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"Older beginners and improvers"
Self-learning?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (8 votes) 
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ELCBK
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June 21, 2020 - 1:05 pm
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violin-works.com

I just ran across the "Violinworks" site last week.  It advertises help for "older beginners and improvers" who are self-learners or working with a teacher.

I watched some of the tutorials and read the sample of Book 2 (provided where you order).  I'm thinking of ordering Book 2 - just to make sure I'm not missing anything - and I like the way they approach learning.

I haven't been a huge fan of learning an instrument from a book.  I purchased a Suzuki book before I started - opened it, then closed it - never to look back, but that's just me.  I'm not sure why, because I usually latch on to "every" form of instructional assistance available!

So, has anyone else checked out or used "Violinworks"?

 

- Emily

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AndrewH
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June 21, 2020 - 1:46 pm
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A lot of adult starters don't find Suzuki useful for anything other than level-appropriate pieces to play. Suzuki is noticeably short on explanation, because it assumes there is a teacher doing all the explaining. It was designed to allow very young children to learn the violin (Suzuki almost singlehandedly created the market for violins in sizes smaller than 1/2), so it assumes for the first two or three books that the student can't read.

I've taken a look at the Violinworks website. It looks quite comprehensive for a beginner-level method and definitely takes advantage of adults being able to take a more analytical approach to learning. And the demonstration videos look quite good, from what I can tell from a quick sampling. If it had existed when I was learning at that level, I probably would have bought the books.

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ELCBK
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June 21, 2020 - 3:28 pm
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Thanks AndrewH!

Good to know! 

My BH got his hands on a 1/2 size violin for me to expose the Grandkids to.  the oldest of 6 will be 8 in August - she can read, but I don't think I'd better let her loose with the Suzuki book.  Probably more like "see if you can make a sound" & "do you want to learn more" (I'm not qualified)?

 

- Emily

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AndrewH
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I still think the Suzuki books are worth having, as a well-thought-out sequence of pieces to go through. It's just that you have to get your actual instruction somewhere else, whether it's from a teacher, online tutorials, or some other book.

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bocaholly
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June 22, 2020 - 8:15 am
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Hi ELCB,

Check out this (and the related) video(s) of Mimi Zweig working with young children .

In my usual, perfectly unqualified way in all things concerning music, I imagine that Mimi's approach and persona represent the gold standard for teaching children :-)

Holly

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Mouse
June 22, 2020 - 8:35 am
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As @AndrewH said, the Suzuki books provide a lot of pieces to work on at different levels. The Suzuki method is meant to be taught by trained Suzuki instructors with the books, but, the books are a nice source of pieces to use along with other instruction.

I love using the books as a source for music to play. I have Suzuki Cello 1-6. I still go back to 1 and 2 when I want to concentrate on bowing because I am getting sloppy, or want to do some vibrato exercises. It is just easier in songs I know. 

I would have those books available as a source for material to play. This is being said by a person who is so anti-Suzuki method. There are kids songs, folk songs, classical songs and Suzuki songs. There are also intonation exercises between. Just no instruction, that is up to the instructor. I can’t think of a song in the books I have used that I absolutely did not like. Some are not as fun as others, but, none that I did not want to play. I have not delved into books 4-6 yet, but I will get there.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ELCBK
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June 22, 2020 - 9:14 am
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Thanks Holly! 

Great link/ton of info for working with Kids!

Thank you AndrewH & cid!

 

Back to main point, anyone else check out "Violinworks" at http://www.violin-works.com ?

It's set up specifically for "adult beginners and improvers".

Based on the video tutorials and Book 2 sample provided where you purchase it, I think this could be a valuable asset for the many adult learners on the forum.

I'm going to order Book 2 to check it out.

 

- Emily

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ELCBK
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June 26, 2020 - 8:51 pm
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While I'm waiting to receive my "Violinworks Book 2" (my brother is sending me a Birthday gift!) - I've been searching out info on some different sub-genres.

