Suzuki with a twist

Barb said: May 17, 2012
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Has anyone tried using this “Twinkle Project” by Liberi Music? I listened to a few samples… It’s new accompaniment for the Violin Book 1 pieces, so wouldn’t work for my cello students anyway…

But I think if it WERE for cello (or if I taught violin) I might only recommend it for students after they have completed book 1. I wouldn’t have them use it as a replacement for the Suzuki CD. I think the students should be familiar with the usual piano accompaniment and the harmonies it provides, and the bowing styles on the Suzuki recording. Of the samples I listened to, Allegro’s rhythm was changed (to swing) and I didn’t hear staccato in the violin on some others… However, I DO like the string quartet sound of the minuets, and the ones with a modern beat DO sound pretty fun and might be a nice addition for those students who are playing solidly and getting tired of reviewing book 1.

What do you all think?

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Paula Bird said: May 17, 2012
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Viola
Wimberley, TX
386 posts

Haven’t tried it, but it sounds useful for group class ideas and fun twists on the usual.

Paula E. Bird
TX State University
Wildflower Suzuki Studio
http://teachsuzuki.blogspot.com (blog)
http://teachsuzuki.com (podcast)

Teresa said: May 17, 2012
Teresa Skinner
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
69 posts

Sounds like a fun addition (not replacement) to the regular cd. It sounds like it would be fun for a group class. Where is it available?

…if you listen to the music, it tells you what to do…

Teresa said: May 17, 2012
Teresa Skinner
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
69 posts

It’s available on iTunes.

…if you listen to the music, it tells you what to do…

Irene Mitchell said: May 17, 2012
Irene Mitchell
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Dallas, TX
111 posts

I found it at
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/liberimusic1
the whole cd is available so you don’t have to pay for one piece at a time.
thanks for the tip, Barb!
Irene

Irene Mitchell

Wendy Caron Zohar said: May 17, 2012
Wendy Caron Zohar
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Ann Arbor, MI
94 posts

New Comment on Suzuki with a twist from Irene Mitchell
Thanks, Irene, for the link. That gave me the chance to hear the samples. Now that I’ve heard it, I would never use this for my students, as a trained Suzuki teacher.

First of all, the chords and harmonies depart from the original, and whoever made this has got it mostly wrong. Young players need to hear the tune supported by the right harmonies, from the start.

Second, they have altered the rhythms. Eighth notes must be played accurately, not swung, as you can hear they do in Allegro. It’s not a good example of playing, I think, and will result in confusing the new player. If we were teaching advanced Baroque or period performance practice, well, maybe yes, as one might say this is introducing an example of French “inegale” (unequal) playing, but that’s not the domain of the very young player who needs to develop clear rhythmic division and a steady, even stroke.

Thirdly, the accompaniment is produced by a sound machine, not a piano, and they have added this glossy, whooshy noise to everything as if you are playing in an acoustically modified band, in an echoey hall or arena. Is this trying to make the kids feel like rock stars perhaps? What is important, I believe, is for the young player to hear the accompaniment clearly, simply, and plainly, with clear beats, open chords, and btw, with the correct harmony!

Fourth, all the inside beats are being brought out, in unimportant places, in a jazzy way. I found this distracting and unnecessasrily messy and fussy, as if trying to sound hip or cute. When I listened to the versions with violin added it sounded to me like the violin was struggling to be heard among all the din and clutter. Much better is the simple accompaniment, where students can play honestly, make their own beautiful sound and be heard, with just the support of the accompaniment, and not in competition with it.

In sum, I wouldn’t recommend this, personally. But I suppose it’s a matter of personal pedagogy and taste.

I also don’t believe Dr. S. would have been in favor of it, from what I’ve read and learned about what he said concerning adding harmonies to the tunes when children are just starting out (i.e., leave the melodies unadorned. Harmonies can clutter the ear at first, at a time when children need to focus on their own melodic line, intonation and sweetness of tone).

Interested to hear how other experienced Suz. teachers feel about this.

Wendy Caron Zohar

Sue Hunt said: May 18, 2012
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
390 posts

I’ve listened to it and got totally lost in Twinkle. Oh dear……..

Paula Bird said: May 18, 2012
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Viola
Wimberley, TX
386 posts

Sue, twinkle is really slow. Listen to the track that has the violin added to it. It will make sense. Cute stuff!

Paula E. Bird
TX State University
Wildflower Suzuki Studio
http://teachsuzuki.blogspot.com (blog)
http://teachsuzuki.com (podcast)

Anita said: May 18, 2012
 38 posts

As a parent of two kids in Book 1 (well, one just started the 2nd song in Book 2), ANYTHING that offers variety for review of the early Book 1 songs is a big, big, big help! They groan when they’re asked to review the first songs they learned in Book 1. It helps that we do fiddling, and they’ve put many of the skills they’ve learned from fiddling (like playing on 2 strings at once, sliding into notes, etc.) to work on the early Book 1 tunes to make them more interesting. I think it really depends on the child, though, and where the child is at. I would not have let my kids play around with the early Book 1 songs while they were learning them. But listening to what they could do with them later? Why not? Maybe not listen every day, but once or twice? As a fun exercise? We once found Gossec’s Gavotte on a CD by an old-time Cuban musician—Guillermo Rubalcaba’s Pasado y Presente CD, it’s the intro to La Reina Isabel—and it was right before my daughter started learning the song. It was AWESOME! She heard that it could have life and passion! Thereafter, she tackled Gavotte with enthusiasm, instead of dread. And so did her mom!

AMB

Sue Hunt said: May 19, 2012
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
390 posts

Thanks Paula, I should have been listening for the the second part. I agree with Anita, in that I can see that these could be great fun for students who know the pieces very well.
Music in Practice

Janet Emerson said: Aug 21, 2012
 1 posts

I have just begun using this CD while teaching my Students at a private school. I saw a huge difference in the kids reaction to playing with this CD vs. the traditional Suzuki piano accomp.

I understand the viewpoint of the pure rhythms of the Suzuki Book. But the early composers did create variations on their melody. That is what this CD attempts to do. While it might be difficult to teach it as a sole accompaniment, it is very useful as a fun reward instead of candy or a toy, for passing a song. I have kids that can’t wait to play the fun version after they pass the song with the piano version.

Lastly, as a teacher with 25-30 students at any given time in book one, it is nice to listen to something fresh and new and fun that you can use in groups! Give it a try.

Mrs. E

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