Where can I find slow recordings?

said: Oct 15, 2009
 17 posts

I am looking for recordings in a slower version of the songs in Book 1. Could anyone of you give me a hint which recordings are suitable for the very beginning (for the stage when the notes are in place, but playing fluidly is still a big task)? Or is there a possibility to slow down the tracks on the CDs I already have? That would be great. My daughter loves to play along with the CD, but gets very frustrated if she cannot cope with the speed of the recording. As soon as she gets somewhere near there and she can play along she progresses nicely. She always asks me if I have a slow version. I would like to offer her one if possible.
Thanks in advance.

Sara said: Oct 15, 2009
191 posts

I haven’t used it yet myself, but I have heard of some students using the program “Smart Music”. The way it was explained is that it can be slowed down without losing the pitch quality. I did hear it played at one of the local teachers homes and it does work! She demonstrated it. I just haven’t gotten around to downloading it just yet simply because I haven’t really needed it yet. But I can see where it would be really good!

“What is man’s ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty.” Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Gabriel Villasurda said: Oct 15, 2009
Gabriel Villasurda81 posts

If you have the MIDI versions of the piano parts, you can play them using QUICKTIME PLAYER (a free, downloadable software). You use the A/V control panel to change the tempo. The MIDI files are the piano part only (no violin), but in most book I tunes, the piano plays the melody in the right hand.

Try it.

Gabriel Villasurda
Ann Arbor MI

Jennifer Visick said: Oct 15, 2009
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1069 posts

Disclaimer: The BEST option is to either learn to play the piano/keyboard or get someone who can to come over …. or get someone on the same instrument as her to come over for “practice/review” sessions and have them play together. Or get a more advanced student to come be a practice partner and have them play the duet parts on their instrument.

Electronic accompaniment aids have been discussed before… try doing a search for SmartMusic, MIDI, TASCAM, Audacity, or Step by Step.

Which one to get?

  1. SmartMusic is a subscription service—so you pay every year. It comes with a sofware download. You can choose any tempo and have the computer play accompaniment with or without the solo part through the speakers. It has lots of other bells and whistles besides the ability to choose your tempo—such as the ability to record yourself and email the recording to, say, your teacher, or to a faraway relative—or the ability to have the computer “listen” to your playing and “follow” YOUR tempo… and lots of other sheet music besides Suzuki stuff. It requires a computer, a good set of speakers, and probably a good external microphone. There is a moderate learning curve.

  2. The MIDI piano parts—recorded by Linda Perry—are CDs that come with a sofware package (”Home Concert”) that will play the accompaniments at any speed, right or left hand or both together. It does not play the solo part. You need a computer with a good sound card—that is, a good “set” of acoustic piano sounds—and a good set of speakers. This program can “listen” to MIDI instruments (but unlike SmartMusic, it can’t “listen” to a microphone)—so that feature would only be helpful if you’re trying to learn to play the accompaniment parts yourself—and you have a MIDI keyboard that you can plug into your computer. Moderate learning curve.

If you have an electronic keyboard that accepts MIDI input or MIDI discs, or if you have an acoustic “Disklavier” type player piano, you can have these instruments to play the accompaniment for you.

  1. The TASCAM cd player is expensive, but has the advantage of being a one-unit portable piece of hardward that can slow down any regular CD. It also can record your performances to CD, and might be able to do minor pitch (key) changes, among other things. Disadvantages include losing more and more sound quality the more drastically you change the tempo.

  2. Audacity software is free—has a moderately steep learning curve—will do everything the TASCAM recorder will do and more—requires a computer with good speakers and, if you want to burn a CD of the slower recording, requires a CD burner on your computer as well. Also has the disadvantage of losing sound quality the more you slow things down.

  3. The Step by Step CDs—accompaniment by David Andruss—will work in any CD player and generally have recordings of each Suzuki piece at “performance tempo” with the solo part; but also in a slow practice tempo with the solo part; as well as in a medium and/or performance tempo without the solo part. You can buy the CDs without buying the full book that goes along with them. The sound quality is good. There are a jillion other little pre-twinkle exercises on the 1a CD. Due to copyright restrictions, they have “preparatory” songs in place of Suzuki’s compositions, but the piano accompaniment for these songs can be used for the Suzuki pieces. Almost no learning curve.

said: Oct 17, 2009
 17 posts

Thanks to all.
Will try out the tips given.
Too bad my own piano skills are soooo poor. I’d have to practice ages before being able to accompany reasonable well. :( That would be the nicest.
Regards Rippe

Anna said: Oct 30, 2009
 145 posts

I want to download the free version of Quicktime, can anyone send me the link ? Thanks :cool:

Gabriel Villasurda said: Oct 31, 2009
Gabriel Villasurda81 posts

To download QUICKTIME:


BTW, did you Google “Download Quicktime”? That’s all I did.


