Flip your instrument to the other side (violin on the right and bow on the left) to be a beginner again and truly understand what your students are experiencing. This is the best way I know of to assist in breaking skills down into micro progressions so that you can fully convey a concept to a student. This simple act of changing sides was a revolution to helping me improve how I taught vibrato to young children.
Hello - It has been a while since I posted here on the blog and that is because there are so many changes going on behind the scenes. I am excited to share that I will be going to Nursing School in September. In an attempt to honor, celebrate and archive all the special parts of being a violin teacher for the past 20 years I will be completing several parts of this project between now and then. Expect the following additions over the course of the summer:
NEW VIOLIN SHEET MUSIC COLLECTIONS:
1- Fiddle Duets - A collection of my favorite fiddle tune arrangements plus a couple of duets I composed in a folk-fiddle style.
2- Folk Music for Beginning Violin - 10 beautiful and simple folk tunes from around the world to help beginners grow their skills and experience the joy of playing.
3- Teacher's Toolkit - My best teaching materials inspired from 20 years of working with young musicians designed to help students practice independently and make the most of their home practice sessions.
4- Welcome Packet (FREE) - 4 Samples from Music for Young Violinists available free to all on the newsletter list and new members who sign-up.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT/PARENT SUPPORT:
I am creating 11 more videos for the Teach with PASSION series. These are short (2-5 minutes) and informal videos designed to help you re-charge your violin teaching battery and give parents of young musicians some guidance on this journey. Learn more HERE about what makes these so special.
* Blue Jello Cards giveaway coming later in July.
* Inspiring story about a local man in my area who attempted to beat the Guinness World Record for most burpees in 12 hours. He came and shared his story with my studio and I think when you learn why he did this you will feel motivated to make your dreams come true.
* Teaching Materials for SALE - I had to move out of my studio and do not have room to store things so am selling lots of great materials are low prices.
* Studio Smarts - This is a page here on the website that will be sharing some ways to run the business portion of your studio in the most streamlined manner so that you can focus as much energy and creativity as possible on your teaching.
Thanks and stay tuned for all of the exciting growth on this project this summer! Heather
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.
Dr. Victor Lin, is physiatrist with the Rehabilitation Medicine Associates of Eugene, gifted educator and parent of a talented young violinist. He created this concise presentation The Violinist Athlete and Injury Prevention specifically for teenage violinists to inform them about the potential injuries violinists are prone to getting and to offer solutions for preventing these injuries. I suggest making these videos a required viewing assignment for any of your teenage students who are practicing more than 1 hour a day to help them have healthy and long violin careers. This 2 part presentation can be viewed by clicking on the video links below along with a summary of the contents.
The Violinist Athlete and Injury Prevention, Part 1:
The Violinist Athlete and Injury Prevention, Part 2:
For a young violinist having difficulty integrating the words "down" and "up" into their playing consider substituting with the words "open" for down bows and "close" for up bows. Since the bow moves in lateral directions left and right the actual words "up" and "down" do not correlate with the motions and can be confusing to a young violinist and their parents during home practice.
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!