Curriculum

Here’s an overview of some of the topics you’ll cover whilst learning with ViolinSchool.

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SETUP

Parts of the Violin & Bow — Tightening and Loosening the Bow — Violin Strings — Violin and Bow Sizes — Chin Rests — Shoulder Rests — Rosin — Mute and Practice Mute — Violin Cases — Amplification — Electric Violins — Buy or Rent? — Instrument Types — Instrument Quality — Where to find a violin — Testing Violins — Choosing a Bow — The Buying Process — Buying ‘Second Hand’

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THE ESSENTIALS

Checklists (Building Good Habits) — Establishing Good Posture — Understanding and Minimising Tension — Breathing — Balance — Holding the Violin — Holding the Bow — Tuning the Violin — Using Tuning Apps — How to Make a Sound! — Plucking (Pizzicato) on Open Strings — Using the Whole Bow (Triangle, Square, Point) — Bowing (Arco) on Open Strings — Up Bow and Down Bow — Basic String Crossings — Straight Bows — Bowing Patterns with Simple Rhythms on Open Strings — Simple Melodies Based on Open Strings — Bow Changes — Basics of Sound Production (Speed, Weight, Point of Contact) — Bow Tilt — Producing a Clear, Pure, Resonant Sound — How to Practise — Preparing For Your First Performance!

Scales and Arpeggios
No Scales and Arpeggios Yet!

Music Theory
Recognising the Open Strings (G, D, A, E) on the Stave — Understanding the Main Note Values and How They Are Notated — Knowing the Symbols for Up Bow and Down Bow

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LEVEL 1

First Position — Left Hand Shape and Placement — Left Wrist in Relation to Arm — Using the Left Hand Fingers (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th) — Finding the Right Amount of Left Hand Finger Pressure — Tones and Semitones — Left Arm “Swing” — Intonation: Develop Skills for Playing In Tune — Basic Finger Patterns — Pizzicato — Separate Bows and Slurs — Pattern Building: Develop Physical Coordination Between Left and Right Hands — The Straight Bow — Varieties of Bow Tilt — Flexibility of Right Hand and Wrist — Pronation and Supination — Functions of Fingers on the Bow — Using the Whole Bow (Heel to Tip) — Motions of the Right Arm — Basic Bow Division (Whole, Half, Quarter) — Smooth String Crossings (Exercises) — Retakes — Dynamics: Playing Loudly and Quietly — “Hairpins”: Crescendo and Diminuendo — Accents — Dotted Rhythms and Syncopation — Using the Metronome — Achieving a Sense of Character and Style — Distraction Techniques and Automaticity — Playing Without Looking — Efficient and Effective Practice Structure!

Scales and Arpeggios
Scales:

1 Octave: G, D, A majors — G, D, A minors
2 Octaves: G, A majors — G minor melodic and harmonic, A minor
Arpeggios:
1 Octave: G, D, A majors — G, D, A minors
2 Octaves: G, A majors — G minor melodic and harmonic, A minors

Music Theory
Letter Names of Notes — The Stave and Clef — Reading Notes on the Stave — Ledger Lines — Time Values of Notes — Bars and Time Signatures — Sharps, Flats, Naturals — Key Signatures — Tones and Semitones — The Scale — Degrees of the Scale — The Arpeggio — Major and Minor — Basic Intervals — Rests — Ties — Dotted Notes — Accidentals — Note Groupings in a Bar — Tempo Markings, Dynamics, Repeat Signs, Slurs, Ties, Accents — Metronome Marks

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LEVEL 2

Half Position — Extensions — Legato and Staccato — Tenuto — Détaché — Portato — Double Stops on Open Strings — Playing in Different Parts of the Bow — Variety of Bow Divisions — Trills — Tremolo — Triplets — Grace Notes and Ornaments — Glissando — Basic Phrasing — Left Hand Pizzicato on Open Strings — Greater Use of 4th Finger to Avoid Open Strings — Tempo: Slowing Down and Speeding Up

Scales and Arpeggios
Scales:

1 Octave: Bb, B, E, F majors — Bb, B, E, F minors
2 Octaves: Bb, B majors
Arpeggios:
1 Octave: Bb, B, E, F majors — Bb, B, E, F minors
2 Octaves: Bb, B majors

Music Theory
Triplets — Triads — Notating Staccato, Legato, Tenuto, Portato — Simple and Compound Time  — Relative Major and Minor Keys — Harmonic and Melodic Minor Scales — Major and Minor Intervals

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LEVEL 3

Second Position — Shifting (1st and 2nd Position) — Chromatic Patterns — Double and Triple String Crossings — Spiccato — Martelé — Hooked Bowing — Double Stops (One Finger Plus Open String) — Understanding the Motions Involved in Vibrato — Basic Vibrato Exercises — Rubato — Col Legno — Changing Quickly Between Arco and Pizzicato

Scales and Arpeggios
Scales:

1 Octave: Ab Major, C major, Eb major — Ab, C, Eb minors
2 Octaves: Ab major, C major — G#, C minors
Arpeggios:
1 Octave: Ab, C, Eb majors — Ab, C, Eb minors
2 Octaves: Ab major, C major — G#, C minors
Chromatic:
1 Octave: Starting on Open G, Open D, Open A
2 Octaves: Starting on Open G

Music Theory
Upbeats — 32nd notes (demisemiquavers) — 64th notes (hemidemisemiquavers) — Octave Transposition — Octave Signs — First and Second Time Bars — Intervals in Detail (Perfect, Augmented, Diminished)

