From guest musician & teacher Heather Braden:
Would you like to add some extra fun and joy to your teaching? Do you believe that learning to read music should be enjoyable? If so, we are on the same page, and I am thrilled to share that my books of Mystery Songs have been released to the world.
I found my students unenthusiastic about reading random notes and open string rhythms every week, so I spiced it up and helped them see the "why" of the random note drills. Students can apply their basic note-reading skills to identify well-known songs.
Mystery Songs invite play and intrigue into learning to read music. They bring joy to all involved in this journey as parents and friends are invited to join in the guessing. Students can see that the song remains a mystery if they ignore the rhythm or disregard the key signature!
Beginning with simple tunes like "Old MacDonald" and "Twinkle," the lines progress in difficulty in a methodical manner until they figure out "Chopsticks" and more difficult melodies.
There are several volumes, including one with the lines written backwards, one with the excerpts from the middle of songs, and another with those two elements combined. A Bonus Bundle is available, gifting you 101 BONUS lines - and providing you with 256 Mysteries to solve. Each volume comes with a teacher's introduction and an answer key.
If you are interested in the Bonus Bundle and would like to reach out to me personally at: firstname.lastname@example.org, I will honour a special rate until November 20th.
*$22 CAN for the Solo Instruments
*$50 CAN for the Orchestra Edition
If you want to have fun, see how many you can name from the excerpts below. Note that #18 is written backwards!
Wishing you so much fun!
Scroll down to download the file for the next 24-hours.
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!
Sorry, you missed this flash FREEBIE, but there are tons of other FREEBIES on this page:
The 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!!!
It's true; everyone who purchases from the Music for Young Violinists store gets some personalized Mail JOY from me (aka "snail mail").
Keep scrolling to see what this is and meet my 14-month old Great Dane puppy.
It's also true that I love purchasing hard copies of music on thick paper, bound in a collection (raise your hand if you love this too).
In a perfect world, we would all live next to an amazing sheet music store and could pop by anytime we want to get specific materials for beginning-intermediate level violin players. It's neat to envision that, but until this is available, it's my honor to share downloadable sheet music resources with you. These collections came from my direct experience teaching beginning-intermediate level violin players these past 25+ years and were all inspired to fill a void in the existing materials as well as celebrate advancing skill levels.
Since I love the traditional hard copies of sheet music printed on durable paper, I send every patron a piece of mini-music and some fantastic violin-themed stickers. Make a purchase at the annual 50% off Back to School Sale, going on thru the end of the month, to have these *mementos of joy show up in your mailbox.
*Puppy not included.
What's a "Bonus Bundle?"
Bonus Bundles are curated collections of similar supportive resources offered at a special price that equals 3 for the price of 2, or better!
That's more music, inspiration, and joy to support you on your music-making journey. Currently, the Music for Young Violinists project has the following 5 Bonus Bundles:
Holiday Bonus Bundle
LARGE Print Music Bonus Bundle
Fiddle Music Bonus Bundle
Teaching Bonus Bundle
Scales Bonus Bundle
Click on the links above or pics below to learn more.
Here are 2 new FREEBIES that feature the major 7 and harmonic minor 7 arpeggios. The traditional string methodology does not always add these until advanced curriculums, but I see no reason why not. They sound neat and build a bridge to more contemporary-sounding music.
These are from a 4-part arpeggio FREEBIE series.
You can access Arpeggio Study #1A & Arpeggio Study #1B at these links for a limited time
(or keep scrolling down the blog for recent entries).
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
Happy music making!
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.
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!
It's Time for Holiday Music!
Free Jingle Bells Duet for 2 Violins
Hello and warm wishes to all of you this holiday season. I hope that music is a part of what helps you express your love and connection during the holidays.
There is no shortage of ways or places to celebrate your love of music with the world and here are four ideas:
1- Learn Jingle Bell Rock by ear with this slow tutorial video.
2- Download a FREE Jingle Bells duet (it's a pretty fun arrangement with my favorite thing in the world - double stops!)
3- Get even more heart filling holiday & Christmas music with the 50% off sale on the Holiday Joy! collection.
4- For the youngest musicians, click here to learn a neat little trick to make the instrument more festive.
For the Winter/Spring 2017 free *seasonal download (available here thru June 2017) I decided to do a small collection of folk tunes. After years of being immersed in complex compositions by composers such as J.S. Bach, D. Shostakovich and C. Debussy what captures my attention now is the simplicity of folk music. I don't know why I like these so much - is it because I value simplicity in all areas of my life? I have also speculated that after doing music for so long (37 years) at this point even the most complex sounding compositions always have simple formulas behind them and I like the puzzle of trying to de-code what this simplicity is.
Probably the most unique tunes in this collection are the Icelandic folk songs. I had the opportunity to teach in Iceland one summer and loved that their folk music and children's songs were in mixed meter. This was so different than my early musical exposure and even inspired me to write a piece called Reykjavik Shines for String Quartet in 3 Movements. If mixed meter music thrills you as much as it does me then feel free to view the score of this really quartet by clicking HERE.
WHY ARE THE COUNTRIES SO LIMITED IN THIS PACKET? Maybe you wondered why I did not include more diversity in the pieces in this collection. I really wanted to and even began drafting some other tunes but the limiting logistics of time and energy were a factor. Also, certain traditions of music do not translate easily. For example, my favorite thing to do in my free time is capoeira which is a Brazilian martial art that combines music and movement. I know dozens and dozens of songs from this portion of my life but struggled to find ways of transcribing them for this little collection of folk music - maybe in the future?
WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD SOMETHING? If you have a PDF of a folk tune that is not copyrighted and would like to post it on the FREEBIES page here at Music for Young Violinists please send me an email. Sharing is fun :)
* This is the 2nd to last free seasonal download I will do. The final one will be published in Spring 2017. I would be so grateful if you passed this good news on to your friends while this opportunity exists - thanks in advance!
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!