Creating Life-Long Passion One Skill At A Time
Viola is hands down my favorite instrument! As the middle child of the violin family, it has a deep, rich and beautiful tone like the cello, but with the flexibility and size more similar to a violin. (And, you don’t have to buy an extra seat on a plane to take all that luscious sound with you!)
Viola is an instrument that I recommend all violinist learn how to play…at least a little bit! It is also considered an “endangered instrument” which means that there are often scholarships available for violists to help fill out ensembles! (Yes, that includes college scholarships!) Many of the famous composers were violists, including Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Paganini, Dvorak, Lalo, Vaughan Williams and even Jimi Hendrix, who started his musical career on viola!
Recommended Materials for Viola
Below are listed the regularly used materials in the studio. Please check first to see if and when the books are appropriate to use!
This is where we start! When the CD arrives, please immediately make a back-up copy and put the original in a safe spot! Immediately start listening to the CD on low volume and play on repeat until everyone in the house can sing the songs backwards and forwards! (Well, ok, not backwards!) This not only helps train the ears, but all of the ear training will help you make more efficient use of practice time–and save years worth of tuition in the process! I actually love that the Viola School comes with both Books 1 & 2 because you can be listening to Book 2 CD long before you need to buy the Book 2 Book! (This is why I recommend buying the first two books separately for viola and not on violin.)
This is the written music that is found in the Book 1 part of the 1 – 2 CD.
We start using this book after fluency has been obtained in pre-reading exercises, the student has graduated the Twinkles, AND the teacher feels the student can begin reading without harming technique or tone quality. (Don’t get rid of it because we will cycle back through the book many times adding layers of complexity!)
This is the go-to holiday book that we use every year for Christmas Carols at the Mary Ryder Home. The book is filled with easy arrangements of popular carols with harmony parts for multiple instruments in different combinations.
This is the written music that is found in the Book 2 part of the 1 – 2 CD.
This book supplies additional performance and audition repertoire. The various pieces are inserted throughout Suzuki levels 2-4. Please make sure to also purchase the cd, so you can practice with piano accompaniment.
(Please note that those needing to work on ear training will first start with the CD alone and those working on reading will start with book alone!)
The student should order this CD while in Book 1 or 2. Please make a back-up copy and keep original in a safe place!
This is the written music that is found in the Book 3 part of the 3 – 4 CD.
This is the written music that is found in the Book 4 part of the 3 – 4 CD.