The ViolinSchool Blog

Here's what's new at ViolinSchool.com...
November 5, 2018
A November To Remember

This is one of the busiest times of year here at ViolinSchool, but I'm going to take a moment out to show you some of what's coming up here at VS towers! The overhaul of our Digital Library is nearly finished, and if you're a member of ViolinSchool, you'll be getting an email soon to […]

Read More
October 29, 2018
String Crossing Exercises

ViolinSchool’s String Crossing Exercises – eight pages of rhythm and bowing patterns – will help you get really really good at crossing strings!

Read More
October 23, 2018
Tricky Trills

Tricky Trills will help you to practise double-stopped trills. Trills in thirds … trills in sixths … trills in octaves … and more … Very tricky trills indeed!

Read More
October 19, 2018
G Major: Exercises in Thirds

Here are some exercises for practising the G Major scale in thirds. Make sure you practise slowly, and be very aware of the position of your bowing arm.

Read More
September 20, 2018
1st - 4th Position - Finger Placement Exercises

These incredibly useful left hand exercises will help you to get really familiar with the placing of your fingers in the first four positions.

Read More
September 15, 2018
Social Learning

It's all very well learning the violin through lessons and your own practice sessions. But until you're out there in the real world, playing music with other people, it can all feel a bit theoretical. Of course, it's important to learn solo pieces, and spend time on your own carefully building your technique. In fact, […]

Read More
September 14, 2018
How To Prepare Your Violin Before Starting A Course

If you're about to embark upon a Violin Course, a series of violin lessons, a new school term, or even just a new routine of regular practice, then it makes sense to get your instrument into the best possible condition before you start! There are few things more frustrating (and demotivating!) than diving into a […]

Read More
September 14, 2018
First Finger Fitness

Give your 1st finger a proper exercise session with this first-finger-focused exercise based on quaver and dotted quaver rhythms!

Read More
September 13, 2018
Happy New (Academic) Year!

September is always an exciting time here in London (the home of ViolinSchool). Yes, there's a tinge of sadness that Summer is fading away... but as the nights here begin ever earlier, there's a buzz in the air... it's a time for new things, a time for action, and a time to work hard and […]

Read More
August 20, 2018
Double Stopping in Sixths - Exercises

These exercises are brilliant for practising double-stopped sixths! Use them for intonation work, and to develop a really solid left hand technique!

Read More
August 18, 2018
Left Hand Fingers - Dexterity and Stamina

Is this the ultimate workout for advanced players? If your left hand can survive this, it can survive anything! To prevent cramps, keep your left thumb relaxed...

Read More
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!

Read More
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'.

Read More
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.

Read More
July 15, 2018
The 10 Beat Challenge!

Can you survive the 10 Beat Challenge? A great exercise for warming up your bowing, and for making clear and consistent sounds on whole bows.

Read More
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!

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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!

Read More
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!

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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!

Read More
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!

Read More
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!

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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!

Read More
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!

Read More
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!

Read More
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!

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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!

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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!

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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!

Read More
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!

Read More
February 8, 2018
Spare Keys – New Sheet Music [Level 1]

An excellent way to practise G major on the G string, D major on the D string, A major on the A string, and E major on the E string! Always have a spare key! Click here to download Spare Keys from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
February 7, 2018
Mary Had a Little Lamb – New Sheet Music [Level 1]

Who wouldn’t want a little lamb following them around everywhere they went?!! Enjoy this lovely, lambent nursery rhyme, here in the key of D major. Click here to download Mary Had a Little Lamb from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
February 7, 2018
Violin Teaching vs Coaching

A lot of people come to a violin lesson expecting a teacher to teach them how to play the violin! Teacher tells learner what to do, learner does it, everyone's happy. But is that all there is to a violin lesson?

Read More
February 6, 2018
The Young Prince and Princess – New Sheet Music [Level 3]

Here’s the gorgeous, tender melody from the 3rd movement of Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov, his epic symphonic suite based on One Thousand and One Nights. Click here to download The Young Prince and Princess from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
February 5, 2018
How to Prepare for a Webcam Violin Lesson

The increasing speed of broadband internet has transformed private tutoring, and learners are now able to connect with teachers all around the world. Real-time lessons via the internet are possible using a webcam and a piece of videoconferencing software such as Skype, Google Hangouts, and Apple Facetime, to name a few. Although there are some aspects of musical instrument coaching that […]

Read More
February 4, 2018
Barn Chide – New Sheet Music [Level 2]

Yeeeeeee-haaaaaaaaaw! Get your feet tapping with this romping barn dance, great for practising open string double stops! See how fast you can get the ending! Click here to download Barn Chide from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
February 3, 2018
Weeping Willow – New Sheet Music [Level 1]

A sorrowful, lyrical tear-jerker of a tune for which you’ll only need the first and second fingers of the left hand (and a handkerchief to wipe away the tears!) Click here to download Weeping Willow from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
February 3, 2018
Note Values

We've just added a couple of useful new resources to Online Course 1A. Check out this guide to types of note values - and how to say them in British *and* American English!

Read More
February 2, 2018
Full Circle – New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

Play with whole bows and then, during the rests, make nice big circles with the bow in the air. This will really help you to get used to the feel of the bow. Click here to download Full Circle from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
February 1, 2018
Slice and Dice – New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

Chop up the semibreves into minims, crotchets and quavers (whole notes into halves, quarters, and eighths). Watch out for your fingers … eek … you’ll need those! Click here to download Slice and Dice from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
January 31, 2018
Bread and Butter Pudding – New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

Whisk together lots of scrumptious 8th notes (quavers) and 16th notes (semiquavers) to create a delicious performance of this sweet treat of a piece! Click here to download Bread and Butter Pudding from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
January 30, 2018
The Big Match – New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

This classic football rhythm is chanted at matches by fans all over the world. Use it to practise your ‘pizzicato’ technique, then try playing it with the bow as well! Click here to download The Big Match from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
January 29, 2018
Hobnob the Goblin – New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

Oo-er! Who goes there?! Make sure you get all the rhythms right or Hobnob the Goblin will chide you! There’s nothing Hobnob loves more than chiding! Click here to download Hobnob The Goblin from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
January 28, 2018
Mind the Gap – New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

Take a trip on the London Underground … and Mind the Gap! Use the station names to play the rhythms on an open string, and then try it with different stations! Click here to download Mind the Gap from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
January 28, 2018
How to Play Bossa & Samba Loops on the Violin

Check out this brand new video from Christian Howes about how to play Bossa and Samba on the violin! Christian is coming to London on Tuesday 30th and Wednesday 31st January to work with ViolinSchool Learners on Improvisation, Contemporary Styles, Harmony... and lots of other incredible topics that go way beyond  'classical' playing... check out […]