Fiddlerman - this is your fault!  If you hadn't done such a GREAT job on your Jazz/Improve tutorials, I wouldn't be curious to learn more!

So, I found more for us beginner self-learners of Violin, Viola & Cello -

https://christianhowes.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/C.....nHowesTube

His "Creative Strings" tutorials are free, but his online courses & Creative Strings "Academy" are not (of course).

He focuses on improvisation & has an online workshop starting on the 1st. 

Anyone know of Christian Howes?

I think for now, I'd better just press on with my vibrato and double stops, but I'm keeping an eye on this!

 

- Emily 

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ELCBK
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January 9, 2022 - 2:18 pm
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Fashionandfiddle said
 

I, too, have book one and two of the string builder books and they are good.
I also have Violinworks - A comprehensive method for the older beginner by Ros Stephen.  There are two books, the first also teaches you about the notes and music as it is written and builds up playing ability with many short tunes and exercises. It covers bowing techniques, scales, time signatures...so much!

There are videos to accompany the book http://www.violin-works.com but you can, of course, use some of the videos without the book. 

 

@Fashionandfiddle - 

I want to thank you! 

It's really great to find you, 1st hand, found these books helpful! 

I regret I only glanced through "Violinworks Book 2" after I received mine - and never bought Book 1, guess I thought I was beyond needing it by that time.

Not sure if I got sidetracked, or maybe I wasn't quite ready... I had almost forgotten everything that impressed me about 'Violinworks', in the 1st place - think I should give 'Book 2' another look, because I'm sure it will help me. 

The accompaniment probably didn't interest me at the time, but does now! 

Thanx, again! 😊 

 

In Violinworks books 1 and 2 you will find:

  • Thorough, step-by-step guide to the basics of violin technique. 
  • Wide range of repertoire, including traditional music from around the world, jazz, and well-known classical pieces. 
  • Accompanying CD of authentic, stylistic performances, performed by professional musicians – play along to piano, string quartet, jazz or folk band accompaniments. 
  • Exercises to develop confidence in intonation, rhythm, reading music, playing by ear, and improvising. 
  • PDF Piano accompaniment scores for all the pieces (downloadable from the CD). 

 

Book 1: Contents 

 

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Holding the violin and playing pizzicato

Chapter 3: Notation, pulse and rhythm

Chapter 4: The bow hold

Chapter 5: Introduction to bowing

Chapter 6: Further bowing techniques

Chapter 7: Introduction to the left hand

Chapter 8: Getting started with the left hand

Chapter 9: 1st Finger

Chapter 10: Dynamics and articulation

Chapter 11: High 2nd finger

Chapter 12: More on 3rd finger

Chapter 13: 4th finger

Chapter 14: Further bowing techniques

Chapter 15: Major scales and arpeggios

Chapter 16: Dotted crotchet rhythms

Chapter 17: Low 2nd finger

Chapter 18: More scales and arpeggios

Chapter 19: Syncopated rhythms

Chapter 20: Compound time and semiquavers

 

Book 2: Contents 

 

Chapter 1: Introduction (practice techniques and tuning notes)

Chapter 2: New Bowing Techniques Part 1

Chapter 3: High 3rd Finger

Chapter 4: Low 1st-Finger

Chapter 5: Low 4th-finger

Chapter 6: Vibrato

Chapter 7: New Bowing Techniques Part 2

Chapter 8: Augmented 2nds and dominant 7ths

Chapter 9: Minor scales and arpeggios

Chapter 10: New Bowing Techniques Part 3

Chapter 11: Quaver triplets and swing quavers

Chapter 12: Double Stopping

Chapter 13: Chromatic Scales

Chapter 14: 3rd Position

Chapter 15: Shifting between 1st and 3rd position

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Fashionandfiddle
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January 10, 2022 - 9:51 am
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@ELCBK

I wonder if you have seen the Simon Fischer books? I have 'Basics - 300 exercises and practice routines for the Violin' but he has another couple. It's a hefty book, and although I haven't gone cover to cover through it I dip into it for help depending on what I am working on. It's certainly a book I like to have on my shelf available and I am sure the others are also good.

