Do you know the STEP by STEP series? CDs/books

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said: Jun 6, 2007
 30 posts

STEP by STEP
Exercise books for young violinist and their parents
Volumes 1A and 1B are based on Suzuki Violin School, book 1
Volumes 2A and 2B are based on Suzuki Violin School, book 2
Volumes 3A is based on Suzuki Violin School, book 3, no. 1-4

By Kerstin Wartberg

published by ALFRED

I am a Suzuki mother of two children. Both play violin. I live in Germany and through my American friends I know that the the STEP by STEP series are not very much known in the USA by now.

I can tell you that these books/CDs will certainly help parents to improve their own musical knowledge, their own violin playing (if they like to learn along with their child) and especially the practise results with their children. In Step by Step you find so many good, supportive details. I tell you what I like the best:

  1. There is a lot more of additional practice material than in the Suzuki Violin School, each important teaching point is split into several little steps, all packed into nice musical exercises with detailed explanations. They are fun to practice!

  2. The note-reading course for parents in volume 1A and 1B is very helpful. In these first two books all exercises and pieces are shown on the left-hand page in a finger-pattern notation. The same tunes appear on the right-hand page in proper musical notation. This was very important for me because at the beginning I was unable to read music. I felt much more secure to help my children with this system. Now note-reading is no problem for me anymore.

  3. One more strong point is practicing in three different tempos. This gives your kids! (and you!) much more confidence and security. The piano arrangements are very musical and supportive and make your children repeating many times because they enjoy it so much.

  4. I like the beautiful photographs in volumes 2A and 2B very much. They show clearly many details of posture and how to learn new techniques like vibrato, changing positions etc.

There are still many other good points to mention like the violin gymnastic exercises, suggestions for bow distributions …
I could continue to tell you about these really fascinating Step by Step books/CDs for a long time. But the best is if you try them out. You and your children will certainly enjoy them!

Martina

said: Jun 9, 2007
 30 posts

Hello!

It’s me again! I discovered on the teachers forum an interesting link to the homepage of the German Suzuki Institute. The homepage is still under construction but you can see already the information about the STEP BY STEP Series. The address of the homepage is: http://www.germansuzuki.de/

There you can look inside the books and see many example pages of volume 1A, 1B, 2A and 2B. You have also the possibility to listen to many sound tracks from the CDs, even from the volumes 3A and 3B which will be published this summer and autumn.
(The German edition of 3A is already published now.)

Martina

Constanze said: Jul 31, 2007
 13 posts

My son Johannes is now working with volume 2B of “Step By Step” by Kerstin Wartberg.
For me, his mother, these pieces are of great help when practicing with him because they are presented very clearly and structured ingeniously.
This leads to a more profound understanding of the practice pieces as compared to working with the Suzuki Violin School alone; the photographs, too, support our efforts.
Playing along with the CD, in particular, leads to more competence by using the three practice tempi. The CD also serves Johannes as a guide to musical details and moods, and inspires in him a desire for expression – without words. Practicing with the CD is very enjoyable!

Robyn said: Oct 15, 2007
Robyn BauerViolin
18 posts

I absolutely love the series. I have a handful of students who have trouble focusing, so it’s a blessing that the books come with a CD that not only breaks down the pieces into sections, but demonstrates them slowly. Great for speed demons, as well! My only complaint is the pitch: way too high…they are definitely not tuned to A440. So my students are constantly having to tune and re-tune, and I worry that their innocent ears are being tainted with sharp pitches!

Charles Krigbaum said: Oct 25, 2007
Charles KrigbaumTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Plano, TX
68 posts

Actually, Step-by-Step is tuned to 441. I have never even been phased by the pitch, in fact if you spend much time listening to many CDs of European orchestras/ performers 440 sounds quite low. 442 is the A I hear most. I can identify the difference between notes within a few cents, and the SBS CD doesn’t affect my pitch at all. Just tune the violin to 441 using a tuner, and you are good to go—or use the reference pitches at the beginning of the CD and match them—they are 441 EXACTLY. Test it with a tuner and see for yourself.

This message has been brought to you by:

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North Texas School of Talent Education
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Jennifer Visick said: Oct 26, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

I think it’s good for them to hear different “A”s within an acceptable range… like Charles pointed out, different orchestras in different regions tend to have different standards. A=440 is not always true!

Now if it was the relative pitches that were sharp to the given A, that would worry me a little more, especially as they’re supposed to be practicing to it.

Robyn said: Oct 30, 2007
Robyn BauerViolin
18 posts

Hmm, mine says a consistent 447, which is awfully sharp. Perhaps it’s the fault of the CD player?

Charles Krigbaum said: Oct 30, 2007
Charles KrigbaumTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Plano, TX
68 posts

Oh my goodness! That is WAY too high. Now I see you dilemma.

Test the CD player for sure. One of my students had a Barbie CD player, and we discovered that it raised the pitch a huge degree.

Otherwise, the SBS CD is very in tune. The violinist plays in tune with herself consistently, and the violin is tuned to 441.

Maybe try other CDs as well…see if their pitch seems out of whack. Please let me know what you discover. This is a really interesting situation.

This message has been brought to you by:

Charles Krigbaum, Director
North Texas School of Talent Education
www.ntste.com
www.facebook.com/NorthTexasSchoolofTalentEducation

Jennifer Visick said: Nov 6, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts
Robyn said: Feb 23, 2008
Robyn BauerViolin
18 posts

After some research, I have results…the good news: as it turns out, my CD player makes everything 7 cents too sharp! Meaning, my Step By Step books are probably perfectly in tune. The bad news: I have to buy a new CD player. And so do several of my students!

Jennifer Visick said: Feb 23, 2008
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

Ariosa

After some research, I have results…the good news: as it turns out, my CD player makes everything 7 cents too sharp! Meaning, my Step By Step books are probably perfectly in tune. The bad news: I have to buy a new CD player. And so do several of my students!

….Too bad the CD player doesn’t have a pitch adjustment screw or knob…. Oh for the good ol’ days of LP turntables! ;-)

-Jenny-

Linda L said: Nov 10, 2013
 1 posts

This thread is old but I hope to get some help.
My daughter is in Suzuki violin book 2 now.

I looked up these Step by Step books 2A and 2B from Amazon and read reviews that for book 2A—there are 2 versions, a condensed booklet and a much longer one? The reviewers were saying that the condensed booklet is only 23 pages?

I looked in the german suzuki institute website for some info and see only the condensed version (”kurzfassung” stated there) in German language.

I looked in the Alfred.com site and see only the 23 paged version for book 2A?

Well… could anybody help me :-( ?

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