My son plays Praeludium and Allegro by Kreisler, but he needs help

October 9, 2013 at 04:27 AM · How to practice Praeludium and Allegro by. Kreisler

Replies (30)

October 9, 2013 at 02:18 PM · no Video ?

October 9, 2013 at 06:34 PM ·

Sorry, can you see?

Also, what song would you recommend at his level for a



October 9, 2013 at 09:11 PM · Hi,

just a couple of comments:

1. the piece needs much more dynamic contrast--all seems the same level right now.

2. Is your son working on spiccato yet? If not, then I'm not sure he's ready for this work because it does demand spicatto. On a related subject, I was trying to get a good look at his bow grip, and from what I could tell seems as if the fingers MAY all be too close together to learn an effective spicatto. But again, it's hard to really see. Maye someone else could chime in on his grip...

October 9, 2013 at 10:45 PM · Well, this is a hard piece for a kid and he does a good job. Kudos!

With violin - everything is in the right hand / arm. I suggest revising his right hand grip. Loosen and widen the fingers. His hand is tilted towards the tip of the bow. I should be less so...

Intonation: just practice everything slowly. You can not beat the time. Time and patience. Perhaps only a couple bars at a time, but really slowly. Good for bowing technique as well.

Sound in general. Take the fiddle and pluck the G string. Listen to it shake the instrument and "pull" the tone out. Now try to achieve that exact timber of "pulling" the sound out, but arco and on every string. It's freakishly hard, but when you "get it" it's a "wow" moment. Practice slowly, slowly, piano, using a consonant start when bowing, but no scratching or hissing. Then gradually increase speed and pressure. Be sure not to push the sound back into the fiddle. It has to ring out like when plucked...

Best regards to your kid!

October 10, 2013 at 02:52 AM · I like "you cannot beat the time"

Thank you for all your comments and teaching. Truly thankful.

Any suggestion for practice the music? Imagination picture?

I am also trying to find a piece that is slightly easier, because he is tired of this song, just want to let him relax a bit, and play a little more musical. Do you have a suggestion of a piece for him? Or ├ętude?

Thank you all again.

October 10, 2013 at 09:00 AM ·

He needs a new teacher. He has an excellent ear and dedication, but he is not being educated properly.

October 10, 2013 at 01:26 PM · Other showy pieces that are easier than Praeludium and Allegro:

Monti: Csardas

Severn: Polish Dance

Ten Have: Allegro brilliante

If you're really concerned about your son's violin progress, I agree with the previous suggestion that a new teacher might be in order. HOWEVER, I would also suggest talking to your current teacher about your concerns and giving them a chance to explain their logic and to correct some of the technique.

October 10, 2013 at 01:32 PM · Please explain how he is not educated properly?

If could give the details of techniques in this song would be great.

Thank you very much for your time in advance.

Anyone knows a good teacher in Southest?

October 10, 2013 at 02:35 PM · Your son really has talent and dedication for being able to play this piece through without faltering. He should be congratulated very much for his hard work, if you don't show your appreciation for what he is doing enough (only pushing him to do always better) then he will most probably quit the violin later.

Technically I think the biggest problem with this performance is intonation. For example, around 4 minutes in the video (it starts a bit earlier than that) he plays a long passage with entirely false intonation, and there are many other such passages as well. Surely he hears it himself and it must be killing his passion and his pleasure in performing pieces that he cannot play with right intonation. He should be taught that it is never OK to play a false note and his teacher should only advance him to a next piece, or etude for that matter, if he can play it with right intonation.

What has been said by others about tone production (right arm) can be fixed much quicker and at a later age, it is not too much to worry about now. But playing with wrong intonation should be fixed from day one. Your son must hear and enjoy the music in everything he plays. This is badly missing in this performance.

But again, he deserves a great congratulation and a big encouragement for all his work so far. Switching to a new teacher who is unforgiving on intonation could be a good move. He will have to go back in the level of his pieces, play "easier" pieces and etudes, but he will actually enjoy that and learn to love to hear what he plays. This will the biggest encouragement possible.

October 10, 2013 at 05:45 PM · Thank you.

October 10, 2013 at 07:29 PM · Too many difficulties, too early.

In my opinion, there is a natural progression through violin repertoire that should not be neglected by a teacher.

There is sometimes a strong tendency to push a child to be a prodigy and this often fires back slowing down the natural musical and psychological development or even worse.

There is a lot of great music from Baroque and subsequent eras which is both educational and rewarding. Your son would benefit enormously with less technically demanding and more musically fulfilling experience.

Do you remember how did he learn to walk? Did he stand up when he was 2 months old and start running when he was 11 months? Probably not... Then why should it be any different with music?

A proper musical education, like any type of education, should provide just enough challenge to inspire growth; if there is either no challenge, or too much of it, the growth is impossible.

Kreisler's music is not like a violin study (although there are many benefits of studying it at later stage) - there is so much in his music that is typical for his era that a child, no matter how talented and hardworking can't grasp.

I am sorry if my comment sounds too harsh, but I think that an honest feedback in more useful than a polite one.