My daughter became very disheartened by Suzuki (without a teacher), even with me helping she just found it daunting to look at. I've tried her with 'Violin Star' which she liked a bit better.

 

I'd recommend the Violinworks to anyone starting out, I think it would have been good if I had had it from the start.   

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Katie M
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I can’t believe what I just read! I ordered Simon Fischer books warming up and practice! Because I don’t know how to warm up or practice!! I’ll let you know what I think 

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ELCBK
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January 10, 2022 - 12:45 pm
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@Fashionandfiddle -

Thanx for the info! 

I haven't looked at the "Simon Fischer" books.  For myself, I tend to keep books for reference, because I learn more, and faster, by watching and listening to video or live streaming. 

What age group is "Violin Star" targeted at? 

 

https://www.benningviolins.com/images/ARTICLE_ART/2018/How-to-Choose-a-Violin-Teacher-for-Your-Child.jpg

 

...always interested in help for your young children! 

- Emily

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Fashionandfiddle
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January 10, 2022 - 1:33 pm
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ELCBK said
@Fashionandfiddle -

Thanx for the info! 

I haven't looked at the "Simon Fischer" books.  For myself, I tend to keep books for reference, because I learn more, and faster, by watching and listening to video or live streaming. 

What age group is "Violin Star" targeted at? 

 

https://www.benningviolins.com/images/ARTICLE_ART/2018/How-to-Choose-a-Violin-Teacher-for-Your-Child.jpg

 

...always interested in help for your young children! 

- Emily

  

 

I like watching videos etc too but I am a terrible bookworm lol! Something I inherited from my Grandmother....think my children are the same, I find them asleep at night with about five books each in bed. amuse

The Violin star books are the ABRSM books, so I think aimed really at any age child starting. They have lots of lovely pictures and this helps to make each page look more fun and less daunting. It comes with a CD too. They also do a Violin star theory activity book which I think has stickers with it. We also had Fiddle time starters which has a series of books and gets really good reviews but I/we think we prefer the Violin star.

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Fashionandfiddle
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January 10, 2022 - 1:34 pm
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Katie M said
I can’t believe what I just read! I ordered Simon Fischer books warming up and practice! Because I don’t know how to warm up or practice!! I’ll let you know what I think 

  

Great!  Would love to know if they are good. 

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ELCBK
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January 12, 2022 - 2:01 pm
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It's been easy to notice, since I've been on the forum, adult beginners (including myself) ask similar questions when we start out - but are they the best questions? 

Instead of the usual, "How do I...", maybe the resulting answers would benefit us more if our questions begin with, "Why do I..." 

What's great about being adult learners, is we can grasp broader, more complex concepts than when we were children - we are good at analyzing (some better than others - lol). 

We all pick & choose how to learn, from where, and what information is helpful, based on many types of sources.  When we ask "why", I believe it's the key to self-awareness. 

Personally, I feel there is always something good, but not necessarily everything, to learn from tips and '20/20 hindsight' of accomplished players and pedagogues. 

The 'Fiddlerman' Videos are an excellent source to begin a violin journey. 

🎼 In addition, there are a few other videos that I found address the main questions most adult beginners ask. 

I still love Prof. William Fitzpatrick's way of getting beginners to analyze what they do.  (at Virtual Sheet Music) 

 

Beth Blackerby has really nice insight that can help adult beginners.  (at Violin Lab Channel) 

 

Brett & Eddy make some good points in this video. (at TwoSetViolin) 

 

Darol Anger's focus on Bow Hold is important. (at darol anger) 

 

And, early "Gibbles" - 17 Practice Tips! (now at Fiddlershop) 

 

#violin from coolcolorofpurple15

 

...anyone have favorite tips for adult beginners that are NOT covered here? 

- Emily

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ELCBK
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Ran across this older video, at Virtual Sheet Music, recommending books for Violin AND VIOLA playing & teaching that I don't recall anyone on the forum talking about or using. 

 

 

 

May be good sources to check out!

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