Best of the FREEBIES is the newest offering from the Music for Young Violinists project and is a 30 page eBook collection created to celebrate the most popular M4YV FREEBIES featuring 25 pages of music and teaching materials to help you bring out the best in your music making!
Even though we may never meet in person, it thrills me to connect here with our shared love of music and all things violin. Every day the M4YV project connects musicians from all over the globe:
Australia, Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, England, Finland, France, India, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Serbia, South Africa, Turkey, United States & More!
I feel so grateful to do this because my biggest passion is to help bring more music into this world. I currently work full-time as a registered nurse, and I created the M4YV project to celebrate and archive this special part of my life. I hope that sharing my 25 years of teaching experience with you will help you advance your violin skills, support your young musician(s), and deepen your knowledge of violin pedagogy.
When writing this (December 23, 2021), this project hosts:
If you are ordering this collection on the M4YV store, you will be signed up for the newsletter, will be the first to know when a new FREEBIE is posted, and on a special email list that gets announcements about flash sales. You will also be notified of innovative teaching and practice tips available on both my blog and video series to help keep your music-making inspired so you can reach your goals!
Happy Music Making in 2022!!!
We have 2 more versions of the Jig for Fun:
D Major & Viola (+ a duet coming soon)
Thank you to an awesome violin teacher in Perth, Australia, for suggesting this. I love hearing from you, and when time permits, I am so happy to honor requests such as this one to transcribe the Jig for Fun. Thanks for the encouragement and for making more music in this world!!!
Are you interested in more fiddle music?
I have many collections of sheet music HERE and will share some of my fiddle tutorial videos below.
More Fiddle Fun:
It was one of those weekends where I was going to post this three days ago (and the day got busy), then two days ago (again, a busy day), and then one day ago - phew, ever have one of those experiences?
Forgive me in advance if I missed typos or do some weird grammar; I decided that done is better than perfect and gave myself a 15-minute challenge to get this posted and out to you.
This Flash FREEBIE is a fiddle tune - yay, and can be downloaded below for the next 24 hours.
You can also check out the store to take advantage of the final days of the annual Back to School Sale, where all sheet music is 50% off regular prices.
Happy Music Making!
PS - If you missed it, here is the last post that shares my puppy and the gift I send in the mail with w/every order.
This FREEBIE was only posted for 24-hours, sorry if you missed it.
Be sure to get on the email list to learn about the next flash FREEBIE.
On September 11, 2001, I was scheduled for my 1st day of teaching at the Levine School of Music in Arlington, Virginia. Earlier that day, I was at a faculty meeting for a different school when the news of the planes flying into the Twin Towers hit. I remember a colleague brushing it off but intuitively knew something was not right. As I headed from that meeting towards what was supposed to be my 1st-day teaching, another plane hit the Pentagon in Arlington, VA, and all plans for normalcy were suspended indefinitely. I headed back to my apartment in Maryland and bought a TV to watch the news and understand what was happening.
That was 20 years ago and a defining moment in our nation's history. The Flash FREEBIE being shared today is titled Annabelle and Toby. It was composed from this period in my teaching career and comes from the Music for 4 Violin, Volume 1 collection. It's a neat piece because it combines multiple playing levels, features an accessible 3rd position part (fun for the player new to this skill), flashy technique (like left-hand pizzicato), and is easy to memorize. Students absolutely LOVE THIS PIECE!
Scroll down to download the file for the next 24-hours.
Warm-Up Routines for Violin (tutorial video & PDF chart) uses a simple but powerful open string exercise to learn 13 different technical exercises for beginning, intermediate, and advanced level violin.
This resource is for both teachers and students. Teachers can use this to help create a framework of goals to help their students advance the quality of their music-making while developing technique and tone production. This resource is also designed for students to identify what level they are at and take responsibility for ensuring they accomplish the expectations that should be studied at that level.
By the end of this tutorial you will learn:
1- Why it is so important to do this warm-up, holding on to the edge of the violin even if you are no longer a beginner.
2- Another reason why every violin teacher should purchase a roll of painter's tape (seriously, this stuff has no end of useful purposes & you will thank me later).
