The following pieces are specifically for those students in Books 4-5 (case by case basis if below that book level):
1. Violin Parrot
2. Violin Bubbles (Regards from the Autumn Fiddler)
Violin Parrot and Violin Bubbles are the "challenge" pieces for this Spring. They have considerably more shifting than I have given students on supplemental pieces in the past. While I am excited about this and know that they can rise to the challenge, it is going to be a challenge! Intonation and shifting are the things that need serious attention on these pieces. ;)
Guilderoy is all about the intonation, so make sure to work on getting the notes in tune. (This is also a great time to remind students that if they have been negligent on practicing their scales, then they are going to continue to fight with getting the notes in tune. So practice those scales!)
4. Garry Owen: pay attention to all of the tenuto notes (notes played with emphasis). Remember that we "articulate" those notes by doing a Thumb Squeeze every time. We did spend some time double-checking that students' music was marked with the tenutos on the correct notes. So if your student missed group class this past Friday, or is not sure if they have them all marked in their music, be sure to check with one of the students at the next group class for the correct markings. (I know that Rachel and Allyson caught them all for sure.)
5. Double Dazzle: Whenever a B is played, be sure to emphasize it with a Thumb Squeeze and fast bow stroke.
6. Tarantella: piu mosso was the focus on this one. If your student has no idea what "piu mosso" means, this would be the perfect opportunity for them to look it up in a music dictionary (or Google it). ;) Also, the second section of this piece sounded super this past Friday, but it may have been because there were only 3 students at group (so there was more pressure to play it correctly). Anyway, one of the students at class made the comment that the second section sounded awful last week (and I had to agree with her). Be sure that your student is observing the key change to major (from minor), because the C# and G# notes must be in tune for the piece to sound good.
7. Pig in the Fire: We changed the bowings in this piece to reflect a more "slip-like" quality for this fiddle piece. Your student can get the bowings from another student at the next group class.
With the older group, my plan has always been to give them more music than what we will likely play at the concert in May. This helps me to assess where their strengths (and weaknesses) are as a group. Be sure to practice every piece, and review all of the Suzuki repertoire on the purple sheet as well.
Thanks for being at group this past Friday!
In the Book 1 Group Class, here is what we covered:
1. Twinkle Variations: Variation B needs to be staccato--NO LEGATO bow strokes; Variation D should be in the lower half of the bow (all the variations--except the Theme--should be played in the lower half of the bow); Theme listen carefully for the "disconnected" staccato/portato bow strokes--NO LEGATO!
2. Song of the Wind: staccato bow strokes, not legato. This seemed to be a recurring theme this evening where staccato notes were being played legato (smooth and connected). As your student practices at home, please make sure that they are mindfully reviewing and observing all the fine details of the pieces. Listening to the Suzuki recording on a daily basis would help greatly improve things in this area as well. :)
3. Allegro: needs practice! (One student made the bold observation that everyone really needs to practice this piece this week. ;) ) The third line, in particular, was a bit disastrous. So while we did go through that line specifically in group class, make sure to follow up at home this week.
4. Perpetual Motion: string crossings were a mess on this one. When reviewing this piece, remind your student to do Tick Tocks and Silent String Crossings first to ensure greater success when playing. ;)
5. Doodle Dots: the open string part needs to be plucked PERFECTLY as a group before we can play it with the bow. So this one needs to be a major practice point for this week.
6. Stamping Song: We learned 10 measures together by rote. Students were sent home with a copy of this as well, so if they are reading notes, they can review those 10 measures (to the green line) on their own at home. We will be following up with this in subsequent group classes, but if you want specific points as to how to practice this at home, just ask at your student's next private lesson.
7. Dilley Dance: We worked on clapping back rhythmic patterns, and then clapping these rhythmic patterns while "dancing"--more like stepping to the side or bobbing the head, ;) The notes will be the last thing we add on this one.
8. We also quizzed parts of the violin and bow at the beginning of class. In previous weeks, we have been working on drilling the music staff; writing the open strings on the staff; and writing the skip alphabet on the staff as well.
Overall, these students are doing FANTASTIC! I am so thrilled that the majority of them attend group class so consistently! It really will continue to pay off (if you have not noticed things already like advancing through pieces easier than usual). I will finally be putting recordings of the supplemental pieces in the Dropbox folder later this week. Once those recordings are up, please plan to add them to your student's daily listening regimen.