces and review them”. I have plenty of ideas for games and there’s always room for general review, but I am looking for some more specific ideas/themes to work on that will aide what kids are working on in private lessons. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

PS—yes, I have the Carolyn McCall Group lessons book, which is a great book, but I am looking for more. :)

Tiffany said: Sep 14, 2011
Tiffany Osborn
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki in the Schools, Viola
Los Angeles, CA
41 posts

Have you done Barbara Barber’s Fingerboard Geography? She color codes each finger pattern- 4 basic ones plus augmented and contracted ones. It’s fun to find the colors in the repertoire, and it helps with intonation to boot! She introduces each color by going up a 5 note scale, such as A B C# D and then a mississippi hot dog on the E (listen to see if pinky is in tune) then back down E D C# B then a mississippi hot dog on the A. this can be done in a 2 group round and it sounds pretty- and different for each color. Group 2 begins the ascending scale when group 1 starts the descending scale (after the mississippi hot dog on E).

You could spread it out over 3 weeks- do basic ones the first week, augmented ones (where there is a step-and-a-half somewhere) the second week and contracted ones the third. Sometimes the finger patterns span over more than one string, for example that tricky measure in the minor section of the book 3 version of the Minuet by Bach, has a contraction where 1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers all touch.

Anyway just a thought. I’m digging through the website to find more group ideas myself- but for pretwinkle!

Rachel Schott said: Sep 15, 2011
Rachel SchottViolin
Harrogate, TN
127 posts

Debra Cutler

I am specifically looking for activities or group exercises that review specific techniques or new concepts from pieces in those books that are not simply “let’s find a common thread in some pieces and review them”. I have plenty of ideas for games and there’s always room for general review, but I am looking for some more specific ideas/themes to work on that will aide what kids are working on in private lessons.

Hi Debra: I think your answer is to hold a group class that does exactly what you’ve said—goes over only the newest concept in each piece. Why not go through the repertoire playing only “The Spot” in every piece everyone screws up? You could even let the kids quickly decide which spot is routinely the lousiest…they’ll know. Or say “Jonah, I know you’ve just started this piece. What are you working on? We’ll all play your preview exercise with you ten times.”

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