3- A weird but super cool way to use the violin to play the bow (yep, that's not a typo, you read that correctly).
Watch the tutorial video below and download the free accompanying PDF chart on the M4YY FREEBIES page.
Learn more about the "Violin Teaching Supplies - From a Hardware Store" video referenced in the Warm-Up Routines for Violin tutorial below.
Learn more about the "Tiger Paws & Table Corners" technicals also referenced in the Warm-Up Routines for Violin video below.
Scroll down for a new, 2-page G Major arpeggio study, free PDF download.
This will be the 1st in a series of 4 new arpeggio FREEBIES, and I am confident whether you are a beginner or a veteran teacher, you will find something new in these resources to help you bring out the best in your music-making.
Arpeggios are beautiful just as they are, but even more rewarding is that we learn pieces faster when we devote practice time to our arpeggios.
Because arpeggios are the "ingredients" that make music, think of arpeggios as the tomatoes and music as the spaghetti sauce.
To celebrate this new series of FREEBIES, all of the M4YV arpeggio and scale sheet music collections will be 60% off from now thru the end of the month:
One Octave Scale and Arpeggios for Violin
One Octave Scale and Arpeggios for Viola
13 Bowing Patterns for Scales
7 Bowing Studies for Beginning Violin
Hello & Happy Friday!
Enjoy a flash FREEBIE of this great fiddle tune arranged for 2 violins & beginning level.
Scroll down to access.
This duet is one of the selections in the Fiddle Duets collection.
Click HERE to view the entire collection and see the advanced arrangement of this tune.
This tune will be taken down in 24 hours.
Sorry, you missed this flash FREEBIE but you can join the newsletter list (sign-up on the Home Page and/or order the Free Welcome Packet) to learn about the next time one is posted. This duet is available in the Fiddle Duets collection and there are hundreds of free downloads always available on the M4YV FREEBIES page.Thanks! Heather
Sorry, this FREEBIE was only available for 24-hours. Please join the M4YV mailing list to learn about the next flash FREEBIE. Thanks!
Enjoy another Friday flash FREEBIE fiddle tune posted on the M4YV blog (scroll down to access the file & a slow, practice video)
This will only be up for 24 hours and was taken from the Fiddle Duets sheet music collection. Friendly reminder that the 50% fiddle music and fun stuff sale is almost done and will be going on thru February.
Happy music making!
Thank you so much for being a part of the Music for Young Violinists project!
I have a free gift for you to say "Thank you!" and help you stay focused and encouraged when reaching your dreams & goals.
Click on the image below to access your Rainbow Goal Setting Sheets for $0.00 for the next 24 hours.
"A dream without a plan is just a wish."
This resource will only be available as a FREEBIE for 24 hours.
Need more inspiration?
Bookmark the ever-growing Music for Young Violinists FREEBIES page.
This gets updated frequently, and I do not always get a chance to update the newsletter list with added content.
Free sample of the A Major bowing patterns and 50% off sale of the entire collection only available thru Sunday, November 8, 2020.
Students need repetition to master any skill.
The studies in 13 Bowing Patterns for Scales + Harmony are perfect for creating a structure for this success and will benefit the beginning-intermediate level violin player in the following ways:
How to Use the Bowing Patterns:
1st - Do the bowing pattern in the air while singing the scale.
2nd- Play on the violin, mastering one pattern at a time. Do not go on to a new pattern until you are consistently successful with the previous pattern. Some students find it easier to start with the patterns on the second page.
3rd- March a quarter note beat while air bowing and singing the scale.
4th- Play on the violin while marching the quarter note beat.
Need something fun & modern with harmonics & double-stops?
Keep scrolling to download The Willamette, a modern fiddle duet, available as a free download for the next 48 hours.
You may recognize this sheet music as the artwork in the Music for Young Violinists newsletter headers.
Players love this piece because it is so catchy.
Teachers love this piece because of all the technique hiding inside.
Everything in the Music for Young Violinists store is still 50% off as a part of the annual back to school sale. Sale ends September 26.
Happy Music Making!
The M4YV FREEBIES page has been getting organized and is growing!
