Violin Beginner I

Violin Beginner I: Week #6

List of Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up: String Crossings

  • Scale: A Scale in time with single notes

  • Technique: N/A

  • Repertoire: French Folk Song Third Phrase

Summary

Work on playing the scale in rhythm with one beat of rest in between each note with no pause going down the scale. Keep those rests long to prepare your next note in the beginning of the rest and don't rush!

We also learned the last phrase of French Folk Song this week. The last phrase is basically a descending A major scale with a little tag at the end. As we discovered in class it's tough to keep to focus up the whole way through the song. The solution is to really keep practicing phrase by phrase and commit each section to your muscle memory. The notes for the last phrase are

A G# F# E D C# B A B A

Assignment for next week

This week’s assignment is to be able to comfortably play the last phrase and put together the whole piece.

How to Practice this at home

Review the descending A Scale in single notes 3 - 5 times cleanly
Practice the last phrase (Descending A scale with “fancy ending”) 3 - 5 times cleanly
Put together all three phrases once or twice with two beats of rest in between each half of each phrase.

Charts + Sheet Music + Diagrams

Ginger DoldenComment
Violin Beginner I: Week #5

List of Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up: String Crossings

  • Scale: A Scale

  • Technique: N/A

  • Repertoire: French Folk Song Second Phrase

Summary

This week we learned the second phrase for French Folk Song, which is a sequence phrase. The notes are

A   B   C# l  A  B   C# l A  B   C# l  D -- -- l B C# D l B C# D l B C# D l E -- -- l

Keep reviewing your string crossings, A scale and even Bow and Violin holds. It’s really important to keep working to make these things second nature.

Assignment for next week

This week’s assignment is to be able to comfortably play through the second phrase of French Folk Song.

How to Practice this at home

Practice the first part of the first sequence (A   B   C#) 3 times on its own
Next, practice putting that together three times in a row (A   B   C#, A   B   C#, A   B   C#) 3 times
Next practice the full first half of the second phrase with the resolution to D) 3 times
(A   B   C#, A   B   C#, A   B   C#, D -- -- )
Repeat this process with the second half of the phrase.
Once this is done. Put this phrase together once or twice with the first phrase with two beats of rest in between each half of each phrase.

Charts + Sheet Music + Diagrams

Ginger DoldenComment
Violin Beginner I: Week #4

List of Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up: Bowing on A and E

  • Scale: A Scale

  • Technique: String Crossings

  • Repertoire: French Folk Song (First Phrase)

Summary

This week we learned the A Major Scale on the violin. With scales, we play all the notes of the musical alphabet in order ascending then descending
(A B C# D E F# G# A - A G# F# E D C# B A).

A Major Scale.png
 


We also learned the first phrase of French Folk Song which is the piece we'll be performing at the recital in March. Remember to practice in small chunks before adding things together. The notes for the first phrase are

l A A A G# G# G# F# G# A E -- -- l D D D C# C# C# B A B A -- -- l

Assignment for next week

This week’s assignment is to be able to cleanly play through the A Major Scale and the first phrase of French Folk Song.

How to Practice this at home

Scale Practice the scale up and back 3 times per practice session saying the notes that you are playing out loud, making sure that you are going in alphabetical order (A B C# D E F# G# A - A G# F# E D C# B A)
French Folk Song: Practice each half of the first phrase 3 - 5 times correctly per practice session. Once that is complete, play the whole phrase 2-3 times with 2 beats of rest in between each half.
 

Charts + Sheet Music + Diagrams

Ginger DoldenComment
Violin Beginner I: Week #3

List of Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up: Review bow hold and violin hold

  • Scale: N/A

  • Technique: Bowing

  • Repertoire: N/A

Summary


This week we learned to bow on the A string and E String and play with our first, second and third fingers on the E string. Make sure when you are bowing that you are starting off from the box position we discussed in class (Bow, forearm, upper arm and shoulders should make a square) and that the bow is moving straight across the strings. Experiment with bow speed and pressure to make a clear, clean sound. With the fingers, make sure that your left wrist is straight, that the fingers are curled around, and that the fingers are making contact with the string on their “corners” not directly on the tip or the pad.

Assignment for next week

This week’s assignment is to be able to comfortably bow on the A and E strings and to play the F# (first finger), G# (second finger) and A (third finger) on the E string.

How to Practice this at home

Bowing: Aim to get 7 - 10 clean repetitions of the E string on its own. Then, repeat this process on the A string. Once you’ve gotten your clean repetitions on each string try to get 3-5 clean repetitions moving back and forth between E and A strings.
Fingers: Walk up the finger exercise on the E string (E F# G# A - A G# F# E) 3-5 times each practice session with clean, in tune notes.

Ginger DoldenComment
Violin Beginner I: Week #2

Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up: Review Violin Hold

  • Scale: N/A

  • Technique: Bow Hold

  • Repertoire: N/A

Summary

This week we learned to bow hold. This is the first major hurdle in violin playing as the bow hold is very awkward and there’s not similar to anything else we do in everyday life. Be patient with this. It gets easier, but will take time to get used to. When you’re building your bow hold remember to:

Make sure your thumb is bent and that the back of the thumb contacts the bow hair (about where the nail meets the skin),
Keep your middle two fingers together and curl them over the stick of the bow. Your ring finger should cover the dot on the frog,
Place your index finger easily on its side between the middle and top knuckle Curl your pinky around and place it on the stick of the bow about where the frog ends. The pinky distributes the weight of the bow through the hand and controls the straightness of the bow stroke, so it's really important to have it round and sitting on top. When you let go of the bow with the left hand, feel the weight of the tip sink into the pinky and feel the pinky naturally push down to counterbalance the weight.

Assignment for next week

This week’s assignment is to get comfortable with the bow hold. Review the violin hold and playing position to continue to get comfortable with it.

How to Practice this at home

This week, follow the steps and build 7-10 bow holds. Hold the bow for a few seconds and then release the bow hold and shake out the right hand. Plan to practice at least 4 days this week (6 is ideal). Also review the violin hold 3-5 times per practice session (you can use this as a break from building bow holds).

Ginger DoldenComment
Violin Beginner I: Week #1

Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up: N/A

  • Scale: N/A

  • Technique: Parts of the Violin, Getting Into Playing Position, Holding Violin

  • Repertoire: N/A

Summary 

This week we learned the parts of the violin and worked on going from rest position into playing position and holding the violin. It’s important to know the parts of the violin as we will be constantly referring to them in class and to have the violin hold become second nature as everything will be built off of that.

Assignment for next week

This weeks assignment is to get comfortable going from rest position to playing position and to be able to hold the violin without the aid of the left hand.

How to Practice this at home

More repetitions for a short amount of time each will help you learn the most quickly. For practice this week, go through the steps to build the violin hold, drop your left hand to your side then touch your scroll, bridge, opposite shoulder and nose. Repeat this 7-10 times per night. Plan to practice at least 5 days this week (6 is ideal). If you are nervous about dropping the instrument, practice standing over a sofa or a bed.


Charts + Sheet Music + Diagrams

Ginger DoldenComment