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Anyone else on Suzuki Book 1?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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iwilson16
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March 20, 2013 - 7:09 am
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Anyone else currently learning from Suzuki Book 1?   I'd be interested to hear other beginners experiences and thought on the tunes.I've been playing approx 6-7 months now, and am just looking at Minuet 2 and Minuet 3.   

Every new tune in the book seems impossible when I first try it, but I week later I can usually fumble my way though it :-)     If I go back several tunes, then I wonder how I ever thought it was difficult :-)

It seems there's much more to these simple tunes than just playing the notes.  My teacher is always correcting my phrasing, dynamics, emphasis etc.

Ian

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seetho
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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March 20, 2013 - 9:43 am
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Hi Ian,

I'm just into my 5th month of weekly lessons and I'm on Suzuki book 1. I actually started on Eta Cohen book 1 and my violin teacher thought that it'll be more interesting for me to go with both books at the same time.  He tells me that most teachers don't stick to just one book since different books emphasize on different things in the beginning.

Every new tune in either book will be a struggle at first. but after a while it gets better as you say. There's really no substitute to just plain practice practice practice and of course a good violin teacher to show you how it's done, where you're going wrong and how to correct it, and what to work on to progress. Some musical talent (which I lack) will come in handy as well ;)

Although I can play the 2nd tune (Lightly Row) already, I still have not really gone past the 6 variations of twinkle twinkle little star yet after 1 month on the Suzuki book. I can (almost) play each variation by itself but doing all of them at one go one after another is a struggle still, and it's where my weaknesses show. So I'm taking my time to work on them before moving on to work on the next tune.

I don't mind the slow progress because I do enjoy learning the violin. I'll get there one day (I hope).

seetho

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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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March 20, 2013 - 11:30 am
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recommended reading for all students parents and teachers is "The suzuki violinist", by William Starr. It explains all the books song by song as well as Suzuki's thoughts on how talent should be developed. It will help you alot.

 

The first measure of Minuet two was the most difficult. I found that I could roll my left hand from the left to right and as I did I could preposition my fingers so I could play it correctly and quickly. The real difficulty are the staccatto quarter notes with the tenuto symbol which confused me. Staccatto typically means half the note value is played, Tenuto the line over the note usually means play longer than usual. I didnt know that combined they mean to play a slight detachment. It seems to me that they should cancel each other out, like a plus and minus sign. lol.

This website helps alot to figure  out what the heck they symbols mean; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....al_symbols

I play along with this guy list=PLB606F40DF8A11AAE

He is really good and once I learn a song I try to play along and keep up with him. It also shows you where you need to improve. Ive discovered where I was playing something wrong by doing this. I also turn the speakers up and try to match him tone for tone so it has helped my intonation too.

Memorization of each song also helps tremendously, allows you to focus on tone and bowings much easier.

I am just a few songs into book 2 so Im not that far ahead of you guys. Gavotte in book 1 the last song is technically the hardest but you arent expected to play it well until you are halfway into the next book. Since Suzuki is all about the repetition and review approach, I use book 1 as my daily warm up with the youtube video.

I could tallk about this for hours!

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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seetho
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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March 20, 2013 - 1:36 pm
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Thanks pfish for the book recommendation and the video. Now I have something to compare myself to while practising at home. I think my violin teacher is a little tougher on me since I'm required to play all 6 variations without break as if it was a single piece while he accompanies on the piano. Not easy for an old beginner like me but then if I wanted easy I'd be playing the radio instead.

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Robyn.fnq
Queensland, Australia
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March 20, 2013 - 10:19 pm
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Hi Ian,

I've been playing (???) for over a year, and I started with Suzuki.  I eventually got through book 1 and I'm learning tunes from book 2.  

It's very very slow with me.  At least you have a teacher, that will speed up your progress without doubt.

I've never found a teacher where I live, so youtube and fiddlerman are about the closest I get to lessons.

Keep it up, you'll appreciate the dedicated time you've put in.  I think Suzuki is great for actually providing nice tunes to learn techniques.  But there are many other learning tools available.  And don't forget to check out the tutorials on this site, they're great.

violin_girl

If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.

