Hooray!! Revised Violin Book Four is finished at last!
I’m having a lot of fun teaching my fourth-year students from the newly revised Violin Book 4! The old Book 4 contained materials to four sharps and four flats, with Book 5 treating the relative minor keys. Experience taught me that the delay was too great to get to minor, because so much early repertoire is written in minor keys! But, as any Kodaly-trained teacher would want, I want my students to understand musical structure ahead of learning technique! And so… the revision was born.
Now Violin Book 4 contains instruction in keys and key signatures to two sharps and two flats, including materials which clearly demonstrate the three forms of minor keys. Not only that, the students are learning basic chord structure from root tones in the major keys, which they can play and with which they can accompany each other in their class. I’m watching this work in my fourth year class, who are mostly 5th graders.
With emphasis on 18th century dance forms, and including solos, duets, trios and chordal harmony, their musical senses are awakening and they are enchanted with the new sounds they are creating. Their literacy skills at this point are allowing them to capture all of this with increasing ease of reading.
This book acts as a gateway, giving students the understanding they need of musical structure so they can access other music which is out there in the vast world of student violin repertoire. Book 5 will complete the saga to 4 sharps and 4 flats.