‘There is no instrument whose absolute mastery at a later period presupposes such meticulous care and exactitude in the initial stages of study as does the violin.’
(Leopold Auer, 1921, Violin Playing As I Teach It)
I quote Leopold Auer because it is from reading his book that I have formed one of my core beliefs that dedication and a meticulous approach to learning are required when teaching a student the foundations to becoming a great player. I teach violinists the technique required for a lifelong enjoyment of learning, rather than a survival method of teaching to simply ‘get through’ the next level.
Violin Time Book 2 aims to assist teachers in helping to develop students’ understanding of shifting and reading in the second and third position. Understanding the relationship between notes (either a tone or semitone) is of vital importance in assisting students to position their fingers correctly on the fingerboard. This enables students to ascertain the correct finger patterns based on the key signature and position.
This book introduces spiccato, hook stroke and ricochèt bowing. It also introduces vibrato and includes a range of exercises to develop students’ left hand. The latter pieces in the book provide an opportunity for students to colour the notes through the use of vibrato, phrasing and expression. Violin Time Book 2 also introduces 2 octave major, melodic and harmonic minor scales ranging from 1st through to 3rd position in a variety of basic keys.
I believe that when learning the violin, creativity and self-expression are of vital importance to creating a well- rounded player. This is why I strongly urge students to develop their improvisation skills by composing their own tunes in the ‘Your Turn To Compose’ sections. Composition and improvisation fosters the artistic expression within each student and further develops a student’s love and appreciation for music.
I feel that for a student to learn to the best of his/her ability, it is important for them to have actively supervised practice at home, with a parent or guardian. For this reason, I have included notes for each piece explaining to parents the purpose of each piece and some pointers on how they can assist their child in learning. Most of the pieces have piano accompaniment available which can be accessed through the website.
I believe that musically educated children can develop a broader understanding and love for their fellow neighbor. I feel that when children learn music, they also learn to appreciate the various roles that music plays in our society from worship, to enjoyment, to meditation and reflection, and to serious study.
Through the study of music, children can develop a deeper cultural understanding of the way that music
influences the individual and how it can play a special part in other people’s lives. It is for this reason that
I became a music teacher. The love of music urges me to make a positive contribution to educating children. It is my belief that children who sing and play music together, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion and/or ethical beliefs, are children who can learn to love one another. This is my message as a music educator.