NEw transfer student / review etc

Friederike said: Jul 17, 2013
Friederike LehrbassViolin
Plano, TX
83 posts

I just got a new student, that has been training w/ a non Suzuki teacher who uses the Suzuki books, but is not trained. He has started w/ the first piece of book 4. He has his first lesson tomorrow. I will have to work on his bowhold and also right hand.He ha snot memorized all of the pieces either. He reads well. I’m trying to figure out how to best proceed. I was wondering if I should ask him to eventually memorize all of the review pieces? How is the best way to work on those? I remember reading something somewhere about getting up to speed w/ review is to play through all the pieces and make 2 lists to determent which pieces are well and which need work. But I don’t remember how to continue from there. Also I don’t think it’s a good idea to right away continue w/ book4. Should I add non Suzuki pieces ( if yes, what pieces would be good?) Or should I just work on review pieces while we work on bowhold and right and position? They also want to work on vibrato, which his teacher just started 1 month before. Thanks for any suggestions.

Praise the Lord with the stringed instrument

Community Youth Orchestra said: Jul 18, 2013
Community Youth OrchestraViolin, Viola
70 posts

Can he play the book 4 pieces well? If so, this is a great time to work on memorization so that he can get used to performing more frequently, and make it possible to participate in play-ins and institutes.

Around the Vivaldi A Minor level, I’d suggest starting on the Kayser Etudes to work on bow strokes and tetrachord patterns, as well as Josephine Trott’s Melodious Double Stops (Volume I) which is great for developing sensitivity to interval qualities. Barbara Barber’s Scales for Advanced Violinists is also a good thing to introduce, bringing in relevant scales and arpeggios as needed.

As for pieces, how about the opera variations of Dancla’s Six Airs Varie (series I)? They’re more compact works than pieces like Accolay, but have a wide range of character and reasonable technical challenges.

There are quite a few excellent vibrato resources…Shirley Givens has an entire book in her teaching series devoted to it, and the Simon Fischer book “Basics” explains the concepts and has helpful exercises for imagining and generating the motions.

Friederike said: Jul 19, 2013
Friederike LehrbassViolin
Plano, TX
83 posts

Thanks, he is just working on the first piece of Book 4 ( Seitz) He had his first lesson w/ me yesterday and he did pretty good.I felt like he caught on pretty fast. I worked w/ him on his bowhold and left hand. We used the Twinkles to work on these skills. Now I have to decide how long I will let him do easy pieces until we get also back to Book 4. I either wait 2 ,3 weeks or I let him work on the fast part of the Seitz soon. any thoughts? Thanks

Praise the Lord with the stringed instrument

Community Youth Orchestra said: Jul 19, 2013
Community Youth OrchestraViolin, Viola
70 posts

I think the important element of reviewing past pieces is reinforcing the fundamental technique…my wife and I were discussing this today actually:

For example if a student is working on Saint-Saens Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, and is having a tough time remembering how to do the two slurred notes down bow followed by the two separate notes up on the first page (happens twice), they should go back to the Long Long Ago variation, which is essentially the exact same thing at half the tempo. :)

It’s certainly possible to make progress while also reviewing, and not making it an all-or-nothing sort of approach unless the student is truly struggling and needs to get back to basics.

Laura said: Jul 21, 2013
Laura Mozena
Suzuki Association Member
Palm City, FL
105 posts

Yes I agree with focusing on the techniques involved when reviewing. Maybe you could assign three or four review pieces a week with specific techniques to focus on. For example “when we learned Handel’s Bourree we worked on bow distribution which will help you with your current piece” “Lets review bourree this week focusing on bow distribution”

Anne Bowman said: Jul 22, 2013
Anne BowmanTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Plano, TX
9 posts

Amusia is a recognized musical disorder.
Dr Oliver Sacks (neurologist) covers it well in his books. He is author of “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” and “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain” (2007)
See the video at
See also his “Musical Minds”, a one-hour NOVA documentary on music therapy.
Originally broadcast June, 23 2009 on PBS stations.

Anne Bowman

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