Announcing the Revision of Complete Musician Books 4 for Violin, Viola and Cello!
Books 4 for Violin, Viola, Cello have been completely revised. Rather than include materials only in the major keys, I found that the delay of getting to minor keys was too great. So much early repertoire is written in minor keys! In addition, the foundation is already laid in the preceding books of the Complete Musician for do and la-centeredness. Consequently, the students have no trouble understanding relative major and minor keys.
Book 4 of the Complete Musician includes songs, dances and literature in major and relative minor keys to two sharps and two flats. It includes a sound-to-sight approach for discovering the key signatures of those keys. Major keys are do-centered, and minor keys are la-centered. All three forms of the minor scale are introduced. It is intended that, by using the materials given in this volume, students will gain a clear understanding of tonal structure, including the function of altered tones in minor keys. They are invited to construct a two-octave scale on a blank staff in each key. Fingerings can then be given by the teacher.
There is a smooth transition from vocal (singable) music to instrumental (non-singable) with the inclusion of songs, dances and short solos with piano accompaniment. Canons, duets and trios are added to provide ensemble experience within the learning sequence. Duets and trios can be performed in either the homogeneous instrumental class, or with mixed string instruments. The books should be used to teach singing musicianship (music theory), instrumental technique and ensemble work. The intent is to give students enough quality material and varied musical experiences to aid them in mastering each key, both in understanding intervals and in fingering them. Some pieces are more technically advanced than others, giving teachers a selection to draw from in order to meet the needs of their students.
A variety of musical styles is included, which answers the need for stylistic development and exposure to more advanced bow strokes. Eighteenth century dance forms are particularly useful as students study rhythm, meter, tempo and style. Some nineteenth century pieces from the Classical and Romantic musical periods, with their own stylistic requirements, have also been included. Many of the pieces are particularly suitable for vibrato development.
With such an in-depth study of keys and key signatures, it is intended that students will achieve a level of music literacy which makes all other music literature and study materials more accessible. Knowing these simpler forms lays the foundation to understanding the more complex.
These books also include an introduction to chordal harmony in the major keys. Students learn to hear primary chords I, IV and V from their root tones. They also learn how to spell these triads in the five keys represented in the book.
Book Four -- Piano Accompaniments is also available to accompany the various solos for all three instruments.
My most recent experience using these materials was with students who were mostly 5th graders. I was rewarded as I observed their musical senses awaken and their enjoyment in making music increase. All of this took place as their reading skills improved, making that aspect less of a chore. They had learned to read so now they can move forward and read to learn!