Song of the Wind

John helps Ellie set up good violin posture before her solo.

Setting up good violin posture

Song of the Wind is a happy folk song that teaches quick stopped bows, retakes and a basic fingering principle – all important techniques for students at this stage of their violin journey. The bow strokes are short and detached – all clearly separate, creating a cheerful bouncy effect.

It’s not easy for young beginners at this stage to make each stroke separate at the CD tempo, so bring it up to speed whilst working on later pieces.

Go Tell Aunt Rhody and O Come Little Children are easier to play at the right tempo, partly because they have smoother bow changes.

Practise the detached bow strokes on open A string. Release the pressure on the bow after each stroke for a resonant tone.

The Key Study Points

  • Bowing – short stopped bows, separated to make each note distinct.
  • Fingering in bar 1 – keep 1st and 2nd fingers down as you ascend B, C#, D. Lift fingers off to play E in bar 2.
  • Fingering in bar 3 – keep 1st finger down on E string (F#); lift up 3rd finger to hop over from D to A, don’t roll or slide – hop quickly and cleanly.
  • Circle retakes – in bar 4 – play E, stop, lift the arm and bow in a circular retake to carefully place the bow at the lower marker. The next note (F#) is a downbow. Bar 10 – make another quick retake after E. This time there’s no rest. The first note, E, in bar 11 is a downbow. At the end of the song, make another retake for the repeat.

4 Tips for good retake technique

  1. Stop the bow on the string before lifting off, so you can control the length and shape of the note, before going on.
  2. Move the bow in parallel motion, i.e. the tip, heel and elbow should describe the same size circle. This focuses power in the tip for a balanced bow and lets you control the landing.
  3. Place the bow soundlessly on the string when landing before playing the next stroke.
  4. Increase speed of the circle (but not stops or landings). Arrive quickly, then place carefully.

Click on the score below for full size view on a new page.

Song of the Wind

Song of the Wind

Musical points

  • Play the repeated section (bars 5 and 6) softer to create an echo (or conversely, if you like, louder for emphasis).
  • Bring out the first beat in the bar in bars 7, 8, 9 and 11, 12, 13. Listen how this enhances the rhythmic flow of this part of the melody.

I’ll put the video for Song of the Wind on soon. Please register (free) to view them.

From time to time I will post about Suzuki pieces from other books, not necessarily in the order they appear. You may be looking for some information about teaching a particular piece. As I said at the end of the last post, please let me know if you’d like me to cover a particular question or topic.

I hope you find this post useful and I appreciate your interest. Thanks for spending time with Teach Suzuki Violin!

Cheers, John

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