Read More
January 27, 2018
Creative Strings London with Christian Howes: Tues 30th & Weds 31st January 2018

We're just a couple of days away from hosting superstar jazz violinist CHRISTIAN HOWES at our London school! His residency will feature an introduction to improvisation session, a solo show, and a Boot Camp for advanced players who want to begin mastering the skills of improvisation and playing creatively in contemporary styles. We are super […]

Read More
January 15, 2018
Pachelbel's Canon: A Video Visualisation

Check out this classic visualisation of Pachelbel's Canon (Thanks to VS Learner Inez for sending this in!)... the movement of the staves in real time on the video give you a really clear sense of how the music repeats itself - check out that ground bass (not the most exciting part ever for a cello, […]

Read More
January 14, 2018
VIDEO LESSON: Traffic Lights [Level 1 Sheet Music]

Ready ... Steady ... Gooooooooooo!!! These fun rhythms will keep you busy while you wait for the green light! Try clapping them first, then play with the bow. Click here to watch the video lesson Click here to download Traffic Lights from the ViolinSchool Library

Read More
January 13, 2018
Tea for Three – New Sheet Music [Level 2]

Tea for Three, and Three for Tea! A lovely waltzing melody in A major, with some rather delicious ‘C naturals’ thrown in. Also goes well with lots of biscuits! Click here to download Tea for Three from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
January 13, 2018
David Worswick's Unconsolation

If you're in a happy mood, skip this blog post! But if you're in need of some time and space to wallow, reflect, and find solace, then click the play button below. This hauntingly beautiful piece of music by ViolinSchool's David Worswick deep-delves into a richly subtle kaleidoscope of harmony, with an emotional narrative that's […]

Read More
January 12, 2018
Jacob Collier explains Harmony (with Herbie Hancock)

In this fascinating new video from Wired magazine, pianist Jacob Collier explains the concept of harmony to musicians of 5 different ages / experience levels: The thing is, a deep instinctive (and analytical) understanding of harmony can be an extraordinary tool for realising the emotions you want to create in music, and to communicate those […]

Read More
January 11, 2018
Super Speedy Super-Fly – New Sheet Music [Level 1]

Zzzzzzzzzoooom! The Super Speedy Super-Fly goes super-fast and super-high ... buzzing around happily in A major … up, up, up to a top A on the E string! Click here to download Super Speedy Super-Fly from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
January 10, 2018
Meow, Quack Quack, Baa Baa, Moo – New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

Mooooooooo! Get used to the sound of each string with this onomatopoeic piece for beginners! Try our version and then make up your own animal sound for each string! Click here to download Meow, Quack Quack, Baa Baa, Moo from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
January 9, 2018
Christian Howes Plays Crazy by Gnarls Barkley

We're super-excited here at ViolinSchool, because the much-loved Christian Howes is coming to visit our London school later this month for a Creative Strings London residency. We'll be sharing loooooads of Chris's teaching with you over the next few days and weeks, but to get you in the mood, here's his high-octane cover of Crazy by […]

Read More
January 8, 2018
Crystal Stream – New Sheet Music [Level 2]

An expressive, flowing melody in B minor, with a lilting 6/8 time signature and undulating dotted rhythms. Aim to produce your most pure, crystalline tone. Click here to download Crystal Stream from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
January 7, 2018
Chopin - Prelude No. 7 – New Sheet Music [Level 4]

Chopin was inspired by Bach's '24 Preludes & Fugues' to write his 24 Preludes of his own! This is the 7th - written in the style of a Mazurka (a Polish folk dance). Click here to download Chopin's Prelude No.7 from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
January 6, 2018
Whirligig – New Sheet Music [Level 3]

Whirligig ... full of swirling scales and spinning chromaticism, it’s a whirly whirly fun piece!! It’s also pretty tricky for the left hand, but try to make it sing, dance and lilt! Click here to download Whirligig from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
January 5, 2018
The Miller's Flowers – New Sheet Music [Level 2]

Up and down we go over the rolling hills. A great little piece for practising lifting and dropping the first finger of the left hand … up and down … up and down … … Click here to download The Miller's Flowers from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
January 4, 2018
Rolling Hills – New Sheet Music [Level 1]

Up and down we go over the rolling hills. A great little piece for practising lifting and dropping the first finger of the left hand … up and down … up and down … … Click here to download Rolling Hills from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
January 3, 2018
Jumping Jelly Beans – New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

Is it a Bird? ... Is it a Plane? ... No! ...It’s a Jumping Jelly Bean! Jump across the strings very rapidly indeed ... with single, double, & triple string crossings! Click here to download Jumping Jelly Beans from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
January 2, 2018
Peanut Butter and Jelly – New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

A delicious, nutritious piece for newbies. Choose which string is peanut butter and which one is jelly! Cross strings smoothly for a succulent, gelatinous combo! Click here to download Peanut Butter and Jelly from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
January 2, 2018
Tick-Tock, Tock-Tick – New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

Time is of the essence! Keep a steady pulse as you practise your pizzicato (plucking). Try it first with a real metronome, then use your ‘inner metronome’ to stay in time! Click here to download Tick-Tock, Tock-Tick from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
December 23, 2017
Happy Christmas from ViolinSchool!

Hello everyone! Here are two Christmas treats for you! Christmas Carols We've updated some of our favourite Christmas Carols for you to download and play at Christmas time! Need the lyrics so your friends can sing along whilst you play? Click here: https://www.violinschool.com/carols/              'Christmas Party' - Live Video And here's a Christmas video […]

Read More
December 9, 2017
LIVE Christmas Violin Orchestra Concert - LIVESTREAM!

Hi everyone! Our CHRISTMAS LIVESTREAM with the Violin Orchestra is now taking place in London! Join us here on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/violinschool/ Here's the programme:

Read More
November 30, 2017
Polka Dot, Polka Dot – New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

We’re dotty about this lovely piece for beginners! It's full of delightful dotted rhythms and smooth, slurred string crossings, gently swaying from bar to bar ... Click here to download Polka Dot, Polka Dot from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
November 8, 2017
Ups and Downs – New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

What goes up must come down! Aim for fluid, graceful arm motions and land the bow smoothly onto the string. Make nice big circles with your arm during the rests! Click here to download Ups and Downs from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
November 7, 2017
Time for a Waltz – New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

Um cha cha … Um cha cha … Join us for a waltz, a delightful dance in triple time … try to feel the pattern of three beats - strong-weak-weak - in each bar … Um cha cha! Click here to download Time for a Waltz from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
November 6, 2017
Cutting the Cake – New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

Practise your counting and subdividing (cutting the cake!) and make sure you’re being fair! Each bar has 3 beats, so that’s three equal slices of cake! Mm … mmm! Click here to download Cutting the Cake from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
November 5, 2017
Firewalk – New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

Ooh! … Ow! … Oh! … Ouch! … Oof! … Owwww! Not for the faint-hearted … see if you can make it to the end of each line, dancing along the scorching hot stave! Click here to download Firewalk from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
November 4, 2017
Traffic Lights – New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

Ready ... Steady ... Gooooooooooo!!! These fun rhythms will keep you busy while you wait for the green light! Try clapping them first, then play with the bow. Click here to download Traffic Lights from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
November 3, 2017
Open-and-Shut - New Sheet Music [Open Strings]

This great beginner piece features open string notes and rests (the silences in between). Practice your halves (minims), quarters (crotchets), and eighths (quavers)... as both notes and rests! Try it in 4/4 and then, twice as fast, in 2/4! Open-and-shut ... case closed!! Click here to download Open-and-Shut from the ViolinSchool Library!

Read More
November 2, 2017
Merry-Go-Round - New Sheet Music [Level 1]

Merry-Go-Round could be the tune for an actual carousel! Like the music that blares out from old-fashioned fairground rides, this melody is a happy, upbeat melody, that repeats around and around. Imagine the horses bobbing up and down on the Merry-Go-Round itself, as the rising quarter notes (crotchets) and the falling eighth notes (quavers) imitate […]

Read More
November 1, 2017
Old MacDonald Had A Farm - New Sheet Music [Level 1]

New sheet music today: the famous nursery rhyme, Old MacDonald! Old Macdonald had a farm, and on that farm he had some accents, a crescendo, a forte, a fortissimo, and lots of lovely notes in the key of G major! If you're new to music note reading but you know the tune to Old MacDonald Had […]

Read More
October 18, 2017
October Update: ViolinSchool Library and Violin Orchestra

Hi everyone! Autumn is in full swing, and here at ViolinSchool we've been busy beavering away behind the scenes, making preparations for three BIG ViolinSchool projects, which we're about to unwrap... The new, expanded Digital Library (already a VS member? Take a sneak preview here!) More Online Courses taking you right through Level 1 of […]

Read More
September 4, 2017
Improved Online Courses

For the new academic year, we're transitioning all our Online Courses to a more robust digital platform at https://learn.violinschool.com/. This will allow you to track your learning as you move through all our video tutorials and online tuition. You may see a few changes around ViolinSchool in the next couple of days. If you run […]

Read More
August 18, 2017
350 Five Minute Workouts!

We've made it to 350 - yes, 350 WORKOUTS!!!!!!! So... we went away for the weekend and accidentally left our 5 Minute Workout Generator (David) switched on... we came back on Monday morning, and there were 350 workouts waiting for us! We're becoming addicted to practising the workouts here at ViolinSchool HQ, and by the […]

Read More
August 15, 2017
Video: Violin Warm Ups - Opening the Chest

Let's get warmed up! In this new video series, Setareh Mood will be taking you through a whole program of useful body exercises, that will get your muscles and joints warmed up and ready to play. Follow along with the first video, as we open up the chest and stretch the arms. We'll help you get […]

Read More
August 12, 2017
Video: Summer Violin in London

Summer is in full swing, and there's plenty going on at the London branch of ViolinSchool! Check out this new video from Simon to hear all about our new Violin Ensemble Sessions in London, as well as One to One Lessons and our popular Beginner Violin Class. And don't forget the biscuits!

Read More
August 9, 2017
Exercise: Circles

Hi Everyone! Wherever you are, I hope you're having a great summer! Here at ViolinSchool HQ, we're pushing forward with our video production, and rolling out the long-awaited Learning Guide which will soon be available to all our members. Every week we'll now be releasing new video tutorials. Core content will be published in the […]

Read More
July 27, 2017
Finger Placement Exercises - 1st to 4th Position

These incredibly useful new left hand exercises will help you to get really familiar with the placing of your fingers in the first four positions.

Read More
July 26, 2017
Carnival of Venice - ViolinSchool Variations

ViolinSchool's Variations on the popular Carnival of Venice tune are full of devilish trickery and highly virtuosic violinistic hijinks! Enjoy! 🙂

Read More
July 24, 2017
Workouts 81 to 100!

We did it! We made it to 100! Our 5 Minute Workout Generator (aka David) has been working hard to reach our target of 365, a workout for every day of the year! Enjoy the latest 20 workouts - Nos. 81 - 100.                   

Read More
July 22, 2017
Lament in D minor

We’ve written a majorly melancholy melody called Lament in D minor, and it’s really really really sad! Give it a go … and try not to get the violin wet! 🙂

Read More
July 20, 2017
Workouts 71 to 80 (Workout Week Day 4!)

Our final day of workouts features another 10 great workouts for you to enjoy. Have a great workout!          

Read More
July 19, 2017
Workouts 61 to 70 (Workout Week Day 3!)

Day three! ... time for another ten brand-new Workouts!          

Read More
July 18, 2017
Workouts 51 to 60 (Workout Week Day 2!)

It's the second day of Workout Week! Here's today's selection of 5 Minute Workouts for you to enjoy...          

Read More
July 17, 2017
It's WORKOUT WEEK at ViolinSchool!

This week at ViolinSchool we're going workout-crazy! We've heard from many of our learners that they've already zipped through all 40 of our 5 Minute Workouts, and are clamouring for more ... Not familiar with the 5 minute workouts? Read all about them here! >> ... so, to keep ahead of the game, we've been […]

Read More
July 15, 2017
Pastime with Good Company

Pastime with Good Company, also known as The King's Ballad, is an incredibly catchy English folk song written by none other than King Henry VIII!

Read More
July 14, 2017
Prelude No. 15, "Raindrop" by Frédéric Chopin

… plip-plop … plip-plop … here's ViolinSchool’s arrangement of the absolutely gooooorgeous melody from Chopin's Prelude No. 15, known as the "Raindrop" prelude.

Read More
July 13, 2017
A new site for our London School (ViolinSchool London)

We're delighted to present a brand new website for ViolinSchool London: http://london.violinschool.com/ This new site is separate from our main eLearning platform at www.ViolinSchool.com, and features up to date information about all of our London-based tuition and events, including calendars and booking forms, plus details of our... Lessons & Coaching Courses & Classes Ensembles & Violin Orchestra Beginner Violin Classes […]

Read More
July 12, 2017
Good Old Days

Good Old Days is a lyrical, nostalgic melody in the good old key of C major! Think fond memories and play it like you would sing it – smooth and flowing and mellifluous! 🙂

Read More
July 11, 2017
More 5 Minute Workouts (Nos. 31 to 40!)