October 10, 2013 at 11:08 PM · most of the comments above are valid. He's a very good player, especially for his age, but he looks like he's extending to use 120% of his energy to perform this piece, and still doesn't have the capacity to pay attention to tone (bow arm) and intonation. We've all been there....

This playing on adrenalin becomes a very negative habit, eventually taking away any enjoyment of playing. It's better to take a step backwards in repertoire, and really develop proper intonation and good tone as second nature, then only advance in the repertoire to the extent it can be done comfortably while keeping the intonation and tone intact. With proper intonation and great tone, any piece is impressive!

October 11, 2013 at 12:14 AM · Hey, why not sit down in front of the u-tube and listen / look to some true masters. You and your kid should try to emulate their movement and sound. Check out the

- bowing technique (Igor Ozim, Hilary Hahn ...)

- precision and rythm (Jascha Heifetz, David Oistrakh ...)

And let's not forget the sweetest sound from Perlman...

The next piece should be easier than this one. To enjoy it, work on tone production and posture correction.

Avoid show pieces. Too hard, no fun.

Oh and a small rant: How is Czardasz a good piece for a kid to play? You know how much emotion has to go into that piece for it to come to life? You might as well have suggested Bach's Chaconne. I disagree wholehartedly.

October 11, 2013 at 12:24 AM · I agree all your suggestions, it seems all suggest him to go back and play a more relaxing piece, while still challenge.

I desire to find a very good teacher for him, anyone would like to do on the internet?

October 11, 2013 at 12:26 AM · How about summer, do you think is there an appropriate summer music camp for him to go, while could get some master classes?

Please let me know if you have an idea?

Thank you

October 11, 2013 at 01:33 AM · I hope the current teacher isn't reading that he/she is about to get fired.

I also think one should be careful about second-guessing a teacher. We've all had experiences where our advice about various areas of technique have been ignored (or the student is just not flexible enough to change) or where someone begged us to learn a certain piece of music, even if prematurely.

So I'd be hesitant to watch one video and tell the parent to change teachers. I'd have to walk a mile in their shoes...

October 11, 2013 at 09:19 PM · Exactly, Scott - I think this should be a discussion between the parent and the teacher rather than the parent and all of us here. The teacher should be able to give a detailed analysis of the techniques used in this piece as well as ways to practice. If there's a reason for concern with the teacher, that is a conversation that needs to happen with the teacher to give them a chance to address issues and to explain their methods.

October 11, 2013 at 10:08 PM · Na You:

Our own ( Heather Broadbent teaches on-line.

October 13, 2013 at 04:30 AM · It's a very difficult piece. Does he like to listen to it? :) It can be very beautiful and inspiring.

October 13, 2013 at 06:46 AM · A lot of good intentions here but, in my opinion, largely Dangerous advice.

I like what Laurie said, above me.

I also fully agree about sending the child to a music camp. It's vital to be among peers in musical environment.

Here is the SINGLE problem you need to address right now - forget technique, forget intonation for a moment.

Your son needs imagination and inspiration. He needs a teacher that will show him how the violin mirrors real life, the sound of animals, the sound of different emotions. His teacher needs to be very ANIMATED.

It looks like he is playing violin because someone just put it under his chin!!

Maybe also take him to some exciting classical music concerts, show him the Art of the Violin, or Fantasia, or Vengerov teaching, something cute, child friendly, something inspiring.

It's not the time to rethink technique, 'musicality' and repertoire choices. Believe me, he is doing fine in that area compared to the overall enjoyment, fun, imagination. One can say this and that about intonation, a scratch here a scratch there, one can give exercises, suggest phrasing. But honestly, many things are actually quite fine for his level and age. It's clear he practices. That just needs time and very simple but deliberate practice. Of course the teacher needs to also observe this, get rid of the scratching, fix the intonation. That is a different discussion. There are no disastrous things I noticed in setup. Just forget about all of that right NOW.

Inspire him please! Imagination is the only tool for mastering all elements of violin playing - technical and musical. Practice and details are completely secondary, and will improve at a much faster rate with imagination and love. Trust me ;)

October 13, 2013 at 02:56 PM · Since your bio. shows that you are, yourself, a teacher, I'm a bit surprised you need this thread...are you your son's teacher? In that case, he may well need someone less intimately involved in his life.

If you aren't your son's teacher, then the previous poster's suggestions about talking with the teacher are very important.

In any case, learning violin is more than climbing the highest mountain in the neighborhood. There has to be time/opportunity for "playing" with it, too.

October 14, 2013 at 04:40 PM · When I listened, I heard note-note-note-note-note, etc. There doesn't seem to be any connection between the notes.

I like to get a children's book- Dr. Suess- or whatever, and read it one word at a time in a monotone voice. Then read it as sentences with inflection. Then have the kid do it so they understand that the words follow from each other and are read aloud in groups, not one word at a time. Then go back to the music, and show the difference between playing one note at a time vs. playing the phrases. Go through the music and mark the phrases with parentheses.

