Bouree Bowing

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said: Feb 15, 2006
 4 posts

I am new here. Could someone please explain the bowing pattern for Bouree in Suzuki Violin Bk. 2 for me? My child is just beginning to learn this piece. Thank you.

Gabriel Villasurda said: Feb 15, 2006
Gabriel VillasurdaViolin, Viola
81 posts

Regarding your question about Bourree bowing: There are no new bowing ideas in this piece. The slurs are a little hard to memorize, so work slowly and get them right. The piece is quite repetitive, so learning one phrase makes it easier to do another.

In measures 5, 6 and 7 there is a rising sequence of pitches with a crescendo. You can start this in the upper part of the bow and progress towards the frog where the weight of the bow will make it easier to play loudly. Some teachers also stress the use of longer bows as the crescendo grows, starting with tiny strokes and ending with wider ones at the end.

Since this piece has almost nothing new, the student can concentrate on good phrasing, dynamics, and a singing tone.

I don’t know if this helps. Let me know if you still have questions.

Gabriel Villasurda <gabevill@pathwaynet.com>

Gabriel Villasurda
Ann Arbor MI
www.stringskills.com

said: Feb 16, 2006
 32 posts

This really sounds like a question for your teacher.

I actually DO work quite a bit on bowing technique with this piece. I work a lot on bow distribution, in a quite extensive manner.

Is there something your teacher has asked for that you don’t understand and are looking for help with? I wonder if by “pattern” you are referring to what we call “bow distribution?”

said: Feb 17, 2006
 4 posts

Thank you both for your replies. I guess maybe I am confusing bow distribution with a bowing pattern. I remember that we are suppose to start in the upper half of the bow and close to the tip of the bow before using more bow and then working our way towards the frog with the rising notes. In the first couple of measures can you explain which notes we are suppose to use the tip of the bow with? Is it the first couple of slurs? This was something that the teacher mentioned. I just needed a teeny bit of help until we have our next session. Thanks again, I appreciate your help.

said: Feb 17, 2006
 32 posts

Mommy of 2,
This is really a question for your teacher—people teach Bourree so many different ways. I know I would be upset if one of my parents was asking other teachers how to practice; I would feel that I was not being available enough! A big part of being a Suzuki teacher is being available for questions throughout the week! Please call your teacher and let her/him know about your questions, and I truely hope that your teacher will be willing to help you.

said: Feb 17, 2006
 4 posts

I live 45 minutes away. It would be a long distance call. Class is 1x a week, including group class. I will just wait until the next class and ask the teacher. I am truely sorry if I have offended anyone, I just thought this was a place to ask for help in between lessons. Please forgive me.

said: Feb 17, 2006
 32 posts

Dear mommyof2,

Absolutely no offense has been taken, I am sure! Both Aunt Rhody and I were stating what we both felt is the only answer: you need to ask your teacher. The main reason for this is that there is no one, set way, to teach the Suzuki literature. Your question, although to you may seem easy enough to answer, is really quite hard. I know what my teaching goals are for Bourree, but every teacher has their own.
A big misconception is perpetuated with the term “Suzuki method.” It is NOT a method; it is a philosophy. Consequently, there is no one correct way to teach each piece.
I do agree with Aunt Rhody’s comment about your teacher being accessible. It is too bad that she/he is not available between lessons. I frequently “teach” over the phone, or via email, if a student has a question between lessons. I would rather they contacted me, then practice incorrectly.
That being said, my students also know that if they do not understand something, and don’t reach me during the week, that they are better off not attempting the new assignment. This is not because they are Afraid to do it wrong. They just know that I will gladly explain it differently the next lesson, and they will probably get it then.
Anyway, no offense meant or taken by me, and I am sure not by Aunt Rhody either. We just don’t want to interfere with what your teacher is teaching you.
Do let us know how things work out for you!

said: Feb 18, 2006
 4 posts

Perky and Aunt Rhody,
I do understand that each teacher has their own way of teaching. We have actually been doing what you mentioned, which is just not attempting the new piece until the next class. Well, except for the listening of course!

Lynn said: Feb 21, 2006
Lynn Rubier-CapronViolin
2 posts

I dissagree that it is always a part of being a Suzuki teacher to be available for these kinds of questions during the week. Instead, I take lots of time during the lesson to make sure that the parent can actually physically do the specific technique being taught for the piece. At the level of Bourree, they may not be able to do it very well, but they can do it enough to really understand (and have patience for) the complexities of what we are teaching their children. In this way, I am able to have time for other aspects of my life during the week. I have never had a Suzuki family who didn’t gladly understand my need for reasonable boundaries.

said: Mar 24, 2006
 32 posts

mommyof2,
I second perky’s thoughts, and you did the right thing by waiting until the next lesson. No offense is taken! It is too bad that a call to your teacher is long distance. I have a few students who are out of local calling range, but they have cell phones and know that they can call me free on the weekends, and in an emergency, after 9 on weekdays when calling is free. I don’t know if you have a cell phone or if your teacher is a night owl, but you could discuss it with your teacher.
Lynn R.-C, I really do disagree with your post. I have 45 minute lessons starting with perpetual motion, and take lots of time preparing for the next piece. However, there are some questions that just cannot be anticipated, and I think it damages the students’ progress if they cannot contact us during the week. I do a lot of emailing and have set hours for when people can call—that way I still have my boundaries, but I am also accessible. Every teacher trainer I have had (9!) has emphasized that being a Suzuki teacher means being there for the familiy when they have questions, whether it be in or out of the lesson. I do agree that we need boundaries, and I do not have a problem of people stepping over them, especially after outlining how they can contact me and when in my studio policy.

said: Apr 21, 2006
 44 posts

At this level, our teacher has the parents videotape the lessons. Usually, your questions can be answered by just reviewing the video. After all, you can’t write everything down or even know what is important when starting a new piece. He also plays the new piece in its entirety so the parent has a polished performance on video to refer back to while practicing during the week. This really helps with bowing and shifting questions! I don’t make my kids watch the video, it is for my reference, but after learning the piece we can go back and play it with the teacher on the video to make sure the performance is smooth and tempo is right.

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