I am happy to announce that I have only ONE more song to “try out” on my students before finalizing my new book; The Beginning Violinist. I am very excited to be in these final stages and want to let you know how you can prepare your students, and share some comments from mine!
Here are the skills you can be working on with your students so that they are ready to begin the first songs in The Beginning Violinist. (I usually use rhythm and note cards to practice these concepts):
- Hold the violin correctly between their chin and shoulder
- Be able to identify the name of each open string on the staff and pluck it at sight
- Be able to tap and say quarter note and 8th note rhythms in a steady beat
Once a student can accurately and consistently perform these skills The Beginning Violinist will provide repertoire that puts these two concepts together.
I would like to share some comments from current students using the repertoire from The Beginning Violinist.
“I have enjoyed listening to my daughter play the compositions from The Beginning Violinist . She has learned three songs: Cat Walk, Bird Song, and Tiger Dance. While listening to her play, I realized she did not stumble through the songs, but quickly responded to these creative, one-string arrangements with competence and confidence. My other daughters [under a previous teacher] started out on songs that used two open strings. Comparing the different musical beginnings of my daughters, I appreciate these one-string compositions to facilitate a student’s focus on learning their notes and rhythms.
I saw my daughter enjoy listening to the sounds she produced from using Dr. Williams’ songs. Since she was working only one string within each song, she had the capability to combine her new found skill with her imagination while playing (for example, she smiled while playing Cat Walk because she could “see” what the cat was doing!).
I have seen my daughter learn notes by sight more quickly than my other daughters who had a different educational approach. [The repertoire of The Beginning Violinist] has allowed my daughter to gain the ability to blend her notes and rhythms on three strings with agility.”
“As an adult, absolute beginning violin student, I really appreciate learning all of the open strings of my instrument at once. I feel learning this way opened the door of available music much wider. These selections allowed me to experience the entire finger board of my instrument. The selections also provided experience in different techniques as well. I would highly recommend them to complete the beginning violin experience.”
~Nancy (adult student)
“I like the idea of teaching all open strings [to start]. I think it lays a good foundation knowing what the open strings should sound like, and also they can help later on when playing a note that is an open string note and you are trying to make sure it is in tune. I also like the idea of learning all four fingers together because it helps me learn what my hand should feel like when playing finger patterns.
I like how the pieces [in The Beginning Violinist] introduce and incorporate a lot of concepts at once. Like in March Medieval there are the accent marks, staccato, slurs, and dynamics. At first it was challenging, but when I started to get the hang of it I felt that I had really accomplished something.
I think [the songs] have contributed to my learning in the fact that I’m using more strings than just A & E and that gives me a feeling of being more competent with the instrument. When I first started lessons I considered my musicianship nonexistent. Now I feel proud of my accomplishments in my musicianship as a late learner in life.”
~Emily (college adult student)