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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Suzuki


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/40057

haggis - Posted - 01/02/2015:  12:19:41


Got hold of " The Suzuki Method", both music and recordings. I am going to incorporate it in my practice routine in an effort to improve my technique. My question is this. Can any classical player out there tell me,how well should I be able to play one piece before I move on to the next? Should I be playing it from the dots or am I supposed to memorize these pieces? They do seem to get progressively more difficult. A life time of work!


JRice - Posted - 01/02/2015:  15:37:08


Blair, I have studied from the Suzuki Method Book and Essentials for Strings by Gerald Anderson and have found that a practice routine of scales and arpeggios and method books works for me. Out of the method books, I try to study one section at a time. Then, when I practice scales and arpeggios I can concentrate on what I need more practice on. I can't always play from memory when studying one piece of music, but when I come back to it, memory gets better each time I play it. My practice routine for scales are: G Major (F#), D Major (C# & F#), A Major (C#, F#, & G#), C Major, F Major (Bb), and Bb Major (Bb & Eb). Hope this helps. I t has worked well for me. Jerry


Dick Hauser - Posted - 01/02/2015:  18:08:16


Each tune is an exercise designed to help you improve your playing skills. No reason to memorize them. Unless you plan on becoming a violinist you will probably never play them again. And if you do, they will be in a much more advanced arrangement. The tunes themselves aren't that important. What counts is how much the tune improves your playing. The exercises force you to learn and use a wide assortment of playing skills.

I could be wrong, but I would guess you are playing Scottish music. Playing this type of music, unlike some other styles of music, will have you using techniques you are developing in the Suzuki program. When using the Suzuki books/CDs, I never advanced beyond a tune until I could play the tune error-free. Until you can do that, you need to "clean up" your playing and solve any problems you are having with a tune. Each tune teaches skills that will be required in tunes further along in the course. Maybe even the next tune.

You do not have to go far along in the Suzuki series to be a decent fiddler. If you can play the material in the first 3 books/CDs without a problem, you will be able to use most fiddle repertoire books without a problem. You will still have to learn new things, but that is part of fiddling. You never stop learning.

I like the Suzuki books/CDs. The tunes are educational, and you are required to use everything you learn. In addition, the tunes teach notation reading skills.
The bits and pieces of classical tunes are fun to play and hear. These books/CD have you working on a wider range of playing skills than exercises that only improve/reinforce one or two things.

I have just put on my flame proof underwear.

fiddlepogo - Posted - 01/02/2015:  19:55:36


quote:

Originally posted by Dick Hauser

 

Each tune is an exercise designed to help you improve your playing skills. No reason to memorize them. Unless you plan on becoming a violinist you will probably never play them again. And if you do, they will be in a much more advanced arrangement. The tunes themselves aren't that important. What counts is how much the tune improves your playing. The exercises force you to learn and use a wide assortment of playing skills.



I could be wrong, but I would guess you are playing Scottish music. Playing this type of music, unlike some other styles of music, will have you using techniques you are developing in the Suzuki program. When using the Suzuki books/CDs, I never advanced beyond a tune until I could play the tune error-free. Until you can do that, you need to "clean up" your playing and solve any problems you are having with a tune. Each tune teaches skills that will be required in tunes further along in the course. Maybe even the next tune.



You do not have to go far along in the Suzuki series to be a decent fiddler. If you can play the material in the first 3 books/CDs without a problem, you will be able to use most fiddle repertoire books without a problem. You will still have to learn new things, but that is part of fiddling. You never stop learning.



I like the Suzuki books/CDs. The tunes are educational, and you are required to use everything you learn. In addition, the tunes teach notation reading skills.

The bits and pieces of classical tunes are fun to play and hear. These books/CD have you working on a wider range of playing skills than exercises that only improve/reinforce one or two things.



I have just put on my flame proof underwear.







You'd only need it if Mark O'Connor was a member here!  He doesn't like the Suzuki Method... but then, he's trying to sell his own.



I HOPE you don't need the flame proof underwear for anyone who's actually a member here.



A lot of the younger fiddlers these days got their start with the Suzuki method.



Edited by - fiddlepogo on 01/02/2015 19:57:20

amwildman - Posted - 01/02/2015:  20:06:49


I don't know the Suzuki books, but my teacher uses them extensively with most of her other students.  I inquired about learning via this method, so she told me a few things that may help. Each book has a certain goal, and each piece and exercise within is chosen/designed to be part of that goal.  For example, book 2 is all about phrasing - bow direction, some dynamics, etc.  I'd strongly recommend that you ascertain the goal of each piece/exercise within before tackling it.  You should then play each piece well enough to have understood the goal before moving on.  Some things are worth coming back to , like Tonalization. 