If you have not recently visited this page of 130+ free downloads, you may enjoy some recent additions, including:
Rainbow Scales for Violin & Viola -
Use these LARGE sized musical staff charts with students to help learn note names and use them as a reference and color in the half notes for fun. Many of us are looking for distance ways of connecting with our students right now, and these free charts are perfect for beginners to study the musical staff. Get creative with how you use these and please send me a picture of your ideas at email@example.com.
Samples from the Double-Stop Études (Violin & Viola)
The most recent additions to the Music for Young Violinists project include Double-Stop Études for violin and viola titled: 5 Progressive Double-Stop Études for Violin and Viola, composed by Heather Figi. Several resources from these collections made their way to the FREEBIES page, including:
1- Interval Charts (in color and black and white) - This is another fantastic activity to email to your students for distance learning. The black and white version is unlabeled so students can study the intervals and write in what interval is represented by themselves.
2- New Spring for 2 Violins - This duet contains double-stops and is also transcribed for solo instruments.
3- Preparatory Exercises the 5 Progressive Double Stop Études (Alto Clef) - Each 4-8 measure section correlates to a longer étude. Some students will be able to learn all 5 in a week, and other students will need more time to learn the 5 preparatory exercises. Do not move on to the full études until these five preparatory exercises are mastered.
In this post you will learn what a double-stop for the violin is, the top 5 benefits of using double-stops and be able to download free double-stop PDF printables for beginner-advanced level violin.
Double-stops on the violin are when two notes are played simultaneously and part of what makes the violin repertoire so thrilling, gorgeous, and sublime. See the image below for an example of how this would appear in a score.
The term "double-stop" is a bit of a misnomer and can be confusing because nothing is actually stopping in the verb sense of the word stop (i.e., to cease or end). The term double-stop makes more sense when we think of "stop" as a noun referring to a location such as a bus stop. For violinists, the location refers to pitches on the fingerboard.
When a request for more double-stop content from the M4YV project came to my inbox, I was an instant YES due to my captivation with this aspect of violin playing. I love double-stops so much that they are one of the reasons I play the violin!
Double-stops are not hard, but they are different than playing on a single string. For some of the players here, it will be a new technique, which makes this the perfect time to remind us that new does not equal difficult, but without the proper mindset, new can be interpreted as feeling difficult.
Keep reading to learn the 5 benefits of double-stops on the violin.
The Top 5 Benefits of Double-Stops on Violin:
1- Improved intonation:
Double stops help to hear pitches in relationship to each other, and this process leads to better intonation because intervals are more evident in the ear.
2- Learning block fingerings:
Double-stops require using "block fingerings," where two fingers are placed on the fingerboard simultaneously. Block fingerings are more sophisticated than using a single finger at a time and help to develop skill.
3- Better understanding of whole & half steps:
Double-stops fortify an understanding of whole and half steps because when using block fingerings, the fingers will feel the proportions of a whole and half step in relation to each other.
4- Advanced bow control:
In the same way that double-stops require the left hand to use two fingers at a time, the right hand also needs to double it's playing requirements by refining it's control over two strings simultaneously. When we begin playing the violin, we work with focus to play just a single string at a time. When we start learning double stops, we exert focus to play two strings together with control and precision.
5- Advanced repertoire:
The most magnificent repertoire composed for the violin uses double-stops, including but not limited to: J.S. Bach's 6 Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin, concerto cadenzas, and mesmerizing fiddle playing. Check out the videos below for some amazing examples of double-stops in violin repertoire.
Scroll down a bit on the page to find these FREEBIES to help learn and play double-stops.
What are your favorite double-stop compositions?
Please share in the comments below.
Download 2, PDF printable charts on the FREEBIES page (click here) to learn music theory intervals. The rainbow-colored interval chart lists the names of the intervals and makes a great studio poster. The black and white chart is unlabeled and perfect for printing out for students to have them write in the names of the intervals.
Should students be able to play better than their teachers?
This is a lofty goal, but a fun challenge that propels me forward and is the impetus of the newest resource from Music for Young Violinists:
One Octave Scales and Arpeggios
It all started when I was 13 years old & my teacher said to me "if I am doing my job right, you should be able to play better than I did at your age." I was stunned because it never occurs to you to advance higher than your teacher.