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StoneDog
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March 20, 2013 - 10:32 pm
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Interesting.

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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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March 21, 2013 - 8:34 pm
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To make this really effective we need to post videos of what we are currently working on in Suzuki so we can share ideas and learn from each other. Friends helpin friends.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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pky
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April 20, 2013 - 1:13 am
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I have been playing violin on and off for about 1.5 years. I learned along with my daughter but found myself lack of motivation to move on and to practice everyday and it was difficult for me to catch up with my daughter while trying to practice with her, so I started to take lesson as well and have had lesson weekly (other than holidays) for about four months now and I am on Suzuki book two, solos for young violinists, and fiddle magic (which is mainly for my daughter but I will benefit greatly from it, too). I think we will start using Wolfart, soon, too. I whipped through book one because I had been learning along with my daughter for about a year (and I could read music). I don't want to move beyond my daughter so my teacher started me on the solos and duets with another adult student.

Like seetho's teacher said, most teachers don't stick to just one book since different books emphasize on different things in the beginning. Suzuki book 1 and solos for young violinists have very different songs and different emphasis. Fiddle magic's emphasis is to build up stability in tempo and accuracy in beats.

My teacher teaches me and my daughter differently, even techniques. For example, staccato, she does not request her beginning students to play it light and short; she expects me to pick up a piece without having already learned the scale and her adult students are not required to memorize the pieces they play.

My teacher actually teaches Gavotte in book one after her students have learned Long long ago in book two. The two toughest pieces for me in book one is perpectual motion and etude, my mind and Suzuki's mind don't agree with each other. Once I memorized it, it is okay, but I have to review it from time to time so I could play them on the spot.

I like the video that Pfish posted, that guy has different emphasis than my teacher and it is nice to watch how other people interpret the same music. I think Reddesert also has video clips from Suzuki book 1.  

Whenever I started a new piece that I'm not familiar with (that I had not heard of before, like some from the Solos) I had to practice hard to get it right.

One thing about having a teacher is it pushes me to practice everyday for 30 minutes or more and thus challenging myself to move on to a higher level and to memorize pieces I play.

I think no matter what book or what level you are, practicing everyday is very critical; review the old songs are critical, too.

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Picklefish
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April 20, 2013 - 7:41 am
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Pky- I would love it if you can describe how you handle the 16th note runs in Gavotte book 1 and some of the ones in book 2. Im close in speed and accuracy but its taken constant work on the coordination of the bow. Are you on Witches dance yet? the triplets at the end have me stumped, lol.

How does your teacher prepare you for playing the faster parts. For me my brain has a hard time processing everything that fast and it takes alot of time. thanks.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Fiddlerman
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April 20, 2013 - 8:25 am
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For fast triplets, focus on the first of every triplet and think down, up, down, up.
In other words, as though the first triplet in every group had an accent but don't play the accent unless it calls for it. smile
Makes sense?

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Picklefish
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April 20, 2013 - 10:53 am
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I totally understand but for me its a weird rythym. The end of the tune excerpt is tripleted arpeggios. three notes for every two beats, sort of like playing a quick 6/8 time but with the triplet rythm. Its taking hours of repetitive practice for my brain to funtion like that, for my fingers to listen lol. Just curious how his teacher approaches it.

 

Thank you though, makes complete sense.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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pky
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April 20, 2013 - 3:00 pm
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pfish said
Pky- I would love it if you can describe how you handle the 16th note runs in Gavotte book 1 and some of the ones in book 2. 

How does your teacher prepare you for playing the faster parts. For me my brain has a hard time processing everything that fast and it takes alot of time. thanks.

Hi Pfish,

for the 16th note in measure 20 in Gossec Gavotte, they are down bow (four notes, beware of the natural C) then up bow (four notes), you slur them. To play fast, you start practicing slowly until you get all the notes and rhythm right then speed up. All the 16 notes in this piece are played by sluring them together.

My teacher's recommendation is practice that section until the speed is close to the rest of the piece then you move on.

 

hope this help.

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