She also mentioned that one should only start the method if they put the appropriate practice time and dedication into them.  As in 1-2 hours practice per day.  She felt that the books were organized such that not putting in the proper work would leave huge holes in your classical playing ability.  Now, I'm not sure how that applies to fiddle music, but it is something to consider when tackling the material.  :)


haggis - Posted - 01/03/2015:  09:43:56


Thanks folks!

Dick Hauser - Posted - 01/03/2015:  12:41:46


Fiddlepogo - I have always admired Mark O'Connors musicianship, but when he came out with a formal program I had my doubts. I watched a PBS show featuring grade school violin students performing. Mark O'Connor and well known violinists played along with the students. Mark played one fiddle tune, but did not put his fiddle to his shoulder for any other tunes that were played. He would not have been the first great fiddler who didn't use notation. I don't think this skill is a must for someone teaching a workshop either. But when developing a long written course, his not having this ability would have extended the time it took to create the course, and increase the production cost quite a bit.

Have you ever read Steve Kaufmans "Parking Lot Picking" guitar series ? I keep begging for someone to publish a series just like this for the fiddle. If anybody ever does accomplish this, it will be THE fiddling book. Like getting 60 super lessons for about $60 or $70. Some guitar players complained about price, but I don't consider $1 a lesson expensive. There are 3 versions (basic,intermediate,advanced) of 20 tunes, and 6 CDs with each book. The best stringed instrument repertoire instructional I have ever used or even seen.

Lee M - Posted - 01/08/2015:  13:58:24


When my kids (three) took Suzuki lessons, I sat in and took to heart everything taught.. It is a good system..and it helped my playing a lot..


fiddlinsteudel - Posted - 01/08/2015:  14:09:10


quote:

Originally posted by Dick Hauser

 

Fiddlepogo - I have always admired Mark O'Connors musicianship, but when he came out with a formal program I had my doubts. I watched a PBS show featuring grade school violin students performing. Mark O'Connor and well known violinists played along with the students. Mark played one fiddle tune, but did not put his fiddle to his shoulder for any other tunes that were played. He would not have been the first great fiddler who didn't use notation. I don't think this skill is a must for someone teaching a workshop either. But when developing a long written course, his not having this ability would have extended the time it took to create the course, and increase the production cost quite a bit.



Have you ever read Steve Kaufmans "Parking Lot Picking" guitar series ? I keep begging for someone to publish a series just like this for the fiddle. If anybody ever does accomplish this, it will be THE fiddling book. Like getting 60 super lessons for about $60 or $70. Some guitar players complained about price, but I don't consider $1 a lesson expensive. There are 3 versions (basic,intermediate,advanced) of 20 tunes, and 6 CDs with each book. The best stringed instrument repertoire instructional I have ever used or even seen.







bluegrasscollege.com had some really nice breaks. They had som great fiddlers (luke bulla, casey driessan) come in and do two versions of each song. They provided learning speed, medium speed, and at speed tracks. They kinda went out of business ... so their web site is really slow, but great content if you can get it. If anyone is interested in samples let me know.


FacePalm - Posted - 01/08/2015:  16:17:52


quote:

Originally posted by Lee Mysliwiec

 

When my kids (three) took Suzuki lessons, I sat in and took to heart everything taught.. It is a good system..and it helped my playing a lot..







Any system is good.!?...but without at a teacher they are nothing ...!?



If you are teaching your self, try reading some of these books........



Kato Havas...a new approach to violin playing.



Herbert Whone...the simplicity of violin playing.....*



Yehudi Menuhin....six lessons with Y M



Simon Fischer .....basics....



 


JSFisher - Posted - 01/08/2015:  21:35:34


I've found the full Suzuki program and philosophy to be excellent for very young players.  The concept of learning music like you learn a language is very apt for pre-schoolers, and 1st, and 2nd graders.  And, they benefit extremely from watching their peers in group lessons.



For older students I use Suzuki in conjunction with a more traditional method (Wohlfahrt's Easiest Elementary Method).  At 3rd or 4th grade, students are capable of using both their ears and eyes, learning to listen to the music AND read the notation.  The Suzuki serves as a goal - a collection of pieces to polish for performance.  And, it helps to jumpstart their playing, so that they feel like they are really doing something right away.  But, to my thinking, additional exercises and scales are also called for, for older students.  Just one opinion.  


