Violin and viola advanced: technique
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: ME143A
Duration: 12 sessions (over 13 weeks)
What is the course about?
This online course will help you improve your technique and listening skills to play pieces and technical work to around ABRSM Grade 7 standard. We will be covering a wide range of repertoire based around the Grade 7 syllabus, as well as relevant scales/arpeggios and other technical exercises.
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?
- Bow control and distribution, along with good posture to improve sound quality
- Developing confidence in a variety of bowing techniques and different types of articulation
- Consistency in use of the left hand for good intonation
- Playing in a wider variety of positions including 5th and beyond, including shifting
- Playing a varied selection of repertoire to enhance grasp of style.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Change between a wider variety of left-hand positions confidently and securely.
Understand how to select good fingering.
Use vibrato tastefully to create a warmer tone.
Use the bow effectively for a consistent quality of sound and a variety of articulations.
Play with sensitivity to different styles.
Play solo and in ensemble with confidence.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for those who have been playing for at least five years and who are at Grade 6 standard or above. You should have a secure basic technique and be fluent playing and reading music in left-hand positions up to 4th. 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 discuss technical points and try them out either as a group or individually. You will benefit most if you can practise at least 5 times a week for at least 50 minutes per day.
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 over the three terms of this advanced course). 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 ABRSM Violin Grade 7 Pieces and Scales/Arpeggios
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 3B next term. You may also be interested in String Ensemble, String Winter/Easter/Summer School, or Chamber music.
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.