The other thing that's not good is intonation. Sometimes understanding the relationships between the notes can help, but it might take some ear training. Work on the intervals. Play them as double stops if possible. Scales. Scales. Scales, Arpeggios.

The bow hand is a little weird, it's a Russian grip with Franco Belgian finger placement. Pick a grip. It could give him more control in the allegro section- the left hand and right hand aren't in sync. The right arm movement looks pretty good.

This is a hard piece, and I can tell how much time and effort he's put into it!

October 14, 2013 at 11:27 PM · Csardas isn't comparable to the Bach Chaconne in terms of is a very good teaching piece. Similar to the Praeludium and Allegro, it has a variety of sections that use different techniques such as chords, harmonics, and fast passagework. As long as the child's technical foundation in scales and etudes is well in order, it's a very suitable early-advanced level piece.

October 15, 2013 at 12:36 AM · As I remember it, I only performed the P & A after I had got Grade 8 ("Showpiece" Hejr Kati, "Slowpiece" Delius Legend,? "Study") and turned aside to viola for a couple of years; I'd only managed a pass on that, which was disappointing as I'd got distinction in Grade 7 ("Showpiece" 1st Movement Mozart G major, ? "Slowpiece", might have been Beethoven A-flat slow movement of C minor sonata, but "Study" was Bach E major Gigue), but my teacher said I'd taken Grade 8 too soon. Was that the whole story, or did I do better in Grade 7 because I was buoyed up by great music?

Maybe your son should play something greater as music, but with slightly easier notes. Bach's third violin and keyboard sonata is particularly rewarding to play. The Beethoven G-major Romance is more difficult than the F-major, which I've never performed, and he might find that challenging enough for now.

October 20, 2013 at 02:04 AM · Thank all of your comments. You are very smart.

I have been trying to find a teacher for him, but there is no ideal teacher around, I am in SC. I want a teacher that is a master, I am not, you are right. I could only teach more basic.

Hard for me to teach very advanced one, I would have to keep trying. What can I do?

Which music camp will be good for him? Any idea?

October 20, 2013 at 04:59 AM · You can contact the Atlanta String Conservatory Phone: 404-403-9559

They may have a recommendation for a teacher in your area.

You can also check the list of violinist from the Savannah Philharmonic:

Your son plays really well and has a good ear. The reason he's having issues with intonation is because of speed. Speed kills good intonation, and with classical music we find ourselves going from 0 to 60 to soon at times. What I mean by that is we will learn a new scale or position, and then start a new piece that is in 4/4 allegro(too fast). What you need to do is find some slow 2 octave 3/4 and 6/8 melodies that you can transpose for new keys, or adapted to different positions. Fiddle tunes work well for this, here's a few: Ashokan Farewell,

Waltzing Matilda,

The Road to Lisdoonvarna

or any slow piece.

When he shifts, he is leading with the finger instead of leading with the arm causing the arm to be pulled(it Lags behind). Have him practice moving the arm forward(swing forward), and then do the shift. You can also do this with the thumb. Bring the thumb to 3rd position, then shift. After trying this for a few days have him shift normally and you should notice a difference.

Good luck getting a new teacher

oh yah, I liked the Canon in D video, and you are really cute.

October 20, 2013 at 08:29 PM · What I often see is that children (or their parents or teacher) will try to leapfrog the normal progression of pieces and studies. They're always hoping that this will be the special child who is inspired by the tremendous challenge and emerge from the crucible as the next Joshua Bell. What really happens is that the child is up there on stage performing the piece, and (especially if they *are* talented) they have ears, and more often than not, they know exactly how bad it actually sounds. They know how much they're cutting corners on certain areas of technique or placing their fingers down randomly on the finger board, using weird hand positions, building up tensions, etc., and they *know* this is not how you play the violin. Their teachers are not calling them on all the flaws because they don't want to the grand experiment to fail ... but the child already knows it's a failure. It's demoralizing to them. Disclaimer -- you have just heard the point of view of someone who is not a pedagogue but is a Suzuki dad.

For a stirring performance of the P&A by a child who had brilliant skills and musicality at a young age, I suggest you watch the youtube of Leila Josefowicz with the Boston Pops. I also rather like Erick Friedman's playing of this piece, it is extremely clean, although the quality of the video and sound is not as high as some of the more modern performances.

It takes one level of skill to push the buttons on this piece, quite another to do it with dynamic contrast, precise intonation, rich tone throughout the range of the violin, etc.

October 21, 2013 at 09:35 PM · Thank you so much for all your information. Very useful

October 22, 2013 at 08:39 AM · Just looked up that Leila Josofewicz video from 1991, very impressive indeed:

October 22, 2013 at 07:16 PM · Holy cow, what an amazing performance by the 13-year-old Leila Josefowicz!

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music: Check out our selection of Celtic music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Thomastik-Infeld's Dynamo Strings
Thomastik-Infeld's Dynamo Strings

National Symphony Orchestra
National Symphony Orchestra

Violins of Hope
Violins of Hope Summer Music Programs Directory
Find a Summer Music Program Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Colburn School

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine