After a violin student has learned to read most notes in first position
and feels comfortable handling the violin,
it is time to play within a group.
TEACHER GIGS - These are to be fun and have camaraderie.
The students are of all ages and playing levels.
Usually the more advanced students play the 2nd or 3rd part. Harmony is manytimes difficult for the younger students to hear and play. A few advanced students can play an octave up
and challange themselves to read the music in that manner.I sometimes have other teacher's students join mine for these gigs.
The gigs are many times formed around a holiday season. The teachers often play also, sitting with the students. The idea to enjoy making music together with no need for competition. The older students help the younger ones.
I have discoverd this is sometimes the first experience the student has with sitting to play the violin and sharing a stand with another violinist. Learning to sit and play the violin in a proper manner needs to be taught.
PLAY A SONG OF CHRISTMAS by Ruth Zimmerman Theodore Presser Company
* Very affordable music, 21 pages paperback. 36 Christmas song, however, I have used some for church programs that were not Christmas. The only drawback is there are many written in flats. Therefore
it is a bit more difficult for the very young ones. One really nice feature is this is available for ALL instruments. I have included clarinet and others before. Violin parts are A and B all first position.
CHAMBER MUSIC FOR TWO STRING INSTRUMENTS by Samuel Applebaum Belwin Mills Publishing Corp.
* Can be purchased for 2 part violin, 2 part cello, 2 part viola, 2 part bass. Book 1, 28 selections - Book 3 17 selections. Available in Books 1,2 3, each one is progressively more difficult. Book one is easy. Book 3 is difficult.
THE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION by Robert Dupre Pro Art publications
* This is scored for 4 violins. It is 16 pages of traditional carols. All first position easy rhythms and notes.
FIRST TRIO ALBUM by Harvery Whistler and Herman Hummel
* Rubank, Inc. 25 selections, all first position. The later ones in the book are fairly difficult. Most all keys represented.
VIOLIN ALL TIME CHRISTMAS FAVORITEES Columbia Christmas Vol.19 editor Carol Cuellar Columbia Pictures Publications
* 24 selections, pieces are in 2 part violin harmony, includes many lesser found, yet well liked, Christmas songs - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Holly Jolly Christmas, I'll be Home for Christmas, Rockin Round the Christms tree,Holly Jolly Christmas and others. Intermediate level.
SACRED SETTINGS by Robert Frost Neil Kjos Music Company
* Scored for 3 part violin. 24 selections, easy to intermediate. However I use it for all levels of playing ability. I have the older ones play an octave higher or play the third harmony part. A piano accompaniment can be purchased and also parts for other string instruments(also in 3 part). The book has a sturdy cover and can be used for years.
CHRISTMAS KALEIDOSCOPE Books 1 and 2 by Robert Frost Neil Kjos Music Company
* Book 1 is easy to intermediate but I use for all levels, Book 2 has harder keys in it but not too difficult. A piano accompaniment can be purchased and also parts for other string instruments(also in 3 part). The book has a sturdy cover and can be used for years. I use this book a lot.
BEAUTIFUL MUSIC FOR TWO VIOLINS by Samuel Applebaum Belwin Inc.
* Volumes 1,2,3,4, All of these are excellent. Book 1 is easy. They get progressively harder. There is a piano accompaniment available, however I had to purchase a certified copy of one accompaniment because it was out of print. I use these a lot. they are in 2 part harmony, however you can put as many as you wish on a part. They are also available for viola, cello and bass.
SHEET MUSIC by Sheila
* I have a lot of sheet music for 2 part violin I have written. I use familiar tunes and write my own harmonies. I am fortunate to have some violin parents who are great musicians and can create a piano accompaniment.
CLASSIC REPERTOIRE by Auer and Saenger Carl Fischer
* 10 arrangements for 4 violins. Intermediate to difficult.
* I have folders filled with books and music and labeled for 1st or 2nd violin. When students wish to perform for a function they can borrow a folder.
LEARNING GROUPS - for my students who are in local orchestras, I gather my own private violin students together and hold a group rehearsal of the orchestra music.
This can be done with only 1st, or 2nd, or 3rd, violinists or they can rehearse together.
Sometimes I invite an adult working orchestra violinist to conduct the rehearsal.
Each student has his/her own stand, her/his own personal copy of the music and a pencil and eraser.
It is easier to have only the 1st violins together and the 2nds together at another time. Working out the best fingerings can be time consuming.
Then if time permits, have another rehearsal where they try to play the parts together.
YOUTH STRINGS GROUPS - Many localites have local and regional youth orchestras and string groups for children to join. Some larger metropolitan areas have several youth orchestras, each for students who are at a different playing level. Sometimes the age requirement will overlap the groups.
In my area there is a Youth Strings Orchestra of strings only players for string players in 6th through 9th grade and a Youth Orchestra for students in grades 8th though 12th. grades.
Most of these require an audition.
Most auditions require: a solo that represents your playing level, scales, excerpts from the music the orchestra group performs.
Many school systems have a string music department in their school music programs. Reguardless of the student's playing level I believe these are
excellent programs that all children who play a string instrument should participate in and parents support.