Many of our learners have told us that they've now made their way through all thirty of our 5 Minute Workouts and, so, we are delighted to present the next ten, nos. 31-40 (and, oo-er, they're starting to get a bit trickier!) 🙂 ViolinSchool Members - click here to download ALL the 5 Minute Workouts! […]

Read More
July 10, 2017
Vivaldi Spring (1st Position Version)

By popular request, we've made a version of the 1st movement Allegro of "Spring" from The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi - (Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, "La Primavera"). We've transposed it from E major into A major (and made a few other little interventions!), so that it can be […]

Read More
July 9, 2017
Double Stopping in Sixths – Exercises

These exercises are brilliant for practising double-stopped sixths! Great for intonation work and for developing a really solid left hand. Who doesn’t want a solid left hand?! 🙂

Read More
July 8, 2017
Scuttlefish, Scuttlefish!

Scuttlefish, Scuttlefish! is a delightfully quirky little piece with lovely, flowing passagework in G major and E minor, and the odd surprise here and there. Enjoy ... glug, glug! 🙂

Read More
July 7, 2017
G, D, & A Major – Scales and Arpeggios (one octave)

G, D, and A are the most common keys in violin music, so it's worth getting to know them so well that they feel like old friends! 🙂

Read More
July 6, 2017
Playful Pandas

Playful Pandas is a great little piece for beginners. We’ve presented it in G, D, and A major to help you get to know these most important keys! Have fun!

Read More
July 5, 2017
VIDEO: Violin Orchestra 2017 Summer Concert

ViolinSchool's just celebrated its fifth birthday (!), and the Violin Orchestra its tenth concert! Here's a video from our recent webcast, recorded in London on Saturday 1st July 2017, featuring The Pimlico Players (a Violin Ensemble made up of ViolinSchool learners) and then The Violin Orchestra. Would you like to join the Violin Orchestra? Find out more […]

Read More
July 4, 2017
Troika

Come ride with us on Prokofiev's Troika! 🙂 We've written out the Troika theme, from Sergei Prokofiev's 'Lieutenant Kijé Suite', in G, D, and A major. It's *such* a great tune, perfect for getting to know the major scale (it uses all eight notes of the one-octave major scale, and not a note more!) A […]

Read More
July 3, 2017
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star in G Major, D Major and A Major

One of the most popular pieces of music for beginner violinists is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. We've just updated our sheet music so that you can play it in three of the most common keys: G Major D Major A Major We've written all three versions on the same sheet, so you can learn them […]

Read More
July 1, 2017
And.. We're live!

The ViolinSchool Summer Concert is now streaming live on Facebook! Join us here: https://www.facebook.com/violinschool/ The second half of the livestream featuring the Violin Ensembles and The Violin Orchestra will now begin at 3.45pm London time. Tune in at 3.45pm this afternoon to hear THE VIOLIN ORCHESTRA! Here's the programme for today's concert (click to enlarge): ViolinSchool […]

Read More
July 1, 2017
3 hours to go until our Summer Violin Orchestra Livestream!

The violins are out! The soundchecks are underway! And in just a couple of hours from now, the Violin Orchestra will be performing live here in London for all to hear! Join us from 2pm London time to hear all the ViolinSchool students perform their solos, or 3.20pm for the ensembles and Violin Orchestra itself! You can catch […]

Read More
June 22, 2017
Summer 2017 Webcast & Concert featuring The Violin Orchestra

We're pleased to announce that ViolinSchool's annual Summer Webcast will take place live from London at 2pm (London time) on Saturday 1st July. The Violin Orchestra will be performing at Whitefield's Tabernacle on Tottenham Court Road, in the main hall of the American Church in London. The concert will feature a selection of solo performances by members […]

Read More
June 20, 2017
Two-Finger Scales

Our awesome Two-Finger Scales provide a serious workout for your left hand! Each of these super-shifting-scales will help you get your left hand moving smoothly between different positions - in the key of your choice. The 3rd and 4th fingers of the left hand benefit particularly strongly ... once you get the muscles moving, you'll feel […]

Read More
June 18, 2017
5 Minute Workouts

We're pleased to introduce an all-new feature on ViolinSchool.com - Five Minute Workouts! These great little exercises came about when one of our London learners kept running out of practice time each week because his crazy-busy job in the City of London meant that he barely had any time to practice each day! He tried to […]

Read More
June 16, 2017
Why do YOU play the violin?

There are many reasons that people have for wanting to play the violin. Here are some of the reasons we hear most often: "I just love the sound" "It helps me to relax" "I want to be able to express myself" Regardless of where the initial inspiration for playing the violin comes from, if you drill down far […]

Read More
June 14, 2017
The Practice Menu

One of the most important skills any violinist can have is knowing how to practise! This one single skill can transform your progress, because if you always know how to improve then you'll always be getting better and better! A big part of knowing how to practice is being able to create a useful structure for each practice session that […]

Read More
June 12, 2017
Which Finger? Use a Grid!

When you're learning violin for the first time, it can be difficult to remember which finger goes where. It also takes a long time to think about where to put each finger - especially if you're playing a new piece of music. A good way around this is to get used to playing scales before […]

Read More
June 10, 2017
The Devil's In The Detail

The learning process never stops because there are so many layers of complexity in violin-playing. Each layer reveals more, and richer possibilities for musical expression. At the same time, you don't want to get so wrapped up in the detail of one particular technique or that you lose sight of your overall music-making! Make sure you […]

Read More
May 26, 2017
VIDEO: Join the Violin Orchestra!

The Violin Orchestra starts this Saturday in London, UK. Check out our new video by Setareh Mood, to learn all about the project!

Read More
May 11, 2017
Shifting Down Exercises (3rd to 1st Position)

Here are some really useful exercises for shifting down from 3rd position. What goes down must go up! Click here for the shifting up version!

Read More
May 9, 2017
Shifting Up Exercises (1st to 3rd Position)

Here are some really useful exercises for shifting up to 3rd position. What comes up must go down! Click here for the shifting down version!

Read More
May 5, 2017
Staccato Spritzer!