Years later when I started teaching, I took this concept to heart and was determined to advance my students in a more streamlined way than I learned. I view this as a part of the continuum of humanity. As we discover how the brain works and how myelin is developed, then theoretically, we should be able to produce better students than ourselves.
That is why I created the One Octave Scales and Arpeggios resource for beginning-intermediate level students.
I found my students learning Bach & Vivaldi concertos (Suzuki Book 4 level) and ready for a full, 3-octave scale system to add to their curriculum. However, in my experience even if a student was learning repertoire at this level, their ear had not yet been trained to hear the arpeggio progression so they would struggle with both the learning of correct notes and the advanced shifting required in the upper octaves.
There had to be a better way to teach this and this is what led to the creation of the One Octave Scale and Arpeggios resource. This resource helps build a solid foundation by concentrating on the first octave of the arpeggio progressions so the student can master the aural template and basic finger patterns before embarking on more advanced octave/shifting work.
One Octave Scales and Arpeggios for Violin is a 31 page eBook designed to give beginning-intermediate level violin players a solid foundation in both scales and arpeggios. Features include:
A peak behind the scenes of the latest M4YV collection:
With so many resources on the world wide web, it's hard to know where to start. Below is a list of my 5 favorite free violin sheet music websites (+ a bonus).
1- Violin Sheet Music:
Why I Like? This website has it all (and lots of it). Peruse the wide variety of classical, celtic, children's and more. Also, many downloads have both the violin and piano part.
2 - Violin Online:
Why I Like? They have simplified versions of Vivaldi's Four Seasons for 2 violins. Start playing Vivaldi's Spring today in the key of D major and work up to playing in E major (see #3 for accessing this).
3 - Mutopia:
Why I Like? The Mutopia Project touts 2,124 pieces of music that are "free to download, modify, print, copy, distribute, perform, and record – all in the Public Domain or under Creative Commons licenses, in PDF, MIDI, and editable LilyPond file formats" I started using this site because it has all 4 of Vivaldi's Four Seasons (both parts and scores).
4- The Violin Case:
Why I Like? One and two octave major and minor scale sheets that are easy to read and include broken thirds.
5- Capotasto Music:
Why I Like? A neat variety of sheet music that is professionally formatted in an easy to read size and with violin specific key signatures. I bring this up since many free sheet music sites do not have quality formatting or offer pieces with 5 flats in the key signature which is less than ideal for string players.
Bonus - Did you know that the Music for Young Violinists project also has free sheet music? I would love to share my ever-growing FREEBIES page with you (107 free downloads to date) and share a free Welcome Packet with you.
Why I Like? The M4YV page includes not just violin sheet music but helpful things to support the music process like practice charts, flash cards, learning resources, motivational quotes and fun things like violin coloring sheets.
24 hours only!
It has become a tradition here at Music for Young Violinists to feature fiddle music in the month of February. It started many years ago in my teaching studio as a way to add a little joy & shine into our lives here in the Pacific-Northwest during the sun-less winter.
For 24 hours, help yourself to this free fiddle duet called The Willamette. This piece is featured in the collection from M4YV called Fiddle Duets.
The tune is named after the Willamette River (pronounced will-am-ette) which runs through the city I live in. The Willamette River is a major tributary of the Columbia River, accounting for 12 to 15 percent of the Columbia's flow. The Willamette's main stem is 187 miles long, lying entirely in northwestern Oregon in the United States.
Click on the red letter "A" below to get a PDF of this tune for free. If you happen to have missed the 24-hour FREEBIE window, you can still purchase this tune in the M4YV store.
The only thing that is fair in this world is that we each get 24 hours a day. It's what you do with these hours that can help propel you towards your goals (or away).
I was recently challenged to track my time in 15-minute intervals for 7 days and created this PDF to help me do this. I want to share this time tracking sheet here because I know many of you dream big and would benefit from an inventory of your time. One thing that I hope to get out of this challenge is a "reality check" for how much time I spend on social media and checking the news. Hopefully, the awareness I glean from tracking my time motivates me to spend my precious time in ways that are more aligned to my goals and values.
To access this free PDF download, visit the Music for Young Violinists FREEBIES page (scroll down quite a ways to get to the 15-minute time tracker PDF).
