Welcome to your online lesson notes page Laura!

Grade 4 Scales

Flip a coin: heads is slurred, tails is separate bows.

For scales in C, start with 2nd finger in 2nd position; for scales on E, start with 2nd finger in 4th position.

Mon 21st Sep 2020

Vibrato exercise

  • Start with a high violin, then slide the hand up and down the fingerboard by closing and opening the elbow. Then make the movement progressively smaller until you land in 1st position.
  • Use a slow, full bow.


  • Start with a relaxed left hand and aim for a constant light vibrato.
  • Here are two vibrato champions – watch their left ands!
An old great, Jascha Heifetz.
And a modern violinist who plays lots of Romantic repertoire (music starts at 3:15)
  • Keep an eye on how straight your bow is – this will help with the next point:
  • How clean can you make it? Listen to the sound – is your bow crossing the strings cleanly and is your tuning pure (yes, it IS important!! The head of strings at my music college once told us tuning is the one thing you can’t get away with in an audition! If you’re out of tune, you’ve lost the job straight away!)
  • Take a quiet moment to look through the piece for dynamics. Play it through once each practice JUST for dynamics.

Air de Ballet

Start looking at this, but read the lightbulb at the bottom of the page first!

Mon 14th Sep 2020


  • I have written which position to play Cs and Es in on the list above.
  • Think in halves of octaves to help with thinking ahead.
  • Close eyes to concentrate if you need to.

Viva Vibrato

  • Revise what you had done before and keep going!

Down By the Riverside

  • Press play on this track and follow the music through to see where we have rhythms together:
  • Get ready to play – little finger curved, violin up, first notes ready – then press play. Remember the staccatos!
  • Check last week’s notes to see if you can improve any of those points even more.

Baklanova Romance

  • Check last week’s notes.
  • Try to start your first note smoothly, in the mood of the piece.
  • Practice bars 7-10 for tuning and rhythm.
  • Practice 19-38 for bowing. Maybe try to memorise the bowing?

Mon 7th Sep 2020

Baklanova Romance

Before you start:

  • Violin up nice and high, so your left elbow can swing freely.
  • Play EFA so your first 3 notes are ready.
  • Don’t forget it starts on a down bow!


  • Slow crotchets in bars 8 and 44.
  • F naturals from bar 16.
  • Spend a few minutes working on the bowing (especially slurs) between 29 and 38.
  • B flats from bar 50

Down by the Riverside

  • Don’t forget the rests!
  • Full length minims in 17, 25 and 33.
  • In 18, 26 and 34 – make sure the crotchets are on beats 3 and 4.
  • Practice 20-23 for the top notes in 21 and 23.
  • Play along with this track if you’d like to play it as a violin duet with me!

Wed 4th Mar 2015

Your first violin lesson! 😄🎻

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