One hesitates to use the phrase “female composer," which smacks of sexism and all the old prejudices that women have struggled to overcome. And yet, from the perspective of a violin teacher and someone who collects and evaluates these materials, it does seem to be that a number of very good composers—who happen to be female—have created a number of sets of important contemporary works in violin pedagogy. Barbara Barber, Amy Barlowe, Lisa Berman, Janice Tucker Rhoda, Kirsten Wartberg, and Lynn Latham come to mind. And now recently, another composer has come to my attention with a set of three books which are must-haves for violin teachers....
The composer/violin teacher Heather Figi has given me permission to cite snippets from the three books she has available online for download. This is truly beautiful, interesting and helpful material which I am looking forward to sharing with my students in the coming years.
This material is very rich, and there is so much of it, so I have limited the examples to five, two duets and a trio from the Twinkle book, and one each from each of the I Came Here to Play volumes. Each book has a "Compose Your Own" section at the end, where the melody is given with blank staffs for students to write their own music. And in Vol. 2, the sections of Twinkle in the styles of Copland, Mozart and Vivaldi are quite remarkable.
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