Oh how my little tiny three, four and five year old Violin students love me! Then at age six and seven they still laugh at my jokes. At eight we’ve usually grown used to each other (and some of the good manners have worn off) and by the time they reach middle school they are suddenly unable to hear me yelling “legato” “whole bow” or “intonation” as loud as I can. Thankfully by high school my students are usually competitive and driven thanks to the wonderful youth symphony program we have here they hang on my every word…some even take notes.
Yes, it’s the middle school crowd that I work the hardest to motivate, and on top of that, I also offer “violin after school clubs” to local public school kids who can’t take private lessons. If you are like me and need some ideas to work the crowd, here are a few that are “crowd pleasers!”
It seems that almost every student I have either likes Taylor Swift, Lindsey Sterling or Time for Three. It’s easy to pick up a copy of a book full of Swift and Sterling favorites and sometimes I have my students watch a youtube video of Time For Three and imitate something they do, like, play someone else’s violin with your own bow.
My Violin Students all are FLOORED when they see something like this for the first time:
If YOU haven’t seen or played anything like this before, these are Fiddle Tab Charts. I love to grab these for the fiddling classes I teach during Summer Camp and I also gave some out to my students before winter break with Jingle Bells and Ashokan Farewell. The best resource I’ve found is here.
If your students need to seriously SLOW DOWN and work on reading fingerings, this helps!
Another fun piece with an intermediate student is the
Mozart Table Top Duet. How DID he do it?! Grab it from IMSLP here if you need a copy and you can listen to it here on youtube.
OR J. S. Bach’s Crab Cannon here.
My intermediate students always look forward to a good APP and I highly reccommend Audio Ninja and NinGenius for this age bracket. Violin Racer is the best 99 cents you can spend; popular in my studio and we keep track of how many 1st position/3rd position cars each student can pass. They LOVE checking out the whiteboard to see how they stack up. I just want them to improve upon their past week’s score! Other Joytunes apps like Piano Maestro and Dustbusters 2 are also great for sight reading (and for NEVER buying pop music again!) If you’d like to see how to HACK piano maestro for violin check out this blog post I did a few years ago. You can also join up with other Joytunes teachers on facebook. You never know, YOU might just be the next teacher of the month!
If you’d like more ideas to grow your studio and get your students in their happy practice place, please check out my book available to read on any device like PC/Laptop/Kindle or iPad from Amazon!
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