Scroll down to the end to enter the giveaway contest.
What is a bucket board?
In short, a bucket board structures a way to create a culture of kindness by acknowledging those around you with notes of support.
I work in a dialysis clinic - and yes, if you are new here, you read that correctly, I am both a nurse and musician (you can learn more about my interesting journey from one to the other here if you are curious). Working in healthcare can get stressful at times because lives are at stake and resources are limited. Our managers decided to install a bucket board to help us acknowledge our co-workers for all their numerous acts of kindness done in the day.
A bucket board works like this:
A bulletin board is installed in a central location and each staff member gets a little "bucket" (or bag or envelope) with their name on it. Next to the board is a table with paper, pens and funny memes. Co-workers can write notes of gratitude and encouragement to each other and leave the note in the "bucket."
Bucket boards are for any group where people come together for a common cause - your violin studio, community center, school, family, place of worship, etc...
The bucket board concept is part of the bucket fillers movement started in 2006 with a mission to "help all ages grow in kindness, self-control, resilience, and forgiveness, all leading to a happier life. They do this by using the metaphor of a bucket to explain where we keep these positive feelings and experiences."
They self-describe their movement as being "a new twist on the Golden Rule." Through their books, presentations, and website, they explain "we all carry an invisible bucket in which we keep our good thoughts and feelings. When our buckets are full, we are happy; when they are empty, we are sad. It’s important to know that we can fill our own bucket and so can others. We can also dip into it."
They go on to describe on their website:
“Bucket fillers are those who help without being asked, give hugs and compliments, and generally spread their love and good feelings to others. The simple metaphor of a bucket helps even preschoolers understand the importance of consideration and love, particularly towards those who bully. People who “dip” into our bucket often rob us of happy feelings by refusing to help with a task or by saying or doing cruel things."
Their website, Bucket Fillers 101 shares 9 different publications, mostly geared towards youth but the themes are universal to all ages. You can learn more about this movement to increase kindness, access free downloads and gain inspiration on their website HERE.
Notes of Kindness - Violin & Music
Visit the Music for Young Violinists store to access a collection of violin & music themed notes of kindness to use in your violin teaching studio.
No one is immune from the human experience which means that everyone has challenges. A bucket board creates a system to share support with others and uplift them.
Have an idea for spreading kindness? Let us know in the comments below. 5 entries will be chosen at random to receive a $30 M4YV gift certificate.
Winners will be chosen on January 31
Are you inspired to start a bucket board for your studio, classroom, home, place of work or community center? This can be done easily and does not necessarily need buckets.
The term "bucket board" can be a bit of a misnomer because you can also create this with envelopes, gift bags or any other container that can hold notes of kindness. You can even learn how to make a paper bucket from Bucket Fillers 101.
Download FREE bucket fillers on the FREEBIES page and purchase violin themed bucket fillers for $5 at the Music for Young Violinists store.
Click on the "Bucket Boards" button below to view my Pinterest board on these:
Download the notes of kindness posted below + 6 more designs on the FREEBIES page to help start a bucket board in your violin studio.
“A dream without a plan is just a wish.”
Dream Trees help you slow down and create the life you want. You can use these beautiful sheets to define your dreams and map them into actionable goals. Plus, many of the designs in the Dream Trees collection are infused with sacred geometry to help your soul remember higher truths. Learn more below.
I developed some bad habits in nursing school and yes, you read that correctly and yes you are in the right place. This really is a project about playing/teaching/loving the violin. It’s a long story (click here to get a glimpse) but at the heart of it, I believe we heal through our passions and I hope to merge the world of healthcare with the arts.
Before this new career in nursing, I spent 23 teaching music, performing and composing. Music is still my passion and I work on this project whenever I get some free time to help me stay connected to this love. I don't have all the answers but I believe that music is an essential component of humanity living more peacefully so I have made it my mission to help bring more music into the world.
Back to my nursing story, even though I graduated nursing school in June 2019, I immediately plunged into preparing for the national licensing exam (aka the NCLEX), finding a job and then training for this intricate and exciting new job as a dialysis nurse. It's been intense and my health and long term goals took a back seat.
I am just starting to get settled from all of these changes and sat down recently with my fancy new Passion Planner and a cup of dark coffee (my favorite). I purchased this particular planner because it comes with goal mapping tools. However, there was one problem, they are not beautiful. I believe beauty connects us to truth and wanted this to be incorporated with my goal setting so I developed the Dream Trees.
I know that if you are a musician you have a special type of passion for working on making your dreams come true so I thought these would be perfect to share with this group.
Scroll down for examples of how to use Dream Trees.
Visit the FREEBIES page to download a sample.
View the entire collection on the store.
Who doesn't love solving a mystery???
I removed the pitches from 3 popular holiday pieces and left the rhythms for my students to solve the mystery of what pieces these are. These are a really fun way to enforce rhythm reading skills, celebrate the holiday season and keep lessons and group classes fresh with new ways to learn. The 3 pieces are Jingle Bells, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer & Ode to Joy.
Also here on the M4YV FREEBIES page are some complements to the Holiday Joy! collections for Violin and Viola. First is Ding, Dong Merrily on High. I love this piece and forgot to put this melody only version into the newly revised Holiday Joy! sheet music collection. My mistake is your gain because it is now offered here for everyone on the FREEBIES page.
Next is a contemporary arrangement of The First Noel for 3 Violins. When I revised the holiday & Christmas music collection, I wavered about putting this trio arrangement of the First Noel in it. I enjoy the higher range expressed in the top line and a slightly modern interpretation of the harmony, but it does not fit with the rest of the arrangements in the collection. I decided to keep it and offer it here and get your feedback - feel free to let me know how this works for you (here is my email address). A version of just The First Noel melody is available in the Holiday Joy! collection.
Ode to Joy for VIOLA and VIOLIN (D Major) are the newest FREEBIES from Music for Young Violinists.
Spread some "JOY" to others and re-post this, email your studio or pin to Pinterest!
There is some new music here at M4YV and to celebrate the first viola collection (yes you read that correctly - VIOLA) I added this all-time favorite tune here on the FREEBIES page to literally "spread the joy."
Ode to Joy is now featured in 3 different M4YV collections:
Good news if you are clicking on this today (May 3-5, 2019) because I always celebrate new music with flash sales. You can get all three collections together as a bundle (click here) for $20 (normally $30) or the viola collection for $5 (normally $18).
Someone asked me recently what brought me joy. After 2 weeks (seriously, I had to really think about this), I found my answers:
I thought more deeply about joy, and it's role in our lives last summer when both ends of the joy spectrum weaved thru my life. Read more about that here.
What brings you joy?
Please share in the comments below, thanks!
Nervous before your performance?
Say the alphabet backward in your mind to help regain a sense of calm. Scroll down to learn the limitations of this trick (and how to work around this) and watch a short video explaining why this works.
Basically, without using what I call the "$100 fancy medical-science words" (which I feel qualified to joke about after going to nursing school), we can explain our brain as being like a bunch of networks, or pathways if you will.
I like to visualize these pathways as being similar to spaghetti. When the brain is calm, all the spaghetti line up in a row and are organized. When the mind is anxious (like before a violin recital), the brain pathways get scrambled up like a plate of cooked noodles. Here are my visuals:
This is why it is so important to plan at least one relaxing activity for yourself (or your violin students) before giving a recital. I make this a part of the lesson, and the student declares what they want to do that will relax them, and I stress to the parent how important this is to the success of the student performing.
Next, it helps to have a few tricks to calm performance nerves immediately before a performance which is where the backward alphabet comes in. I have even done this as a group activity with all students together before we start our recital and it's fun, gets the mind free from mustering up fears about the performance and calms the performer down.
However, the problem with this trick is that once the brain starts to learn the pattern of a backward alphabet this trick no longer works. Fear not, indeed any word, name or phrase will work for this performance anxiety relieving tip. Below are some other words backward to demonstrate.
Have a tip to help relieve performance anxiety?
Please share in the comments below. Thanks!
Sometimes all it takes to freshen up your practice routine is a new practice chart. You can use these to help support goals and either mark on with a pen/pencil/crayon/marker or use a sticker.
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!