Sue B. - Posted - 01/20/2015:  19:50:28


You can use Suzuki books the way you would use any collection of short pieces, but that isn't Suzuki method or philosophy at all. Listening to the recordings many times before playing the tunes is an integral part of the program. The early books were meant for the parent to refer to, hence the fingerings that were printed in the early editions. Little beginners don't read at all until they already playing quite well. American Suzuki programs are quite varied, and a fair number of people use the materials or say they teach Suzuki when they haven't had training.

fujers - Posted - 01/23/2015:  19:31:16


Henry, I read Yehudi Menuhin book's 4 and 5. You know the only thing I really got of it....you need to watch your hands...Jerry

FacePalm - Posted - 01/23/2015:  19:48:06


I was talking about this book....



goodreads.com/book/show/135344.Violin



 



I read it and practiced every page, and I did'nt go to the next page unless I understood what I was reading.



That took me two years from cover to cover. 



I don't know the books 4 and 5....But how many times did you read them?



What and how much did you understand and practice...??



 


fujers - Posted - 01/23/2015:  19:59:07


I guees I practiced what made since to me...you know how things change as you get older. I tried playing what he suggested and said this is to tuff for me. So I just went my own route. Been there ever since

chas5strings - Posted - 02/11/2015:  01:17:21


quote:


 




Herbert Whone...the simplicity of violin playing.....*




 







I had the pleasure of knowing Bert Whone when he lived in Harrogate (my home town). He taught at Huddersfield (where I studied viola and guitar)



Very often Bert would walk to work carrying his fiddle , 35 miles. He would sometimes buy a cabbage on Leeds Road and chomp away at it during his teaching sessions.



He had some very different ideas bearing in mind we are talking 60s and 70s.



It was not unknown for students to have to play the violin while lying on their backs on the floor.



Try it!


Dick Hauser - Posted - 02/11/2015:  08:34:33


chas5strings -  playing while lying on your back would just be a variation of playing with your back to the wall idea.  Just keep the upper arm (i.e. elbow to shoulder) against the wall/floor.  


chas5strings - Posted - 02/11/2015:  08:48:46


Politely Dick No. I think the point was to be able to be comfortable with the violin in all sorts of situations thus eliminating tenseness when playing "normally".



Keeping elbow to shoulder restrained as you suggest would give rise to a very poor bowing technique. For a start you would begin a down bow near the bridge then traverse in an arc until at the other end of the bow you would be over the fingerboard and you couldn't use a full bow anyway and make a sound.



 I don't know whether you knew Bert but that would completely against his ethos.


boxbow - Posted - 02/11/2015:  15:28:58


I think the whole back to the wall stunt has to do with certain beginners with frozen wrist and elbow so that all bowing takes place at the shoulder.  When they can't punch their elbow through the wall, they begin to consider other options.  Otherwise, chas5strings, I see your point.  I might have to give it a go just for fun.


Larry Rutledge - Posted - 02/12/2015:  06:10:29


Here's an interview with Micheal Cleveland,  youtube.com/watch?v=_Z05Myj2LnQ



Starts in some other language, but switches to English.   Watch and enjoy, and listen to  what he says about the Suzuki method.  I don't belive he can see his hands.  If so not very well.


imapicker2 - Posted - 02/12/2015:  11:24:08



Thanks Larry , that video made -my-day!

justme - Posted - 04/04/2015:  17:44:37


Michael Cleveland is just not of this earth. Just incredible player and i love his fiddle

Humbled by this instrument - Posted - 04/14/2015:  16:42:34


Classical weenies.


Lee M - Posted - 04/22/2015:  14:12:34


quote:

Originally posted by Larry Rutledge

 

Here's an interview with Micheal Cleveland,  youtube.com/watch?v=_Z05Myj2LnQ




Starts in some other language, but switches to English.   Watch and enjoy, and listen to  what he says about the Suzuki method.  I don't belive he can see his hands.  If so not very well.







While watching that video I came across This one... It brought on tears of joy..:



  youtube.com/watch?v=LrYxk5g8peQ


Lee M - Posted - 05/16/2015:  13:39:01


It looks as if my last post on this topic ...killed it.. Why else would such a good topic stop receiving comments?  Woe is me..



 


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