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LEVEL 4

3rd Position — Shifting (1st through 3rd Position) — Exploring Different Types of Shift — Expressive “Slides” (Glissando and Portamento) — Sautillé — Basic Natural Harmonics (Octave Above Open String) — Double Stops (Using Two Fingers) — Irregular Time Signatures — Continuous Vibrato on Long Notes — Sul Tasto — Sul Ponticello — String Crossings with Détaché, Staccato, Slurs, Martelé — Good Tone Quality at All Dynamics — Chamber Music: Collaboration and Interaction With Other Musicians

Scales and Arpeggios
Scales:

2 Octaves: Db, D, Eb, E majors — Db, D, Eb, E minors
Arpeggios:
2 Octaves: Db, D, Eb, E majors — Db, D, Eb, E minors
Diminished Sevenths:
2 Octaves: Starting on G, Ab, A, Bb
Dominant Sevenths:
2 Octaves: In the keys of C, D, Eb
Chromatic:
2 Octaves: Starting on Ab, A, Bb, B, C

Music Theory:
Double Whole Notes (Breves) — Double Dots — Duplets and Other Tuplets — Double Sharps and Double Flats — Enharmonic Equivalents — Technical Names of Notes in the Scale — Chords — The Chromatic Scale — Ornament Signs — The Circle of Fifths

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LEVEL 5

4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th Positions — Shifting (1st through 8th Positions) — Reliable Intonation When Shifting — Vibrato With Variation of Speed and Width — Triple and Quadruple Stops (Chords) — Spreading Chords — Advanced Pattern Building (Left and Right Hand) — Rapid String Crossings  — Rich Variety of Tonal “Colours” — Idiomatic and Sensitive Musical Shaping — Fingering and Bowing Choices to Maximise Expression (Not Safety!) — Bartók (“Slap”) Pizzicato

Scales and Arpeggios
Scales:

2 Octaves: F, F# majors — F, F# minors
3 Octaves: G, Ab major, A major — G minor melodic and harmonic, G#, A minor
Arpeggios:
2 Octaves: F, F# majors — F, F# minors
3 Octaves: G major, Ab major, A major — G minor melodic and harmonic, G#, A minors
Diminished Sevenths:
2 Octaves: Starting on B, C, C#, D
Dominant Sevenths:
2 Octaves: In the keys of Db, E, F, G
Chromatic:
2 Octaves: Starting on Db, D, Eb

Music Theory
Regular and Irregular Time Signatures — Transposition — Compound Intervals — Identifying Chords — Inversions of Triads — Cadences

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LEVEL 6

All Positions — Shifting (All Positions) — All Tuplets — Fast Passagework in a Wide Variety of Rhythm and Bowing Patterns — All Natural Harmonics — Cadenzas — Pizzicato Chords and “Strumming” — Double Stops: Proficient in Thirds, Sixths, and Octaves — Ricochet — Arpeggiated Chords — “Springing” Arpeggiated Chords — Rapid Scales and Arpeggios

Scales and Arpeggios
Scales:

3 Octaves: Bb, B, C, Db, D majors — Bb, B, C, C#, D minors
Arpeggios:
3 Octaves: Bb, B, C, Db, D majors — Bb, B, C, C#, D minors
Diminished Sevenths:
2 Octaves: Starting on Eb, E, F, F#
Dominant Sevenths:
2 Octaves: In the keys of Gb, Ab, A, Bb, B
Chromatic:
2 Octaves: Starting on E, F, F#
Double Stop Scales: Thirds, Sixths, Octaves
Broken Thirds: 2 and 3 Octaves

Music Theory
Harmony — Chord Progressions — Sequences — Modulations

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LEVEL 7

Artificial Harmonics — Left Hand Pizzicato (Stopped Notes) — Simultaneous Arco and Left Hand Pizzicato — Up Bow Staccato — Down Bow Staccato — “Flying” Staccato — Bariolage — All Combinations of Double Stops and Chords Within Limit of Hand-Size!

Scales and Arpeggios
Scales:

3 Octaves: Eb, E, F, F# majors — Eb, E, F, F# minors
4 Octaves: G, Ab, A majors — G, G#, A minors
Arpeggios:
3 Octaves: Eb, E, F, F# majors — Eb, E, F, F# minors
4 Octaves: G, Ab, A majors — G, G#, A minors
Diminished Sevenths:
3 Octaves: All
Dominant Sevenths:
3 Octaves: All
Chromatic:
3 Octaves: Starting on G, Ab, A, Bb, B, C, C#, D
Double Stop Scales: All
Broken Thirds: All
Scales in Artificial Harmonics: All

Music Theory
Figured Bass — Composition — Harmonising Melodies — Score Reading — Deep Knowledge of Music History and Awareness of Styles

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LEVEL 8

Double Stop Tenths — Double Stop Trills (Study) — Double Harmonics — Chromatic Glissando — Scordatura Tuning — Quarter Tones — Rapid Four-Octave Scales and Arpeggios — Fingered Octaves — Subharmonics — Col Legno Tratto — Fingerboard “Slaps” — “Scratch” or “Crunch” Tone — “Chopping” — “Seagull” Harmonic Glissando — “Extreme” Sul Tasto and “Extreme” Sul Ponticello — Circular Bowing — Playing Behind Bridge — Fingernail Pizzicato — Improvisation

Scales and Arpeggios
All possible Scales and Arpeggios!
Scale Systems such as those by Carl Flesch and Ivan Galamian