Staccato Spritzer! is not just a great study for practising staccato strokes, it's also a delightful piece of music ... with a very cheeky ending! Hone your ability to play staccato eighth notes (quavers) and staccato quarter notes (crotchets), all the while negotiating single, double and triple string crossings! Top tip: keeping your bow as […]

Read More
May 3, 2017
Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace is surely one of the most popular melodies on earth ... especially in America! In this ViolinSchool partition we've got the main version of the melody at the top of the page, then another version that's been slightly embellished. Embellishing a melody is like putting ornaments on the mantlepiece, decorating it and elaborating on […]

Read More
May 1, 2017
Barcarolle

A Barcarolle is a traditional folk song sung by Venetian gondoliers. The Barcarolle (“Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour”) by Jacques Offenbach, from his final opera, The Tales of Hoffmann, is surely the most famous Barcarolle there is!

Read More
April 29, 2017
Violin Repair Tools

If you're a practically minded violinist, the idea of learning to maintain and repair your own instrument can be an interesting diversion. Those interested in cars who buy a vintage classic model would naturally learn how to improve the engine and fix things up when repairs are needed. Surely, just like the keen motor mechanic, […]

Read More
April 27, 2017
Fiocco: Allegro - for 2 violins!

Joseph-Hector Fiocco is best known for his virtuoso showpiece ‘Allegro’, arranged here for TWO violins! Fiocco was born in Brussels in 1703 and died, tragically young at just 38, in 1741. The Allegro was originally written for harpsichord – part of Fiocco’s Pièces de Clavecin – and later popularised as a violin piece being a staple […]

Read More
April 26, 2017
Musical Note Values: Basic 'Rhythm Names'

When you're first starting to read music, you'll quickly come across different types of notes. The rhythm of each note is represented by the SHAPE of the note-head and the stem. This PDF shows some of the most common note values that you'll see. The words on the right of each note represent the rhythm names for each note. The exact timing of notes will depend […]

Read More
April 25, 2017
Frolic in G

Frolic is a lovely new piece of music written exclusively for ViolinSchool! Get your fingers warmed up with some G major scales and arpeggios, then try playing the piece through with lots of energy and a nice, lilting feel to the phrasing. Think of some little lambs gambolling in the countryside! Watch out for the 'ritardando' (gradually slowing down) in bars 15 and 16; you'll need […]

Read More
April 24, 2017
Are you a metronome addict?

Metronomes, mirrors and tuners are fantastic tools for a violinist. Metronomes can help you to keep time. Mirrors can help you to see whether your bow is straight. And tuners - not least the all-singing, all-dancing digital tuners that are now available as smartphones - make it easy. Just follow the device, no? If you can play […]

Read More
April 23, 2017
Paganini: Caprice No.24

Here's the main theme from Paganini's 24th Caprice for solo violin. The Caprice itself is one of the most ferociously difficult pieces ever written for violin, and it includes quadruple stops, left hand pizzicato, tenths, and other fiendish techniques... However, the first part of the piece - the main theme upon which the rest of the variations […]

Read More
April 22, 2017
Vegan Violin Playing

If you're a vegan, can you keep to your principles as a committed violin player? If you're conscious of your impact on the environment, could violin playing be a problem? Information about food production, sustainability, recycling and issues such as deforestation is commonly available, sought out by many of us to enable informed choices. Many people choose a vegetarian […]

Read More
April 21, 2017
Radetzky March (New Sheet Music!)

The Radetzky March was composed by Johann Strauss Sr and premiered in Vienna in August 1848. Strauss was commissioned to write the piece to celebrate a victory in battle by Austrian Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky von Radetz. The march became popular as a piece of marchinig music for soldiers, and has a celebratory, up-tempo feel […]

Read More
April 20, 2017
3 Important Checklists: the Body, the Right Arm, the Left Arm

If you've been around ViolinSchool any length of time, then you've probably heard us talk about the importance of checklists. For years, we've been making the point that the purpose of a checklist is to systemise your behaviour, ideally to the point that it can become automatic. And when you're dealing with something as complicated as violin playing (or flying a plane, […]

Read More
April 19, 2017
When Setareh met Taylor Davis

'She's a Pirate!' "I'm living proof that if you just follow what you're passionate about in life and ignore the negative people who try and bring you down, you can create something really meaningful for yourself and others to enjoy" - Taylor Davis (via DailyDot) Last year, just before our Christmas Violin Orchestra, I went to a […]

Read More
April 18, 2017
Spring Cleaning - Updates to ViolinSchool.com

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that over the Easter weekend, our content goblins and our tech wizards have been beavering away with some very useful updates to the ViolinSchool learning platform! Practice is such a critical violin-playing skill that we felt it needed its own section! So you'll now find Practice in the top menu bar, […]

Read More
April 6, 2017
Tell me, why do you use those PARTITIONS?

David and I once came off stage in Switzerland after a concert, and as we were returning to the dressing room, a man approached us with a big grin on his face and said, in possibly the strongest Irish accent I've ever heard... "Tell me boys ... why do you use those partitions?" "Erm, sorry, the […]

Read More
March 27, 2017
How to Choose a Beginner Violin Outfit

How to Choose a Beginner Violin Outfit Buying your first violin will probably seem a bit overwhelming. Before you have had a chance to really learn about the instrument, what you want from it and what you need, it is necessary to purchase a whole raft of equipment that may be totally unfamiliar. There is also […]

Read More
March 22, 2017
Violin Tuners & Intonation

Intonation and Using a Violin Tuner as a Practice Aid A common question asked by non-violinists is, “How do you know where to play the notes when you have no frets?” Violin intonation is one aspect of playing that is challenging for players of every level. Beginners often start learning with stickers over the fingerboard […]

Read More
March 18, 2017
Violin Pyrography: How to Decorate a Violin with FIRE!

Pyrography, or wood burning, a craft dating back to ancient African and Egyptian cultures, is done with a wood-burning pen. The term means "writing with fire", from the Greek pur (fire) and graphos (writing). Heat is applied to the wood, and different effects created by varying the type of tip or the temperature. When we […]

Read More
February 28, 2017
The 10 Beat Challenge

Can you survive the 10 Beat Challenge? It's a great exercise for warming up your bowing action, and for making clear and consistent sounds on whole bows.

Read More
February 27, 2017
Scarborough Fair

This traditional English piece is probably best known for its interpretation by Simon & Garfunkel. We've arranged it for you in four different keys or 'transpositions', so that you can choose which note pattern to play!

Read More
February 14, 2017
Cheeky Pizzicati (Left Hand Pizz)

Cheeky Pizzicati is an exclusive ViolinSchool piece that's a really fun way to practise left hand pizzicato. In this video we'll learn how to pluck the strings using the left hand, and where to place the hand in order to make a good sound. If you're a member of ViolinSchool, you can download and print the sheet music (below). Then […]

Read More
February 13, 2017
Mutes & Practice Mutes

Here's a new video (from our forthcoming Setup online course), explaining all about Mutes and Practice Mutes. There are two main types of mute you can use with the violin – standard mutes, and practice mutes. They dampen the vibrations of the bridge and the strings, which softens the sound. We use standard types of mute to […]

Read More
February 12, 2017
Ave Maria by Bach/Gounod

This sublime melody was first published in 1853. It was written by French composer Charles Gounod to fit with the Prelude No.1 in C major from J.S. Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, written over 130 years earlier. Try playing the melody along with a recording of the Bach Prelude!

