Violin and viola 4A
Time: 19:45 - 21:15
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: ME145A
Duration: 12 sessions (over 13 weeks)
What is the course about?
You will develop the techniques of violin/viola playing at an intermediate level.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Improving sound quality by developing basic bow strokes
- Study of 2nd and 4th positions
- Vibrato (starting or developing)
- Listening skills for ensemble playing
- Aural awareness (especially of intervals for tuning and note finding).
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Use vibrato where appropriate
- Read notation and play in 2nd and 4th positions
- Move between left hand positions
- Employ a variety of bowing techniques
- Understand elements of music theory relevant to violin/viola playing
- Work on individual development points
- Scales and arpeggios based on the Grade 4 syllabus.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You need a playing standard of approximately Grade 3-4 and you should be able to tune your instrument independently and read music. You should be fluent in 1st and 3rd positions and familiar with major and minor scales (up to 3 sharps/2 flats) in two octaves with slurred and separate bowing patterns.
You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English and engage in class discussions.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The tutor will direct the group, playing along with the whole class (either with the students' line or an accompaniment) or listening to individuals play. We will use some pre-recorded accompaniment and very simple playing by ear.
A regular practice routine is essential to make progress, ideally at least 30 minutes, 4-5 times per week.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring your own violin or viola kit (including bow, rosin and shoulder rest), plus pen, pencil, eraser and notepad. You will need to purchase some music (which will be used throughout level 4 ABC). Other materials will be provided by the tutor via Google Classroom, including notation in treble clef for viola music / alto clef for violin music
Violin/Viola Belwin String Course: Second and Fourth Positions (violin / viola edition as needed)
Violin ABRSM Violin Grade 4 Pieces and Scales/Arpeggios
Neil Mackay, A Tuneful introduction to second position (Stainer & Bell)
Viola ABRSM More Time Pieces for Viola Book 2 (Grades 4-7)
See our guide on Where to buy music and instruments.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
This course leads to Violin and viola 4B next term. You may also be interested in String Ensemble and String Winter/Easter/Summer School.
You may wish to support your learning through a focus on reading, writing and hearing music and musical patterns. For details please visit our post onMusicianship and music theory at City Lit.
Robert Puzey has enjoyed a varied career teaching and freelancing on violin and viola in London and the South East. He plays with (and jointly runs) The Oberon String Quartet which provides music for weddings and other functions. His teaching includes schools in north London and work with adult string players at City Lit. He also plays chamber music with the Max Bruch Trio. Other playing in recent years has included concerto appearances on both violin and viola, as well as work with the Orchestra of St John's, London Gala and Brighton Philharmonic Orchestras. His further activity with amateur musicians has included leading The Chamber Orchestra, a string orchestra based in central London. He is now incorporating more conducting for string courses at City Lit and also for an amateur string orchestra in north west London, along with Saturday workshops in north London. At City Lit he teaches Violin and viola classes from beginners to advanced, Chamber music, regular intensive String Schools, and is Principal violin for Orchestra workshops.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.