Thursday, December 31, 2015

Putting Twinkle Variation A (Mississippi Stop Stop) Together with Mr. Jan

In this video, Mr. Jan will explain and demonstrate exactly how to play Twinkle Variation A! All you need to know is how to play the Flower Song and the Monkey Song! (See the notes for Flower Song and Monkey Song below!)

view on youtube here

Flower Song:
*each note is played to the rhythm, Mississippi stop stop
E- "See the Pretty Flowers" (0 fingers on E string)
F#- "Blooming in the Garden" (1 finger on E string)
E- "See the Pretty Flowers" (0 fingers on E string)
A- "Red and Green and Purple" (0 fingers on A string)

Monkey Song:
*each note is played to the rhythm, Mississippi stop stop
A- "I'm a little monkey" (0 fingers on A string)
B- "Climbing up the ladder" (1 on A string)
C#- "Climbing up so high to" (2 on A string)
D- "Reach my pink banana" (3 on A string)
D- "I'm a little monkey" (3 on A string)
C#- "Climbing down the ladder" (2 on A string)
B- "Climbing down so low to" (1 on A string)
A- "Eat my pink banana" (0 on A string)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Bow Hold, Rest Position, Playing Position

A good bow hold, violin position, and posture are essential elements to playing the violin. We spend the year developing great positions because it is such an important foundation to a growing a great violinist!

A good bow hold is important for having great tone. How to have a great bow hold:
 bend your thumb on the silver part of the frog, middle and ring finger hang over the frog, and pinky is on top!

Rest Position: violin is tucked under the bow arm (right arm) bow hangs from the finger (we call this our "finger hook") and violin arm is at your side. 

Playing Position: violin is over the shoulder!

Students have tapes on their bow- this is the section of bow that they use while playing

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Welcome Parents of First Year Violinists!

It is November 17 and you might be wondering...'what can my child practice at home? They have been playing violin for over 2 months!"

Well, in the 2 months we have spent with your child, we have been amazed at the progress they have made!

Here is what your child can do:

1. Hold their violin:
Violins are held over the shoulder, not on the chest, held up by the strength of the violinists neck
Posture: feet are a couple inches apart, both feet flat on the floor
 2. Hold their bow
bent thumb on the silver part of the frog, pinky on top, fingers hanging all over the edge of the frog

4. Play the 5 Rhythms that are also the first 5 tracks of the CD in your Suzuki Book 1:
  1. Mississippi Stop Stop
  2. Ice Cream 'sh' Cone
  3. Down Pony Up Pony
  4. Strawberry Blueberry
  5. Mississipi is a River
5. Play "The Flower Song"

Here is how it goes:
"See the Pretty Flowers" (Played on E with no fingers down)
"Blooming in the Garden" (First finger is down on E string, this is called F sharp or F#)
"See the Pretty Flowers" (back to E with no fingers down)
"Red and Green and Purple" (Roll bow over to A string, and play A no fingers down) 
6. Play "The Monkey Song"

Here is How it goes:
"Im a little monkey" (A, no fingers down) 
"Climbing up  the ladder" (B, one finger on A string)
"Climbing up so high to" (C, 2 fingers down)
"Reach my pink banana" (D, 3 fingers down)
"I'm a little monkey" (D again)
"Climbing down the ladder" (C)
"Climbing down so low to" (B)
"Eat my pink banana" (A) 

Your child is getting ready to learn the first song on the Suzuki CD, Twinkle Variation A!

Are you listening to the CD?  We recommend listening every day- in the car, before going to bed, etc. We are training the ear, so listening to the CD is an essential aspect of Suzuki practice. In addition, 5-10 minutes of practicing each day (see the above list for practice ideas or call us at 773-761-3770 if you need more help or ideas!) will get your child into good practice habits as well as help them to understand what just a little bit of practice and hard work can get them!