Choose Your Sound

Last Monday’s intermediate violin group class (level 4-5) really sounded fabulous! They will be playing in a concert with all of the other levels on June 5. Our project for the day was called, “Choose your tone.” We explored the tone of our “review” pieces (we memorize cumulatively all of the Suzuki Repertoire and review it while refining technique). Step one was to roll some soft dice with descriptive words on them.  Eventually we found a great word that inspired a convincing tone.  For example, in a piece entitled “The Two Grenadiers,” we chose the word “tragic” for the minor key section and the word “victorious” when the piece changes into major. This complimented the Two Grenadiers text about two soldiers returning from war. My favorite word chosen Monday was the word “bubbly.” This worked so well on Handel’s Bourrée; our ascending scales had wonderful energy as we got louder. I posted a whiteboard with cues for getting into the “Spirit” of the piece.

1. Stop and Think.

2. Bow weight?

3. Volume?

4. How fast?

5. Vibrato?

6. Relax.

7. Breathe…. It was a very productive class.

Furthermore, I was able to share with my other students in their private lessons these inspiring tone words.  I’m looking forward to hearing them all together at 6:30 on June 5 at Westminster Presbyterian, Escondido.