playing posture

Song of the Wind

Setting up good 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 Read More →

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Five Easy Rhythms


Teach Suzuki Violin

Teach Suzuki Violin

For me, rhythm is the soul of music. I love the energy it creates for movement in our bodies and minds.  This is why I love teaching the five rhythms of Suzuki’s Twinkle Twinkle Little Star variations for violin. Watching a three year old student learn these simple rhythmic patterns is always exciting. It is the beginning of their lifelong journey with music.

First I mark out the length of these first bow strokes, by placing two markers on the bow. Often I use narrow coloured tape or small stickers ‐ the upper one is near the middle of the bow. Over the years I’ve positioned the markers more towards the lower part of the bow. There are big advantages for students who become adept from the very start at playing in the lower half.

bow with markers

Before starting the first rhythm, set up basic playing posture as follows: Read More →

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