Read More
February 11, 2017
Violin Finger Charts

Violin finger charts are a quick, visual way for beginner violinists to understand the geography of the violin fingerboard. Learn how to use them, and how to create your own.

Read More
January 27, 2017
Violin Playing Tips

Learning the violin is a life journey. Whatever attracted you to start, whether it was a particular performance, the uniquely beautiful sound of the violin, a desire to learn a new skill or the fact you had always wanted to play an instrument, there’s a lot of fun ahead. For more advanced students too, as […]

Read More
January 20, 2017
How to choose a shoulder rest

If you want to find a topic about which most violinists will disagree, the subject of shoulder rests should be high on your list! Every violinist has their own preference about which shoulder rest to use, if at all. Shoulder rests have only been in mainstream use since the 1950s, and some players still view them […]

Read More
January 18, 2017
How to Buy Sheet Music in London

Sheet music shops, like bookshops for the avid reader, are a wonderful resource for the violin student. Since the advent of online shopping, they are also becoming a rarity. The tactile and satisfying experience of looking through shelves of crisp, new music has given way to a search engine, a click of the mouse and […]

Read More
January 12, 2017
New Year Message from ViolinSchool & New Sheet Music Publishing Partnership with Musicland Publications

Happy New Year from everyone here at ViolinSchool! We've got some exciting news to share with you for 2017... Sheet Music Publishing Partnership We're really happy to announce that the ViolinSchool team is taking over management of Musicland Publications, a leading publisher of sheet music and educational materials for string instruments. Musicland itself is a family business, established in […]

Read More
December 31, 2016
Auld Lang Syne & Happy New Year!

We've just published the famous Scottish tune Auld Lang Syne and you can download it now in the Sheet Music section - click here to go directly to the download page! Auld Lang Syne is sung around the world every New Year's Eve, so today, why not try playing it on the violin? Happy New Year from everyone at […]

Read More
December 25, 2016
Happy Holidays from ViolinSchool

At this time of great change, as people across the world celebrate this special time of year, it's more important than ever for us to remember the great human values that draw us together. At ViolinSchool, we celebrate our two 'guiding forces': Creativity and Community. Community binds us together through shared musical experiences and brings […]

Read More
December 16, 2016
Violin Shops in London

As you can imagine, we see hundreds of violins pass through the doors of ViolinSchool each year, and for our London students, a lot of time and energy is spent ensuring that violins are in tip top condition. This page will give you the low-down on all the violin shops in London. We are in […]

Read More
December 13, 2016
Pirates of the Caribbean, David Garrett-style!

The Violin Orchestra had so much fun in London last week playing the Pirates of the Caribbean theme tune, amongst other great music... if you missed the livestream, you can still see it on our Facebook page! (including the attack on our conductor by Domini the Pirate!) Here's another great interpretation of He's a Pirate by Hans Zimmer, by Mr Cool Violin himself, […]

Read More
December 12, 2016
You say Vi-BRAY-to, I say Vi-BRAH-to

So I'm deep in one of our research documents, examining some tiny detail of how the arm moves during a Tremolo stroke. I'm trying to make sure that I've got the best possible wording for an upcoming video script. If I use this word or that word, will it be clear enough? What about people who don't already […]

Read More
December 10, 2016
Free Christmas Carols & Today's Violin Orchestra Livestream!

It's that time of year again... The Violin Orchestra is back today with a Christmas Concert & Livestream today, Saturday 10th December! To celebrate, we've made all our Christmas Carols free to download for everyone until the end of the weekend... you can grab them here! If you'd like to play along with The Violin Orchestra, join us on […]

Read More
December 7, 2016
The Circle of Fifths

The circle of fifths is a mathematical musical theory tool. It explores the relationships between musical intervals, based on discoveries made by the mathematician Pythagoras two and a half thousand years ago.

Read More
December 6, 2016
Violin Bridge Fitting

The violin bridge is a device designed both to support the strings and to transmit their vibrations to the body of the instrument. Made from maple wood, the shape of the bridge varies from one violin to another, and its placing and fit have a significant impact on the tone and playability of the instrument. […]

Read More
December 4, 2016
Stéphane Grappelli plays Blue Moon

Here's a lovely piece of music for a Sunday! The legendary jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli performs Blue Moon at a live trio recording from 1990. Enjoy!

Read More
December 3, 2016
Jingle Bells for Violin!

Christmas is a-coming! Let's kick off the season with an old favourite, Jingle Bells! Click the image below to go to the free download page, and grab your copy today. O what fuuun it is to play our Jing-le Bells todaaaayyy.... !! Download it now! >>

Read More
December 1, 2016
Itzhak Perlman plays to Jascha Heifetz

Here's a wonderful piece of violin history! American virtuoso Itzhak Perlman reminisces about his first meeting, as a student, with the legendary violinist Jascha Heifetz, at the Juilliard School in New York. Heifetz tried to catch Perlman out (though Perlman is too modest to say it like that!), by asking for a really difficult set of scales. Luckily, […]

Read More
November 28, 2016
Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Yesterday we shared Benjamin Zander's wonderful TED talk, The Transformational Power of Classical Music. Here's another - actually the most viewed TED talk ever - about creativity in Education. It's now over a decade old, but has lost none of its power and urgency... Sir Ken Robinson's message about placing creativity at the heart of education is inspirational, […]

Read More
November 27, 2016
The Transformative Power of Classical Music

Here at ViolinSchool towers we're all buzzing with excitement... we've launched our new flagship Violin Course, we're cracking on with getting the online courses out to you, and our ViolinSchool Blog starts up again today on our new ViolinSchool.com website! And what better way to begin with one of our favourite ever videos, The Transformative Power of Classical Music TED […]

Read More
November 24, 2016
The Violin Course by ViolinSchool - London, January-April 2017

Introducing The Violin Course, our new flagship study program, developed exclusively by the team at ViolinSchool: Click here to read all about the new course!

Read More
November 19, 2016
How To Practise Scales

How to Practise Scales - useful tips, strategies and advice that will help you to increase the effectiveness of your scale and arpeggio practice on the violin!

Read More
November 14, 2016
G Major

How to play a G major scale on the violin. Use our free video guide, fingering guide, visual grid guide, and sheet music to master the G major scale!

Read More
November 7, 2016
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for Violin

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Violin Notes - learn how to play this classic violin piece using three fingers and two strings on your violin. Free Video Lesson and Music Sheets!

Read More
November 7, 2016
A big Upgrade to ViolinSchool - Online Courses, Live Lessons & Online Community

Following a major upgrade on 5th November, we’re rolling out our long-awaited Online Courses between now and the end of the end of the year. Our new Online Community is now available for members once you’ve logged in, and our program of Live Online Classes begins from 7th November. Our twice-annual Violin Orchestra project is […]

Read More
October 5, 2016
How to Practise Sight-Reading

How often should you practise sight-reading, what music should you use, and how should you plan your sight-reading practice?

Read More
October 4, 2016
My Violin Story: Setareh Mood

A new series of first-hand stories from people learning the violin. Here's the journey of Setareh Mood (Violin Learner, Yoga Student, and Head of ViolinSchool Support) My name is Setareh Mood. Since my childhood I've loved to play instrumental music, I've always found it fascinating. Living in different eastern and western countries, made me very interested in every kind of musical genre. I always […]

Read More
October 2, 2016
How Often Should I Change The Strings On My Violin?

Over time, the strings on your violin will become worn and you will need to consider replacing them. However, strings can be very different to each other, and exactly when you need to change your strings will depend on a number of different factors: Material The material that a string is made of can make a […]

Read More
September 19, 2016
A Fantastic Weekend with Christian Howes!

We were really excited to welcome the brilliant jazz violinist Christian Howes for the very first in our new series ViolinSchool Presents..., in which we'll be welcoming star violinists to share their expertise with ViolinSchool learners. Christian was delighted to round off his European tour by spending several days with ViolinSchool learners before returning back home to America. Creative Improvisation Workshop with Christian Howes […]

Read More
September 19, 2016
Do Your Chin and Shoulder Rest Fit?

The violinists’ chin rest and shoulder rest are accessories designed to facilitate ease of movement in violin playing. They should make holding the violin feel secure and comfortable. But how do you choose the right chin rest and shoulder rest? Should you make do with the chin rest that arrives with the instrument, or is […]

Read More
September 10, 2016
How to Choose a Violin

For every violin student, from beginner to advanced, the purchase of a suitable instrument is a distinct milestone which can prove challenging. Your violin is your voice, and so must meet your expectations of tone as well as allowing development in technique and musical knowledge. A bad instrument is often much harder to play than […]

Read More
September 9, 2016
Christian Howes Livestream RIGHT NOW on Facebook!

Come and join us on Facebook at our live Q&A session with the great Jazz violinist Christian Howes... we're live right now at https://www.facebook.com/violinschool ...send us your questions via twitter or facebook with the hashtag #christianhoweslondon

Read More
September 7, 2016
Advancing + Improving = Progress!

ViolinSchool learner Susan Shaw reflects on the difference between advancing and improving, and explores how to effectively 'self-assess' progress.

Read More
September 5, 2016
The Angle of the Wrist

When you're playing the violin, it's very important that the fingers can move freely without causing any tension in the hand or arm. But if the angle of the wrist is incorrect in relation to the arm position, then it's easy for that unwanted tension to appear.

Read More
September 4, 2016
Christian Howes is Coming to London!

We're thrilled to announce that the one and only Christian Howes, American Jazz violinist extraordinaire, is coming to London! He will be visiting ViolinSchool between 9th and 11th September for an epic weekend of coaching and workshops, plus a LIVE SHOW on the evening of Sunday 11th September! For those of you not in the UK, there'll also […]

Read More
September 1, 2016
ViolinSchool.org is now ViolinSchool.com

We're thrilled to announce that ViolinSchool is now moving to www.ViolinSchool.com. Between today (1 September) and Christmas, we'll be rolling out our long-awaited Digital Learning Platform. If you didn't see our crowdfunding campaign last Christmas, here's a quick reminder... What's coming up... We're rolling out ViolinSchool.com slowly but steadily between now and Christmas, releasing the learning programs phase by […]

Read More
August 19, 2016
We're Preparing ViolinSchool.com

If you're reading this, you've chanced upon www.violinschool.com during the test period... The new site will be available soon, but for now you can still access our old site at www.violinschool.org. Please return here in a few days to enjoy the new Learning Platform!

Read More
June 7, 2016
From Sight to Sound... Why Sight-Read?

All about sight-reading, why it's important, and a checklist to help you get things right first time! From Sight to Sound ... 'Sight-reading' is the term used to describe the reading and performing of music without any previous preparation; to sight-read is to play, or sing, or 'hear in our heads' (audiation) the notated music […]

Read More
October 24, 2015
Violin Notes for Beginners

  When you first start learning the violin, you will also start learning to read music. To a musician, written music is like an actor’s script. It tells you what to play, when to play it and how to play it. Music, like language, is written with symbols which represent sounds; from the most basic […]

Read More
May 15, 2014
Articulation

The articulation of sounds on the violin is much like the production of different consonants and vowels in speech, and the nuance in expression of tone. The many ways of articulating notes with the bow makes them speak in different ways. Articulation in violin music is created using range of bowing gestures. These can give […]

Read More
April 11, 2014
Listening

  Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. How well you listen has a major impact on your effectiveness at work, your relationships and your musical practice. Listening enables you to learn, to obtain information, to understand and to enjoy, yet it can often feel like an abstract ability. Research suggests […]

Read More
April 11, 2014
Tempo

One of the most crucial decisions to the performance and interpretation of any piece of music is the speed. Getting the speed right allows room for all the intricate levels of technique and expression to work; it creates the mood, tells the story and allows the music to dance. When we play in an orchestra, […]

Read More
April 11, 2014
Violin and Age

violin and ageViolin an The beneficial effects of learning a musical instrument are well documented in young children, and the violin has seen its share of child prodigies, but how does the relationship with the instrument change as the player gets older, and is it ever too late to start learning? Even the youngest children […]

Read More
April 11, 2014
Violin Dynamics

  The word dynamics in music refers to the volume of the sound or note. Dynamics are part of the vast array of musical expression and interpretation marks written into music. Dynamic markings do not represent specific values of volume; they are relative, depending on many factors, from the size of the room in which you […]

Read More
April 10, 2014
Sight Reading for Violin

Sight Reading for Violin  “The ability to sight-read fluently is a most important part of your training as a violinist, whether you intend to play professionally or simply for enjoyment. Yet the study of sight-reading is often badly neglected by young players and is frequently regarded as no more than an unpleasant sideline. If you […]

