#14824 Reply

Dianne Adkins

Mariko! I teach mainly from the Suzuki Books. I think you should go through them, even though you will probably find the first 1/2 of Book I very easy. It will allow you to cover all the beginner details you may not have covered as a self taught violinist. Around the middle of the book, you’ll do Minuets I, II, and III by Bach, very familiar and easy for you. The last piece, Gossec Gavotte will be easy with a few small fingering challenges like this piece you’ve just done.

Books II and III will present low 1s and flat 4s, other accidentals, some third position but will be pretty easy and I think you would benefit from having these pieces, though many of them are simpler, in your repertoire. They will introduce some new concepts that will come together in Book IV which starts with three Seitz Concertos that are going to be extremely challenging for you, if you don’t walk your way through previous Suzuki Books.

The supplementary material I use are mostly etude books and drill work books as they relate to a student’s particular needs. I rarely introduce supplementary material until Book IV or V because all the technique is already being covered. It really doesn’t matter what you play, but how you play it. There is technique to be sorted out, but it can all be done in the Suzuki books at your level. I do recommend that you try to memorize at least some of your performance work. There are so many benefits to memorization, and I can tell that you are reading the music in the video. Even though the music is cleverly positioned out of view and you do occasionally look up, your eyes are fixed to one spot. If you were not reading music, I would accuse you of day dreaming, but I know this is not the case. 🙂 So perhaps if you start Book I Suzuki, you could memorize as you go through. Be sure to listen to the CD that should come with the book. Listening helps memorization. Memorization trains the ear. You play better in tune and with better tone when you memorize.

Regarding music reading in this video, I should just say, it is such a small, picky thing – you’ll find I will only attend to the very pickiest things when you have done extremely well on everything else – so congratulations are indeed due to you, and I promise, never given lightly! 🙂 🙂

I tell my students I’m sorry if I forget to say well done! I am so excited when a student plays well! I am anxious to give more information and the next steps in the learning process! But you can know you did well when I change what you practiced all week into something harder. While that often frustrates a student who doesn’t know why, it is much more disappointing for them to hear me to say the same thing in a lesson that I said last week. 😉

Also, it does my ego a great good to read your words saying I have caught most of your problems just by looking. That is so second nature to me now so I’m glad you are a brave, enthusiastic person who happily submits the video and eagerly accepts the critique. You will go a long way because of this, and you already have done so since first I saw you play here on this forum just a few months back.

I checked out Concertino in G Major Opus 11 by Kuchler. This is much the same as the one you just did, maybe a little easier, so by all means, go for it! The Oskar Rieding Opus 35 is a minor key, which will be fun and technically, it is also aligned well to your skill set. With 4 movements, it should keep you busy for a couple months.

As for vibrato, for now, I would practice this separately on a tonalization exercise so you can memorize and think. When you are playing performance pieces, you don’t want to be thinking of vibrato. It should just come naturally to the performance. It is not always so. In fact, I had a student who recently entered her freshman year as a violin/ music performance major who, up to her last lesson, I was still reminding her to use vibrato! So, it is still early for you in terms of where you are in your study, but practice vibrato as a specific exercise that you watch and purposely add. Suzuki Book II has a nice exercise in G major and G minor at the beginning called ‘Tonalization’. I recommend this and we can get into more specifics about tone production and vibrato in another post.

Please don’t hesitate to continue to ask questions or request feedback. I really enjoy it!