Fri 25th Sep 2020

General reminder: left wrist down. This will help with finger tuning.

Listen to the Rhythm – Sing the song first. When playing it, careful to use a straight bow for the semibreves (bow hand out in front of you). Pick another piece in this book (using 3rd fingers).

Scales – both D and A major keys. In arpeggios, think before you start, especially about what your 2nd note is!

Fingertips – Hold last note for 4 full beats with a straight bow.

Low D High D

  • Take a moment to read pencil markings before starting;
  • Remember the 2nd half uses harmonics! Try not to take the bow off the string, so the harmonics in bars 9, 11 and 13 are on up bows.

Super Sprinter

  • Start by describing it to Mum or Dad: what note patterns are there?
  • Learn the notes – no need to worry about using the metronome yet, unless you get really good at it!

Fri 18th Sep 2020

D Major Scale – great work using the middle marker! Make sure your violin is a bit further back on your shoulder, elbow is off your side and left wrist is straight, not scrunching up against the body of the violin. Why not turn over and try the A Major scale and arpeggio too?

Fingertips – also think about your left wrist here. Again, keep up the good work!

Low D High D

  • Again, think about left wrist.
  • 3rd finger on before you start
  • Use swinging elbow to move your fingers over other strings
  • If you have trouble finding the harmonics in the 2nd half, they are exactly half way between the bridge and the nut! Hardly touch the string – it shouldn’t dip under the weight of the finger at all.

Fiddle Time Joggers

  • Work on Listen to he Rhythm in particular, and you could try singing it to help understand what’s going on in the music.
  • Also play some other pieces in the 3rd finger section for sight reading.

Here are my mandolin videos!

Friday 11th September 2020

D Major Scale – Please could you attach some string to the middle of the bow stick as described last week? This should hep Merryn stick to the upper half of the bow as the scale ascends. 2nd and 3rd fingers could be closer together.

D Major Arpeggio – Sing the note names and fingerings before playing.

Fingertips – Try to describe the patterns in the piece before you start – what is the same in each bar? And what changes, and how? Keep your eyes on the music when you’re playing!

Also try to keep the fingertips on the string as you go up the scale. If your fingers get in the way of the A string, check these things:

  • Is your violin high enough?
  • Swing your left elbow forwards;
  • Is your left wrist down? Try not to grip the violin with a tight fist;
  • Can you feel the A string under your fingers? If so, move your fingertips closer to the G string.

Start looking at Low D High D.

Travellin’ Slow

Keep looking at the music and look ahead – can you plan how to get to the next note whilst you’re waiting on a long semibreve? Always listen to whether you’re making a good sound all the way through long notes.

Hornpipe (Grade 1 book)

(Or should I say “hornpie?) 😄 We’ll start looking at this together next lesson, but why not look at the piece and talk through the things you can see and recognise? Things like the key and time signatures and whether you can spot any scales.

Merryn was quite slow and chatty today – I’d love to see her listening more next lesson and I might have to start keeping count of how many times I need to ask her to stand up! See you next week!

Friday 4th September

It was great to see Merryn in person today and she did really well! I’m assuming lessons every Friday at 4pm until half term, but let me know if anything changes.

*Try to remember to righty-tighty your bow at the start of every practice session and lefty-loosey at the end before you put it away again.

Tiptoe Boo

To help play the first bar in time, listen carefully to the first bar of the introduction and then count to 4 out loud in the second bar.

Lazy Cowboy

Listen out for any scratchy sounds and remember there are two ways to fix it – not pressing too hard with your bow, and not bowing too close to the bridge.

D Major scale

Play the minims with a whole bow and the crotchets with half a bow. You could tie a little bit of string or ribbon around the wood of the bow to use as a marker for the middle of the bow to help with this:

Remember we have F# and C# in the key signature. If you forget their names, remember Father Christmas!

Think about your right elbow lowering when you go onto the A string, then coming back up when you go back onto the D string.

D Major arpeggio

Sing it first, with note names and then with finger numbers.

Follow your D Major scale and arpeggio practice by choosing any piece from you Fiddle Time Joggers book that is in the same key (that means it shares a key signature with D Major).

31st January 2020

Merryn’s first violin lesson! 😄🎻

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