Read More
April 10, 2014
Learn Violin At Home

Search “Learn Violin at Home” online, and you’ll be overwhelmed with resources; video courses, self-teaching plans, books, forums and advice. The violin is a notoriously complex instrument. Is it possible to learn it from home, essentially self-taught, or is there another aspect to learning from home which is more valuable when balanced with lessons? There […]

Read More
April 10, 2014
An Introduction to Harmony

  For at least the last two thousand years, the majority of composed art music in the Western world has been made up of two or more simultaneous musical sounds or pitches. The name given to this combination of sounds is harmony. Most descriptions of harmony focus on Western music but harmony exists in music […]

Read More
April 10, 2014
Proprioception

Proprioception, Hypermobility and Violin Playing  Proprioception, from the Latin proprius meaning ‘one’s own’ and the word perception, is the sense of the relative position of the joints, and the strength or effort that is employed in their movement. Violin playing requires a highly trained, very specific level proprioception, and conditions such as Joint Hypermobility Syndrome […]

Read More
April 10, 2014
Electric Violin

  The violin is traditionally built as an acoustic instrument. The shape of the body is designed purely to produce and amplify the sound created by the vibrations of the strings. However, since the American jazz clubs of the 1920s, modern popular music genres have created the need for violins that can be amplified beyond […]

Read More
March 7, 2014
Using Visualisation In Violin Practice and Performance

  “To rely on muscular habit, which so many of us do in technique, is indeed fatal. A little nervousness, a muscle bewildered and unable to direct itself, and where are you? For technique is truly a matter of the brain.” Fritz Kreizler, violinist and composer 1875 -1962 Visualisation, the process of creating compelling images […]

Read More
December 2, 2013
Ensemble Playing for Violinists

  “When everyone else has finished playing, you should not play any notes you have left over. Please play those on the way home.” Anon. Making music with other people is one of the best ways to enjoy playing the violin and an important part of developing your skills as a musician. The benefits of […]

Read More
November 18, 2013
Christmas Songs for Violin

  As Christmas approaches, it is always a nice chance to learn some festive music to get into the seasonal spirit. There is loads of Christmas music available, from carols to favourite pop songs, but before we delve into the Christmas goodies, here’s some improvised fiddle fun from Peter Lee Johnson to get you in the […]

Read More
November 18, 2013
The History of the Violin

  Bowed string instruments have been played all over the world for many thousands of years. Medieval instruments including the Chinese erhu, the Finnish bowed lyre and the Indian sarangi all had the same basic mechanics as the modern violin, using the principle of a continually resonating string amplified by a hollow body. In 7th […]

Read More
November 6, 2013
Violin Fingering

  When you begin violin lessons, the left hand finger placement must be learned carefully. The violin has no frets and many teachers put stickers or tape across the fingerboard. Ultimately, the best way to learn finger placing is to train the ear to listen for the pitch and practice the fingering until the correct […]

Read More
November 3, 2013
The Instrument

  The violin is a string instrument with four strings, usually tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest member of the violin family, which includes viola, violoncello or ‘cello, and double bass, and has the highest pitch. The violin, from the Medieval Latin word vitula, which means stringed instrument, was developed in its modern […]

Read More
November 1, 2013
Creating Sound

  How the Violin Makes Sound The body of the violin is a hollow space that functions as an amplifier for vibration. The strings are suspended above the body by a bridge, a small piece of maple wood, which stands on the belly of the violin between the F holes and which is secured to […]

Read More
October 29, 2013
A Guide to Stage Fright for Violinists

  Stage fright is a state of nervousness or fear leading up to and during a performance. It is an exaggerated symptom of anxiety. The hands sweat or become icy cold, the body shakes, sometimes symptoms include nausea, an overwhelming sense of tiredness, a need to go to the toilet or shortness of breath, and […]

Read More
October 29, 2013
The Body – Awareness of Balance and Movement in Violin Playing

  The sound of the violin is as close as any instrument to the human voice. The ideal for the violinist is that the instrument is almost an extension of the body; it is the violinist’s voice. In order to create this sense, the violinist must learn to use the body without the interference of […]

Read More
October 25, 2013
Scales Flesch vs Galamian

The scale systems by Carl Flesch and Ivan Galamian are by no means the only in existence, but they have been the most widely used by violin students and teachers for many years. The systems are different in profound ways and each has valid applications for the modern violinist. Both Galamian and Flesch were master […]

Read More
October 24, 2013
Palladio by Karl Jenkins: A Players’ Guide

  Karl Jenkins is a Welsh composer and musician, born in 1944. He started his musical career as an oboist in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales and studied as a postgraduate at the Royal Academy of Music.  He went on to work mainly in jazz and jazz-rock bands, on baritone and soprano saxophone, keyboard, […]

Read More
October 16, 2013
Pattern Building

Pattern building studies for the violin are composed around simple ‘building-block’ phrases and repetitive figures, designed solely to build finger strength, agility and facility. There are many such studies in the violin repertoire, the best of which are the study books by Sevçik and Schradieck which, when practiced correctly, build left hand technique and strength […]

Read More
October 15, 2013
Gloves for Violinists

  If anyone ever says to you, “It sounds like you’re playing the violin with gloves on!” then you can take it they aren’t complimenting you on your performance. But sometimes, especially as winter approaches, we have to practice and perform in cold conditions. Is there a solution for violinists? Something which doesn’t interfere with […]

Read More
October 9, 2013
The Left Handed Violinist

  I was tutoring at a conference event recently; a slightly unusual one where I was asked to take a room full of delegates, fresh from lunch and expecting some generic team-building exercise, and teach them the basics of violin playing. I stood up and started off with the ill thought-out premise, “Your violin is […]

Read More
October 8, 2013
Why Play Scales?

We talk about playing scales all the time, but we rarely hear the reason why. Visit here to find out why we should play scales & why they are so important.

Read More
September 30, 2013
Free Easy Violin Sheet Music

  Finding new music to learn is a huge part of studying the violin, and if you want to expand your music library without spending a fortune there are several ways to find free easy violin sheet music. During your lessons, your teacher will guide your choice of repertoire and help you progress through different […]

Read More
September 30, 2013
Violin Paintings

The violin has held a central position in European culture for almost five centuries. Throughout that period, violin makers have taken great pride in the visual appearance of their instruments, which in turn has inspired generations of visual artists. As a result, the violin has enjoyed a second career as the subject of paintings. The […]

Read More
eLearning for the Violin.

15 Palace Street
Westminster, London
SW1E 5HS, ENGLAND

Email: support@violinschool.com
Phone: +44 (0) 20 3051 0080
© Copyright 2018 - ViolinSchool - All Rights Reserved
LONDON, UK
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram