Welcome to your lesson notes page Mimi!
Wed 25th Nov 2020
- Warm up with a 2 octave B flat major scale. Set your standards high, as this is a grade 3 scale! Practice the scale at crotchet=63 (your notes are quavers) and the arpeggio at dotted crotchet=40. Also remember to plan ahead with your left elbow for the 4th fingers coming down the scale.
- In the piece, aim for a softer sound quality (especially the start of the piece and when you start again after rests).
- Try some gentle vibrato throughout the piece, after having done my vibrato warm-up from 11th Nov.
- Make sure your 4th fingers are ready from bar 49.
Rieding 2nd movt
- G major scale 2 octaves to warm up – this is set for grade 1 and 2!
- Remember to convey your story – calm waters and clouds approaching towards the middle.
- Add vibrato to this too.
- Focus on the dynamics, even when the piano isn’t there to prompt you!
- Again, smooth starts after every rest.
- Work on your tuning from the f in line 5.
Start the search for an alphabet piece starting with B! As promised, here’s the scales and arpeggios song from my favourite Disney film, the Aristocats! The kitten playing the piano is called Berlioz.
Wed 18th Nov 2020
Alard 2nd violin part
- Find your first note silently – 1st finger on A, 2nd finger on B flat, then replace your 2nd finger with the 1st. Then put your 3rd finger on two tones above that.
- Work in 8 or 16 bar chunks so as not to get tired. Make a note of where you got to and then start the next section the next day.
- Practice sections like the beginning by playing every other note – how smooth can you keep your bow? Then play as written and try to keep the bow just like it was before.
Wed 11th Nov 2020
Remember to try to find your starting notes as silently as possible, no matter what you’re playing.
- Warm up with a B flat major 2 8ve scale and arpeggio. How clean can you make your bowing? Use your 4th fingers.
- Now the piece – keep the mood in mind and keep it happy, light and carefree.
- Relax your bow arm and keep it flowing, smudging the bow changes.
- Practice the 2nd violin part for next lesson.
Rieding 2nd movement
- Warm up with a G major 2 8ve scale and arpeggio. Practice different slurring.
- In the piece, make sure you place your bow neatly after any rests.
- Practice the middle section the most, to get used to the accidentals.
- Before practising your Mum’s vibrato exercises, rest your fingertips on one string and lightly slide them up and down the string (remembering to keep your thumb brushing the side of the neck too).
- Gradually reduce the distance and put a tiny bit of weight on the 1st finger til you stay in place.
- Keep the movement coming from further down your arm, never from the fingertip itself.
- Repeat from step one on all fingers.
- Then give yourself a score from 1-10 for tension in your finger when you do Mum’s vib exercises. Is it improving?
- Pick a short phrase from one of your pieces to test drive your new relaxed vibrato.
Sat 7th Nov 2020
Rieding 1st movement
- I realise we jumped straight into fixing things and I forgot to tell you how much I enjoyed your play through! It was a great speed and flowed really nicely.
- Start your practice on your own – set a timer (10 or 15 minutes, based on how long you have in total) before grabbing your accompanist!
- Be your own teacher: turn on your ears and really listen carefully. If anything sounds a bit untidy, stop and go back a few bars to see if you can fix it.
- In the risoluto section, listen to make sure you are only playing the accents that are written.
- If you hear any untidy slurs, check you really know where the string crossings are.
- Spend some time working on your tuning at the top of the second page.
- Revisit your vibrato exercises and maybe you can talk me through what you’ve done next lesson?
Please send me a copy of the second movement, and I’d love to hear some more Alard next lesson.
Fri 30th Oct 2020
Scale warm-up – B flat major two octaves, using 4th fingers, with long tonics and slurred 2 beats per bow. The arpeggio too – think about left elbow swing and how your fingers move across to opposite strings. Then see if you can apply that thinking to the Alard too!
- How silently can you find your first note?
- Try to feel at home in 4th position – your left thumb can help this by resting opposite your 1st finger.
- As you change string, swing your elbow to stop your left wrist kinking.
- Keep thinking about the relationships between notes, especially in tricky sections: a tone or a semitone? Opposite or not quite? etc.
- For the chords at the end, be as gentle with the bow as possible – check it’s resting on both strings before you play the notes.
If you get time, you can start looking at the 2nd violin part too. And I’ll hear some Rieding next week! 😊
Dynamics quiz: can you work out the 5 ways to change dynamic on the violin?
Fri 23rd Oct 2020
Rieding Concerto in B minor
- Warm up with a slow 1 octave D major scale and arpeggio, then B minor scale and arpeggio. Try to drop your fingers onto the right spots first time. You can add the second octave if you feel like it!
- Notice the bars where you get your fingers in a twist and practice them carefully. Start with a few notes at a time (up to speed) then once you have got it sounding clean and in tune 3 times in a row you can add a note.
- Once you’re happy with all the difficult bits, try playing the whole thing a bit faster. Using a lighter, more flowing bow will help with this!
- A this week. Here are some ideas: Arne, Albéniz, Arnold, Albinoni, Arensky, Abreu.
Fri 23rd Oct 2020
Your first lesson with me! 😄🎻