Category: Blog

Welcome to the New Season at ViolinSchool - 2019/2020!

Welcome to the 2019/2020 Season at ViolinSchool! In the next few days, we'll be announcing lots of exciting news, including a new venue for our Saturday School in London, a new Teacher Training course in Dublin, new Printed Violin Books, and new Courses for Children and Intermediate Violinists. Stay tuned!

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The Practice Menu - A Framework for How to Practise the Violin

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!

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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