Thursday, September 11, 2014

Practice Tips for Lightly Row in Suzuki Book 1

    Congratulations on learning the Twinkles, so let's get to Lightly Row. As a parent working with your child or as a student it is easy to feel like you do not know how to approach a new song. Whether you are a violinist, violist, cellist, or bassist, here are some tips to help you learn this song:

  • Playing Position: Prepare the playing position before starting the song.
  • Structure: The order is part 1 (first line), part 2 (second line), part 3 (third line), part 2 (fourth line).
  • Strategies:  
    • Warm-up with the bow exercises.
    • Listen to the song one time before playing it. So pop in that c.d. or watch the video above!
    • The song introduces more hops from string to string (called string crosses). Play the first measure (E, C#, C#) with the Twinkle rhythms, this will make playing the E and C# easier. Now, play the first measure the way it is written in the book. 
    • Go through the same process for the second measure and any other notes that are tricky for you.
    • Beware of just getting through the piece, the best way to learn a song is to master it in small chunks.
    • Play along with the Youtube video above.
    • Play through all the Twinkles and Lightly Row. 
     Over the years I have noticed the tendency of students and parents of approaching practicing as a chore to get through. Beware of this mindset, it will slow things down, limit how much you will learn and make playing the violin boring. It is better to think of it as an opportunity to grow, as an adventure of learning something new, and as a chance to calm yourself from all the other things going on in the world. 

These are just a few ideas, get creative and try the song in different ways!

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