I know from decades of experience teaching that nothing makes a young student more excited than being able to play Jingle Bells. Please enjoy this free gift of a LARGE print arrangement of Jingle Bells for beginning violin (with fingerings added) available on the FREEBIES page.
Happy holidays and happy music making!
Happy Holidays! If I had a magic wand and could give all of you the gift that I really want to share with everyone reading this, it would be an event that drew us together into a *giant play along of holiday music with plenty of time scheduled for getting to know each other and eat cookies.
How exciting would that be?
That is currently impossible for me to organize, BUT, I can share some of the most favorite tunes from the holiday season with you so that you can play music and of course, eat cookies. Please enjoy some free downloads of Jingle Bells sheet music arranged for violin: a duet version and a LARGE print with fingerings for beginners version. These are currently posted on my FREEBIES page.
There is no shortage of ways to be musical and connect with this great joy that we share:
So, please head on over to the M4YV FREEBIES page to download a Jingle Bells duet from the Holiday JOY! collection. I made a slight change in this from the original publication so you may want to download again if you received the original arrangement 2 + years ago. I created this duet for my studio and it is designed to have a majority of players play the melody so the accompaniment part may sound a little overpowering with just 2 players.
Also on the FREEBIES page is a LARGE print version of Jingle Bells for beginners. This is featured in the LARGE Print Music for Beginning Violin collection. An enlarged format is perfect for any musician who is new to reading music since it makes it much more accessible.
BONUS - Both of these collections are on sale at 50% off thru the end of the month.
Happy music making and thank you for your support!
"The sound of over 4,000 violinists playing together in harmony was like nothing I've ever experienced, and it was made all the more amazing to think that the last time anyone heard a sound like that was over 80 years ago, when the last record was set in at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 1925."
I have a young student who plays with a passionate and focused tone and is very devoted in her practicing. She is progressing beautifully but after many years of lessons she still struggles to execute down and up bows correctly. Doing review pieces to fix this issue is counter-productive since she has ingrained incorrect bowing patterns into her old repertoire. Doing the same scale 20x/day would help but does not create a compelling assignment and she would likely zone out and resume playing incorrect bowings.
In an attempt to help her master down and up bows, I created the 7 Bowing Studies for Beginning Level Violin in the Keys of A,D & G Major. Since the focus of these studies is bowing they are kept to one octave and done 3 times in keys with parallel finger patterns (A, D & G Major) for ample repetition of the bow strokes and to keep the left hand as simple as possible.
These exercises can be used in two ways:
1- Individually to help with a specific technique needed in repertoire.
2- As a series for students who need more support organizing their down and up bows.
Features of this resource include:
Ms. Heather BEFORE:
STUDENT: “I have an audition in 1 week and I have to sight read for the first time ever.”
OLD ME: (trying to stay calm) “OK, let’s see what I can do to help” meanwhile I scramble to find appropriate supplemental music on my shelf to practice this new skill, think of how to break down sight reading into layered steps for a young student to grasp in a 30 minute lesson and am in frustration wondering why I did not know about the audition until today!?!?!?!
Ms. Heather NOW:
It helps to live in an area for a few years and learn the rhythms of local auditions. Now I have my students tell me months (and sometimes 1 year) ahead of their audition plans and they must print out 2 copies of the audition requirements: 1 for me to keep on file and 1 for them to have in their folder.
STUDENT: “My audition is in 3 months and I have printed out the requirements for you to look at”
NEW ME: “Fantastic, this is going to be a great experience and I love teaching how to sight read! It can seem scary to have to play the unknown for your first time in front of judges but when you know the process for how to prepare in your head you will have a successful & empowering experience. Also be sure to sign-up for the *mock auditions we are hosting next week so you can practice your audition.” and I pull out my new and nifty sight reading packet and we get to work.
Download a sample version for FREE HERE thru DECEMBER 2016
Can anyone relate to this experience? That was me in my early teaching years and I now love teaching sight reading. I break it down into these 5 steps:
#1 - Evaluate the key signature and touch the scale on your fingerboard. In lesson and at home actually play the scale out loud.
#2- Do a rhythmic analysis using Music Mind Games “Blue Jello” words (or whatever you use in your studio). In lesson and at home actually tap the rhythm on the music stand.
#3- Look at the shape of the melody: Scales or skips? Ascending or descending? Are there any accidentals? Bonus points for assessing dynamics, articulations and bowings at this step.
#4- Play/sing the first phrase in your head.
#5- Play on your violin.
At an actual audition the first 4 steps happen in about 30 seconds but in the lesson and home preparation this takes several minutes. Lastly, I tell my beginning students new to this process that if they forget all of the above steps then at least remember not to dive right into the sight reading - give it some mental time before actually playing on the instrument.
* IDEA: Collaborate with colleagues to offer your students a mock audition before your local youth orchestra audition. Last year I did this with some colleagues who also happen to be parents in my studio and it was a huge success. We contacted the local youth orchestra to learn how they conducted their auditions and did our best to imitate this including having an adjudicator to bring the students to the audition room. We also wrote comments for the students so they had some feedback and focus points.
How do you teach sight reading? Please share with this global group of music teachers in the comments below, we would love to learn from you!
Tell a friend, email the studio, post to Facebook/Pinterest or if you are like me, send a good old fashioned letter in the mail: the Spring/Summer 2016 Music for Young Violinists music packet is still available for FREE. Just fill out a contact form either on the HOME PAGE or on the FREEBIES page and bam - you will receive a link that allows you to download this packet of music teaching awesomeness.
Wow - that's pretty awesome right!
I will only offer these music packets as free seasonal downloads for 3 more seasons so don't delay in spreading the good news. All good things in life must come to an end and when I begin nursing school I will have to end this neat global music sharing project. Thanks! Heather
Hello M4YV Peeps,
It is my week off for Spring Break and has been an absolute constant rainstorm here in Oregon. This means I have time off & time inside to have too much fun with my MacBook photobooth feature and I have gone nuts restocking the FREEBIES page.
Head on over to the FREEBIES page & enjoy some awesome new downloads to help you bring out the best in your teaching. I rotate my FREEBIES on a regular basis so many of these resources will not be up for long.
Happy music making!
The THIRD POSITION STUDY SHEET is part of the free Winter 2016 music packet available only from Music for Young Violinists. This worksheet has been such an empowering resource for my students who are just beginning third position and they often progress thru these short studies much faster than we expect. Although I could assign each of these passages by ear, I find that it creates more clarity and organization to have the expected assignment clearly notated on a piece of paper. I designed this worksheet to combine multiple learning channels into one experience:
EARS - Using review pieces to learn third position serves as guard rails to keep a student on track. They already know what the tune should sound like so there is clarity from the start.
EYES - I remember when I first started reading on the G string and high on the E string how difficult it was to discern with all the additional staff lines. If a student and teacher prefer, this worksheet allows for writing in fingerings and half/whole step markings. Eventually the consistency of playing in the same range will help your young musician develop fluency for playing in this new higher range.
HANDS - I kept all of the studies in the same range on the E string to give students enough repetition of the new skill set to truly grow confident in this new skill. If a student only practices third position in a single piece they will likely struggle for a while due to not receiving enough support to master this new and fun skill.
How do you help your students with third position? Please share in the comments below.
Woo-Hoo, another prize!!! There is a special $15 Gift Certificate Prize to the Music for Young Violinists STORE for the first person who can help me identify the piano composition this excerpt comes from.
I used to hear it being practiced next door decades ago when I was in music school but I never knew the composer. I only know it is *fantastically fun for teaching young violinists how to master their low and high 2nd fingers. Nothing replaces good old fashioned 2 octave G Major scales but in my experience most students need a little more support in their curriculum.
The worksheet pictured below is a part of the Winer 2016 Music packet which is one of the many free perks of being on the Music for Young Violinists newsletter list. I give away an entire packet of music to my list every season. I love hearing from you and even if you can not tell me who composed this piano piece please let me know your feedback about the Winter 2016 Music Packet:
*If you are like me you may have wondered if this is a real word. I thought I was just making this up but learned something new today and according the Merriam-Webster this word actually exists. The definition of fantastically is 1 : in a fantastic manner. 2 : to a fantastic degree : extremely Ha! That was exactly the word I was looking for to describe this small etude I use to help students with their 2nd fingers.
This packet is not longer available but the worksheets from this can all be found in the Teacher's Toolkit available here at the Music for Young Violinists store.
La Folia - I noticed my students struggling to memorize the very simple opening of this piece and could not figure out why until I looked at the score they were using (Suzuki Violin Book 6.) This version has the 4 bar phrases broken up unevenly on the lines and my students were unable to visually identify how simple the pattern actually is. After my students used this re-formatted version the phrases became visually obvious and memory was easy.
Sub-Division - Concerto No. 2 in G Major, 3rd Movement (F. Seitz) m. 68-83 By the time a musician is at this level sub-division should already be an acquired skill and having it printed out for explanation is not necessary. However I find that having an assignment blocked out on an isolated worksheet creates clarity of goals between teacher and student as well as preventing a student from plunging into the score without having the proper foundation to accurately interpret the music.
Ring, Ring, Ring - This is a simple etude that is easy to learn and designed to help younger musicians work on their sympathetic vibration ring tones. It can also be done starting on the D string.
“I Am High, I Am Low” - When a young musician begins differentiating between what we refer to as low and high 2nd fingers they need a great deal of support. I borrow this musical phrase from a popular piano piece and have students learn it in the five part sequence listed on the worksheet. They really enjoy it and have fun getting some speed in it.
Do-Re-Mi Song - Solfège is not something that most American musicians learn when they are young but I would like to see this change. This simple and fun piece focuses on the intervals of the scale while teaching the seven syllables of solfège used in English. I first introduce this with singing and using hand symbols and fun body movements to match the lyrics. After it is learned vocally a violin student can easily transfer this onto the violin.
Third Position Study Sheet - I love teaching third position by ear but found that some students need a correlating visual to help it make more sense and not get discouraged in their home practice. This worksheet takes several familiar pieces and transposes them to be played in third position on the E string to help concentrate on a specific range. It is a fun assignment and students really enjoy experiencing their growth by mastering these phrases in third position.
Did you know that my book Twinkle: Duets, Trios & Quartets was written to help students gain fluency and confidence with their third position? I created this collection of chamber music pieces before the Suzuki books were revised to fill the gap that used to exist with the use of third position. You can view samples from this collection on the website.
Happy Holidays!!! Jingle Bells (LARGE print for beginners) & Jingle Bells for 2 Violins with fun double stops are available as free music downloads all of December 2015 here on this website. When you fill out a contact form on the Homepage or FREEBIES page you will be redirected to a link to download these arrangements.
The large print version of Jingle Bells is a sweet treat for your youngest musicians at this time of year and part of a larger collection titled LARGE PRINT Music for Beginning Level Violin which is available as an instant download from the Music for Young Violinist store.
The Jingle Bells duet for 2 Violins is a great way to combine your beginners together with your teenagers who need more of a challenge with some fun double stops. This arrangement comes from Holiday Joy! which is a collection of 14 classic holiday and Christmas songs available as an instant download from the Music for Young Violinist store.
I also added some blank staff paper to this packet for you to transcribe more holiday pieces with your students.
For the month of December get a free collection of Holiday Music with any $10 purchase with coupon code HOLIDAYMUSIC.
Every Season the Music for Young Violinists Project gives away a free packet of music to the members of it's newsletter list. The Spring (April - June 2015) music packet is an 8 piece Fiddle Folio. It is a blast to play and will light up your young students hearts while building their technique. Here are some FUN FACTS about the tunes in this collection:
Boil Them Cabbage Down - The title of this piece is often listed as “Bile ‘Em Cabbage Down” or some version of this. This is a classic American fiddle tune and can be taught to the most beginning level of student since it only has 3 notes. Some violin teachers begin with this piece before teaching Twinkle.
I included the more child friendly lyrics for this tune because I teaching lyrics helps students with their memory and emphasizes larger musicianship skills beyond playing the violin. Additionally, it is extremely fun to sing!
* In case you were wondering, a hoecake it is a cornmeal pancake.
Cripple Creek - Another very popular American fiddle tune and easily accessible for beginning violinists to play when simplified in a version like this. Cripple Creek was a gold rush city in Colorado (U.S.A.) located near Pike’s Peak in the Rocky Mountains and once had 500 active gold mines.
Drowsy Maggie - Is an Irish Reel and like most folk music can be found in multiple versions and has an unknown origin. Reels are popular in Irish and Scottish folk music. If you saw the movie The Titanic, Drowsy Maggie was referenced by the band in the dance scene.
Miss Colt of Seacliff’s Strathspey and Miss Mary Ann Johnston Favourite - Both tunes come from a collection of Reels and Strathspey’s credited to William Shepherd who compiled 2 collections of Scottish music in the late 1700’s. A strathspey is similar to a hornpipe and like all folk music is also a type of dance. The full collections where these tunes were transcribed from are available as free PDF downloads online HERE.
Mississippi Reel - This is a perfect piece to give young violin players their “quick” fix. It is easy to learn, emphasizes beginning player skill sets and is especially satisfying for the young student who loves to play fast. I love teaching this tune in a group setting and challenge myself to teach the piece by ear in 5 minutes or less. For extra drama, I use a timer and have this displayed for the students. Fiddle music overall is fantastic for teaching technique that transfers into performing Baroque repertoire. For example, with this tune I use the middle section for teaching “tunnel” fingers in the left hand and wrist string crossing with the bow hand.
The Irish Washerwoman - This is one of the most well known Irish jigs. This packet includes both the keys of A and D Major. A popular performance practice of this tune is to start slow and increase the tempo with every repetition until until you can not go any faster - a thrilling experience for both the performer and listener!
For the remainder of the month of December 2014 we will be sharing our seasonal packet of free violin music to anyone who is on our mailing list. This season features 8 classic holiday pieces that are a blast to play. Every season Music for Young Violinists will share a free packet of violin music with it's mailing list. Yes, REALLY!!! Free and designed to share with wonderful music minded people like yourself.
Why am I doing this? Well, I make these resources for my students all the time anyways and now with the power of the internet it is as easy as a click of a button to share. I hope these pieces bring you joy and emphasize the message of this project that true satisfaction in life comes from the inside out!
Please feel free to spread the good news - tell a friend, a colleague and/or share with the families in your teaching studio. Thanks!
Music for Young Violinists is happy to be joining Pinterest - a virtual bulletin board. I will be posting unique violin and music education related items here that are complementary to the posts and resources on the Music for Young Violinists website. I will frequently update our board with:
What exactly is Pinterest? Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board. Your Pinterest "board" fills with images of your specified interest from people from around the world that you follow. Many music educators are now using this modality as a way to share ideas about teaching, practicing as well as inspirations and humor.
Click HERE to learn more about Pinterest.
Hi! It's me, Heather. I absolutely love working on the Music for Young Violinists project and all the many facets: blogging, website, music, teaching materials, freebies, videos, newsletter and giveaway contests. The best part is connecting with you so feel free to drop me a line. You can learn more about me on the "ABOUT" page. Thanks!