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!
Germs are everywhere! If you are a violin teacher who specializes in working with young children then germs are a reality of your professional experience. Your students are still learning and mastering the rules of hygiene, your work is hands-on and you likely serve students from multiple school populations which further increases your exposure to the bugs floating around.
But, I have good news: our brilliant bodies come equipped with both an immune system to fend off germs and a brain to help us make wise choices and develop healthy habits.
When I had my unfortunate visit to the emergency room last year from contacting pneumonia, I asked my nurse how come she did not get sick when working with ill patients all day and here was her response:
"I wash my hands before and after every patient. I wash my hands when I think about it and sometimes I wash my hands just because I am in a habit of washing my hands."
We can not control everything in life but we can wash our hands frequently to optimize our health and we can ask our students to do the same. Please remember that everything needs to be taught in life and this includes hand washing and it may be worthwhile to spend a few minutes to make sure your students are doing this properly. When the students are healthy, I am healthy and my entire studio is healthy.
To watch an intriguing TED talk about the Simple Power of Hand Washing with Myrian Sidibe click HERE.
To download the PDF sign "Thank you for washing your hands with soap and water" click HERE to get to the FREEBIES (Free Violin Sheet Music) page.
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!