Violin and Viola

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Welcome to our Music Diary page for violin and viola! 

Make a note of these recommended activities in your Music Diary to help with your practice.  We'll be adding new activities regularly to keep you inspired. 

Regular practice can be fun and will help improve your playing or singing.

Remember - you're in charge of your practice routine so you can work at your own pace.  Keep working on new pieces or skills until you feel confident with them before moving on to the next challenge.  

Click here for Resources for Curriculum Music

Click here for Resources for Aural and Theory

 

Use the Instrumental Update Worksheets  (Worksheet 1 PDF     Worksheet 2 PDF) to help you get the most from these activities in your practice.

 

Activities



Beginner and initial


  • Posture and Playing Position   

Establishing the correct posture is an important every time you play.  Follow Miss Chappell's video and you'll get it right every time:


  • Setting Up    

Miss Chappell shows you how to set up your violin or viola properly so you're ready to play:


  •  Bow Hold (Beginner)  

Learn how to hold your bow correctly with Miss Chappell:


  • Left Hand Technique   

Some top tips for left hand work: 


  • Copycats

A fun 'call and response' exercise:

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Grades 1 and 2


Learn the D major scale for violin and viola with Miss Chappell:


String Skills offers a whole range of resources for string players.  You can download a range of well-known tunes to have a go at.  The pieces vary in difficulty, starting with the easier ones and getting progressively more challenging.  Be careful of the use of low/squashy 2s in some of the later ones, and Go Down, Moses should only be attempted by those working towards Grade 2 due to the use of flats.

There are backing tracks available to download for you to play along with (most have an introduction – have a quick listen first before you try playing along).

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Grade 3


Use the worksheet to navigate the String Skills website.  The worksheet identifies useful activities for grade 3 ability.

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Grades 4 and 5


  • Bow Hold (Intermediate/Advanced)

Two videos of exercises for intermediate and advanced players to help develop a relaxed and flexible blow hold: 


  • Vibrato Masterclass 

Mr Simons demonstrates exercises to help develop your vibrato:


  • Tuning by Ear

A useful skill for intermediate and advanced musicians to develop for tuning their instrument:


Use the worksheet to navigate the String Skills website.  The worksheet identifies useful activities for grade 4-5 ability.

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Grades 6 - 8


  • Bow Hold (Intermediate/Advanced)

Two videos of exercises for intermediate and advanced players to help develop a relaxed and flexible blow hold: 


  • Vibrato Masterclass    

Mr Simons demonstrates exercises to help develop your vibrato:


  • Tuning by Ear

A useful skill for intermediate and advanced musicians to develop for tuning their instrument:


  • Advanced Bowing Techniques

Recommended tutorials from David LePage covering a number of specific bowing techniques.  

Remember that in order to effectively develop these techniques, it is vital that a relaxed and flexible bow hold is established first:

1. Sautille

2. Spiccato

  

3. Ricochet


  • Vibrato and Triple Stop

Recommended tutorials from Classic FM’s Artist in Residence, Maxim Vengerov:

1. How to produce and change vibrato

 2. How to play triple stops


Use the worksheet to navigate the String Skills website.  The worksheet identifies useful activities for grade 6-8 ability.

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Additional Activities and Resources

Looking for more fun ideas, hints and tips or challenging activities?  Try some of these below:


Record your practice by colouring in this chart.  How will you celebrate when you've filled it all in?   


  • How to Tune a Violin or Viola     Guide PDF 

To make the most of your playing, make sure your violin or viola is in tune.  You can learn to tune them yourself using this guide.



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