Tricks to Tunes Viola Book 1
By Audrey Akerman.
This set of tutors is designed for teaching mixed string instruments in groups. It is a systematic program developed over many years from many years experience teaching strings in schools.
The tutors are aimed at the primary and lower secondary school age group but are also suitable for older beginners.
The children learn ‘tricks’ for their fingers or bows, which are fun when done in a group. Reading skills are developed at the same time.
Each page represents a small step in musical and technical development based on reading music from the very first lessons. Theory homework is included at the end of most sections, providing the complete theory required as children progress.
The tutors for each instrument are identical in content except where differences are required to accommodate the different instruments.
Books 1 & 2 of the series are each intended to cover one year of group tuition, based on a school year of 40 weeks. Book 3 provides material for two years. Progress will vary according to the age of the children, the size of the group and the extent of their previous musical experience.
Additional repertoire at the end of the books provides:
- extension work for pupils who reach the end of the book before the rest of the group
- additional work for those who want it
- end of year concert pieces
These tutors make playing music fun, as it should be!
Book 1 progresses in steps from a single open string to the scale of D major. One divergence from the usual approach is that the note G is taught after E but before F#. This better develops the left hand position, especially for cellists. The tunes in this section of the tutor are based on the minor 3rd interval and correlate with the Kodaly method in classroom music.
As the primary intention of this tutor is for group tuition of mixed string instruments, the note A is initially presented as an open string (except for the double bass). The use of the fourth finger for violin and viola is introduced later in the book.
All tunes until late in Book 1 are in common time to establish a strong sense of basic rhythm and a solid understanding of beat before adding other variations.