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Steps to Learning a New Piece

In the beginning stages, approach  new pieces without the instruments by learning familiar pieces by rote.  As the group advances, unfamiliar pieces can be approached using the same steps .

These steps can be used with any method book or repertoire.  This sequence is flexible – the teacher should monitor the level of the group and leave out unnecessary steps, or repeat steps that will further develop needed skills.


When teaching repertoire, the teacher should be aware of the following:
1. Bow strokes and bow division:
Awareness of the bow division and bow strokes to be used in each piece.
2. Use of the Fingers:
Awareness of finger placement, i.e. which fingers stay down, when to lift the fingers, and how the fingers become independent.
3. Form and the Music:
Awareness of form is the first step to understanding music in the beginning stages of violin playing. Other musical concepts such as dynamics, tempo markings, ritards, etc. are incorporated into learning the form. Thus each musical idea becomes a part of the total musical expression. (The awareness of form from the beginning significantly helps to organize the musical memory of students.)
4. Practice and Isolation of Difficulties:
Isolate and practice the technical difficulties. At every level of string playing, practicing is a matter of both discernment and informed repetition. This begins with the first lesson.

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