The ViolinSchool Blog

Here's what's new at ViolinSchool.com...
August 12, 2018
Hook, Line, & Sinker

Hook, Line, & Sinker is a great study to use for practising hooked bowing. We use this technique to avoid unwanted accents or using too much bow when playing uneven note values. (such as dotted rhythms) in order to avoid unwanted accents on the shorter notes and to stop us from running out of bow!

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July 27, 2018
Intonation Exercises - 1st-7th Position

For a happy marriage of aural and muscle memories, keep the first finger down and learn the distances to the other notes within the hand ‘frame'.

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July 26, 2018
A Major Scale: Rhythm Patterns

Practise your scales with different rhythm patterns, to make your left and right hand movements more independent, and improve your coordination.

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July 10, 2018
Legato, anti-portato

Violinists often play portato (slightly re-articulated notes) instead of legato (smooth and connected). This study will help you to play as legato as possible!

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June 27, 2018
How to Use a Practice Journal To Improve Your Violin Practice

What is a Practice Journal? I like to think of a Violin Practice Journal as less of a physical thing, and more as an approach to keeping a record of your practice. However you choose to keep your journal - notebook, app, word document... or my favourite, old scraps of paper stored in a cardboard […]

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April 20, 2018
Big Circle Exercises

'Big Circles' are simple, straightforward exercises that you can use as a warm up at the beginning of your practice. They're also useful for improving your bow control, and your feeling for the 'balance' of the bow. Before we get started playing Big Circles, we need to be clear about how the balance of the bow […]

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April 15, 2018
Long Slow Bows

Long Slow Bows are one of the best - and most straightforward! - techniques that you can use to warm up on the violin! They're also great for improving your bow technique. Practising Long Slow Bows involves playing lots of up and down bows on your violin. But even though the task isn't complicated, there […]

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April 12, 2018
Super-Smooth Slurred String Crossings!

How's your slurred string crossing technique? We've just added the first video tutorial to course 1D, and it's a smooooth ride for those that string-cross steadily... Or, if you're still getting to grips with music theory, then Setareh has a 'Quick Fix' for your sixteenth notes!

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April 8, 2018
How to Improve Your Rhythm and Note Reading on the Violin

Get to know the open strings of the violin, and how it feels and sounds to play on them. Then practice rhythms with our piece 'Traffic Lights', to get you playing in time on the violin!

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April 4, 2018
How to Warm Up Your Fingers and Hands Before Playing The Violin

Here's Setareh's most recent video, explaining how to warm up the hands and fingers before starting to play. I've found these exercises a really useful way to begin my own violin practice, and I hope you find them useful too! Here's an earlier video with similar exercises for posture and breathing. It's soooo important to get your body […]

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February 15, 2018
The Cuckoo (Le Coucou) – New Sheet Music [Level 5]

Cuckoo! An exclusive arrangement for two violins, by David Worswick, of the fabulously filigree piano piece, ͚Le Coucou͛, by French composer, Louis-Claude Daquin. Click here to download it!

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February 15, 2018
G Minor Arpeggio Exercises - 1st Position

1st Position G Minor Arpeggio exercises featuring different note patterns, rhythms, bowings and articulations. Click here to download it!

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February 15, 2018
Theme from Swan Lake – New Sheet Music [Level 3]

The sublime, sweeping main theme from Tchaikovsky’s much loved ballet, telling the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse! Click here to download it!

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February 14, 2018
Rhythm Practice: Beats Me!

Let's practice clapping some rhythms together! Click here to download it! Beats Me!  What is music? It’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer! … hard to come up with a satisfactory definition. Here’s our best effort, taken from the ViolinSchool Glossary:  Music – That which contains elements of pitch and/or rhythm and/or timbre, perceivable in some way, and in some way […]

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February 14, 2018
Abracadabra – New Sheet Music [Level 1]

Time to cast some spells! Your bow becomes a magic wand to conjure up some wondrous sounds in this bedazzling little open string piece. Abracadabra!! Click here to download it!

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February 13, 2018
G Major Arpeggio Exercises - 1st Position

Arpeggio-based note patterns, rhythms, bowings, techniques, and articulation exercises in 1st position G major. Click here to download it!

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February 13, 2018
May the 4th Be With You – New Sheet Music [Level 1]

From a galaxy far, far away … comes this fantastic piece for practising landing the 4th finger of the left hand with pinpoint accuracy. Go 4th and conquer! Click here to download it!

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February 12, 2018
George the Giant Tortoise – New Sheet Music [Level 1]

Meet George, a giant tortoise who really really loves ice cream! Find out what his favourite flavours are in this fun little piece for open strings! Click here to download it!

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February 12, 2018
Violin Pegs [Parts of the Violin]

These four pieces of wood, usually carved from ebony, are used to hold the strings in the pegbox of the violin. They're shaped so that they're easy (ish!) to turn. We use the pegs to tune the violin by turning them to tighten the string – which raises the pitch - or to loosen the […]

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February 11, 2018
Double or Quits – New Sheet Music [Level 7]

A delightful, but fiendishly tricky, piece with lots of double stops! Keep your cards close to your chest, or in this case, your fingers close to the fingerboard! Click here to download it!

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February 11, 2018
The Violin Scroll [Parts of the Violin]

The scroll is the decoratively carved ‘head’ of the violin - it's the fancy twirly bit at the top! The scroll is typically shaped as a rolled-up spiral, known as a volute. Sometimes human or animal heads! The scroll is the ultimate test of a luthier's craftsmanship... it's a chance to show off their skill […]

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February 10, 2018
Cat and Mouse – New Sheet Music [Level 1]

In this high-octane, high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse, who will come out on top? Will the pussy cat be outsmarted by the tricksy off-beats of the mouse?! Click here to download it!

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February 10, 2018
The Violin Bridge [Parts of the Violin]

This ornately carved, upright, unvarnished wooden device holds the violin’s strings in place. It sits on top of the instrument, between the little cross-bars of the f-holes, supported above the soundboard. The bridge isn’t glued or fixed to the instrument … it’s kept in place by the pressure of the strings. So, if you loosen […]

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February 9, 2018
Brahms - Symphony No.1 – New Sheet Music [Level 2]

This rousing, noble tune appears in the final movement of Johannes Brahms's landmark 1st Symphony, written in 1876. Play it fast and with vigour! Click here to download Brahms - Symphony No.1 from the ViolinSchool Library!

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February 9, 2018
The Water is Wide – New Sheet Music [Level 1]

The water is wide, I cannot get over / Neither have I wings to fly / Give me a boat that can carry two / And both shall row, my love and I … Click here to download it!

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