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The Great Violin Book; Simple but not Simplistic

April 8, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I came across something that impressed me so much, that I thought I have to share it here on the blog.

Let me preface by saying that I am an adult (46) violin student, with a passion for this instrument since I can remember, but circumstances didn’t allow me to take lessons. I recently decided to just go for it; found a good teacher and with a goal in mind, I am proud to say I am making great progress.

I recently passed Grade 1 Violin with ABRSM and passed with distinction and have already registered for Grade 2 for upcoming Exam in June 2013.
Of course my teacher was a great help, but as an adult with other responsibilities, I rely very much on online resources. There are many good things out there, some for a fee some for free. But I bumped into something a couple of months ago, which in my opinion is the best free online resource.
Alison Sparrow (AKA The Online Piano and Violin Tutor), with her tremendous love for music and experienced violinist herself and above all an Examiner for the London College of Music, was I might say my greatest cause of success. Her YouTube tutorials and handouts were kind of a violin-life-saver for me. My teacher is great and very effective, but Alison’s tutorials made me pass. I can go on and on, but hey see for yourself, (links below).

In herself, she is a great contributor to the violin and music community. Her dedication is phenomenal. But, a gift she presented us with recently is definitely a gem. As beginners, scales, arpeggios, technique is important and on an intellectual level I appreciate and understand that. But unlike the Piano it takes time to being able to produce a melody even like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the violin. Being able to play a song and maybe show off in front of family and friends is a great motivator. But finding beginner sheet music and being able to judge if it’s suitable for you is no easy task. Even if you have found something to practice and play, no personal instruction is provided.

Here Alison came up with a brilliant idea. She composed 11 original melodies accompanied by the piano in various tempos for each song and in different skill levels. These melodies are in themselves really beautiful and inspirational, but also great for practice. Fingering positions are indicated and Alison gives tutorials on her YouTube channel on some of the songs. All this in her Great Violin Book.

I think that every beginner should own a copy of this and will benefit tremendously from it. Alison is a jewel for the beginner violin community and presented us with a real treasure.

I am writing this as a thank you for her. Alison I have no way of thanking you, but I can at least express my appreciation for the world to see.
For anyone interested here are the links:

Link to Alison's YouTube Channel:

Link to Alison's Book Video:

Link to Alison's Teaching website:

From Eunice Marcos
Posted on April 8, 2013 at 7:52 PM
Thank you for posting about Alison's YouTube! I have been trying to get other sources and this is perfect!
From Chaim Hanstater
Posted on April 9, 2013 at 6:10 PM
You are very welcom. yes she is amazing.

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