Gabriel Villasurda
Ann Arbor MI

Susan said: Nov 5, 2009
 16 posts

I use Amazing Slow-Downer to teach myself fiddle tunes by ear. It has a one-time cost of about $50, and is easy to use. One nice feature is to make loops of short sections (to hear over & over). I like the idea of a play-along friend or similar strategy when that is possible. My understanding of the recordings is that they are meant as models & for pre-learning the song melodies, and not for playing along with, especially initially. A Book 2 player might play successfully w/the Book 1 recording, for instance.

Rigo Murillo said: Jan 17, 2012
Rigo Murillo
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Viola
16 posts

I use Audacity to change tempo and key signature on any audio file and convert it ti mp3. This gives me the opportunity to send parents an mp3 file for practice before the student is ready for full speed.

Here’s the link on the Audacity software (FREE).

Rigo Murillo, President
Love Nurtured Music Program
Suzuki Strings Specialist

Robin Lohse said: Jan 17, 2012
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Cello, Viola
31 posts

I am using Audacity to record slower versions of the preview parts. I want
to use Audacity to import the Suzuki pieces but have not figured out how
to slow the recordings down for my students? I am technically changed.
Could you direct me to how to do it?
Robin Lohse

On Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 4:35 PM, SAA Discussion

Robin Lohse

Rigo Murillo said: Jan 17, 2012
Rigo Murillo
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Viola
16 posts

Hello Robin,

Here’s how you slow down the recordings using Audacity 1.3.5:

  • Make sure you have an mp3, aif, ogg, aac, or wav file of the music you want to slow down. If you have iTunes, it is easy to convert the CD music into mp3, or just go to Audacity and “import audio” to the program.

  • Once your audio is in Audacity, make sure you select the entire audio clip. This is VERY important! To select it, click on the left side label handle of the clip, and the whole track will be selected.

  • Go to the menu and, from the “Effect” tab, choose “Change Tempo”, you have to give it a percentage like “-20″ or so, depending on how slow you want your results. You may want to experiment with different numbers until you get the desired speed. Undo is only a click away.

  • Once you have it at your speed, you can export the audio in the format of your choice. I use a moderate quality mp3 to send parents to avoid huge files.

Thant’s it! If you have any more questions, email me and I can do a personal tutorial online whenever I have time.


Rigo Murillo, President
Love Nurtured Music Program
Suzuki Strings Specialist

Lilli Gatti said: Jan 18, 2012
 7 posts

These materials are very helpful. I tried vol. 1 and the test version of vol. 2 with my students. They liked this excellent material very much and benefited a lot.

Edition Peters (EP 11291)
Recital Training, Volume 1
Intermediate Violin Pieces, with Suggestions for Practice

By Kerstin Wartberg

Foreword by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Volume 1 is suitable for students in Suzuki Book 4.
The book of 80 pages is accompanied by two CDs and contains all pieces (and more) of the Suzuki Violin School, vol. 4

in slow practice tempo
in medium practice tempo
in performance tempo with and without violin

Recital Training, Volume 2

Volume 2 is suitable for students in Suzuki Book 5 and will come out end of January.

Patricia said: Jan 18, 2012
Patricia NuernbergViolin
Kent, WA
13 posts

I use Amazing Slow Downer with my students. It is so easy to take a small portion of a mp3 file and make it any speed. It also has a pitch adjustment function which has been helpful with recordings that aren’t a 440 A.

Eleanor Bennett said: Jan 18, 2012
 Violin, Viola
62 posts

Somebody said it was free, but only the trials are fee. If you want it it
is $50. Unless someone knows something I don’t
Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless

Eleanor Bennett

Rigo Murillo said: Jan 18, 2012
Rigo Murillo
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Viola
16 posts

Eleanor, Audacity is free… I don’t know about the others. I use Audacity on mac (or Windows).

Rigo Murillo, President
Love Nurtured Music Program
Suzuki Strings Specialist

Stephanie Meacham said: Jan 19, 2012
1 posts

We’ve been very happy using the SmartMusic software… Come to think of it, I think we own an older TASCAM device I’d be willing to part with at a very small price.

Irene said: Jan 19, 2012
Irene Yeong160 posts

Try Takako Nishizaki’s Suzuki cds. She played Suzuki Book 1 , a little slower than the Suzuki cds. My daughter’s violin teacher recommended that cd and we’ve been listening to that one.

Leslie said: Feb 9, 2012
Leslie ThackerayInstitute Director
Suzuki Association Member
Taylorsville, UT
26 posts

Slow Down Music Player app for your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch. There is probably something similar with other devices as well. I hook my phone to some old computer speakers. It’s much harder to play with than a live pianist because it doesn’t slow down or stop for mistakes, but when preparing for a recital it’s been nice for my students.

Leslie Thackeray
Make Practicing Fun!

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