Easy repertoire reccomendations?

June 22, 2016 at 06:11 AM · Hi everyone!

I've been having weekly classes for 6 months now. As I already played the piano, I've made a decent progress (I've finished a 120 pages easy children's songbook and I've finished Suzuki Book 1), even not having lots of practise time, because I'm quite busy this year. As I will not be having classes again until September, and I still don't trust my technique to the extent of progressing without my teacher's advice, could you recommend me some (preferably classical) pieces on that level that I could learn on my own?

Thank you very much

Replies (23)

June 22, 2016 at 08:15 AM · Spring Song by Frank Bridge. Nice - in G major. Great encore piece.

June 22, 2016 at 08:49 AM · The easiest Rieding concerto is fun

June 22, 2016 at 10:58 PM · Maybe try the first piece in Suzuki book 2?

June 30, 2016 at 05:46 PM · Hi, sorry for the late reply and thanks for answering. I didn't know about the "Spring Song" or the Rieding concerto. I'll definitey have a look at them. Obviously I could try with Suzuki 2, but, as these books introduce new techniques and I'm still learning, I fear that I can get bad habits learning these techniques, patterns or whatever they are without my teacher's guidance. I had thought of some Bach and Mozart menuets in the same style as the last Suzuki songs. Do you think it would be feasible? Does anyone have a list of graded piecesfor each level of playing?

Thank you

June 30, 2016 at 06:17 PM · >Does anyone have a list of graded piecesfor each level of playing?

You may find this list useful: Sequence of Violin Repertoire

Solos for Young Violinists Vol. 1 has some very accessible pieces.

June 30, 2016 at 07:28 PM · Miguel, I appreciate your apprehension about launching into Suzuki Book 2 on your own, but if you were quite comfortable playing the last fiew pieces in Book 1, I believe you will not find the first few pieces in Book 2 to be that much more demanding.

I agree with "Solos for Young Violinists" by Barbara Barber, this is an excellent series. One word of caution is that the volume numbers do not match exactly to the Suzuki Books. You can expect to play the first few pieces of Volume 1 based on your Suzuki Book 1 skills, perhaps up to and including the Bach Marche. The tunes toward the end like Elves Dance and Donkey Doodle are more advanced than Suzuki Book 1 level. (The Kuchler Concertino at the end of the book is a dreadful Vivaldi Concerto clone. Your time is better spent on the Reiding Concerto, and by the way when someone says "Reiding Concerto" they almost always mean the Op. 35 No. 2 in B Minor, link below.)


If you buy the Barbara Barber books, get them from a music supplier like Shar instead of Amazon, and if you are even half-way serious make sure you get the piano accompaniment part and the CD with it.

June 30, 2016 at 07:30 PM · I suggest the Shoenburg violin concerto, but that might be too easy. How about Ligeti concerto? That seems more appropriate.

June 30, 2016 at 07:50 PM · The problem with those "graded lists" is that they are only rough guides. Your technique will develop more quickly in some areas than in others, that happens to everyone.

I wince when I see "graded lists" like the one Gabriel linked, because frankly it's hard to imagine the organization that published it has very many students who work their way clear to the bottom, and the list also gives the very false impression that a student would play every single piece and every single study in every method book along the way. I think the only purpose of upholding "Dorothy DeLay's Concerto List" (or whatever) is to tell the world that they're serious. Far better would be a list of their alumni who gained conservatory admission or who have paid, regular orchestral gigs. If someone's got a violin student capable of playing anything toward the bottom of that list, then they've not looked at a graded list to help the student choose repertoire for a long time. ("Nice performance of the Sibelius Concerto last Saturday. What's next for you? Better check our studio graded list.") That scenario just does not ring true to me, it seems incredibly phony.

June 30, 2016 at 08:01 PM · The lists that Gabriel linked are good, common ones, done by respected pedagogues. (Rebecca Henry's list is also a good one.)

It's content marketing -- having frequently-accessed content drives people to the site.

July 1, 2016 at 02:44 AM · US.ABRSM.ORG

Click on violin. Work through the grades. Each has a list of repertoire appropriate for the grade.

You can also use the "syllabus" for each grade as a list of techniques to master. Good stuff.

July 1, 2016 at 03:52 AM · Hi.



July 1, 2016 at 07:56 AM · Gabriel, Carmen and Lydia:

Thanks for the lists. I'll check them.


Thank you for your exhaustive response. As you may remember from my other few posts in this forum, I play the piano as a hobby (I've always learnt with a teacher but I've never taken an official piano exam... maybe that's why I love it, and the reason why I'm starting with violin now). So I know about graded lists, and I take them quite loosely. I know that different aspects of technique evolve at different paces, so usually I find myself learning at the same time a "Grade 6" piece and a "Grade 8" one, and maybe finding the first one more difficult, depending on the main technique involved. I hope to play Sibelius one day, and I grant you that I won't check any graded list when I reach that level (I enjoyed your irony...) Anyway, I trust your word, and take into account your advice on Suzuki 2, Solos series and Reading.

Kristzian: Thanks for your advice. I love Bach.

P.S: Is there any way of using bold or italics in this forum? I'd like to highlight the names of the people I'm answering to.

July 1, 2016 at 10:57 AM · html tags. Lydia knows these issues well :)

July 1, 2016 at 11:53 AM · Hi Miguel,

You may find what you are looking for with the book, "Easy Classical Violin Solos" arranged by Javier Marco.

I bought this book when I returned to the violin after not playing for 30 years. I wanted to play something familiar so I had an idea of what I was supposed to sound like. The arrangements are short and only use the main melodies of popular classical songs.

The pieces vary in difficulty, but I believe the book is in the range of Suzuki books 1-2. There are 18 different pieces most of which are in the key of G major. There are a few D major and C major songs as well as 1 D minor and 1 G minor.

July 1, 2016 at 02:44 PM · Thanks for the tip on HTML tags Krisztian Gabris

July 1, 2016 at 05:40 PM · Among graded lists, the RCM syllabus can also be useful. It includes much of the Suzuki repertoire, but at different RCM levels not matching the Suzuki books. It's interesting to see for example that the first piece in Suzuki Book 2, Handel's chorus from Judas Maccabaeus, is RCM grade 1, while the last piece in Book 1, the Gossec Gavotte, is RCM grade 3.

You can find the current violin syllabus off this page: RCM Syllabi

Take RCM grade levels with a grain of salt too though.

I also suggest looking at the studies and technical requirements in the syllabus -- especially if your teacher does not present them (although many of the pieces in Book 1 are studies, they're less common in following books).

E.g. Wohlfahrt Op. 45 appears starting in Grade 2: IMSLP Wohlfahrt Op. 45

July 1, 2016 at 10:13 PM · I think that you will like this: http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/the-violin-collection-easy-to-intermediate-level-sheet-music/17334799 plus CD by Frank Almond

And there are Kabalevsky collections for Violin and Piano. (I use the piano version.)

And do, please, search Youtube for DVD-VIOLIN FOR MUSICIANS

July 2, 2016 at 06:01 AM · Yeah, it is nice to assemble a repertoire for a young violinist :)

July 2, 2016 at 09:47 AM · I think that you can find some suitable easy, graded violin repertoire from the British organisation ABRSM http://us.abrsm.org/en/our-exams/bowed-strings-exams/violin-exams/ to supplement Suzuki offerings.

July 2, 2016 at 01:46 PM · Just a quick comment that the Gossec Gavotte ( last piece in Suzuki book one) is more difficult than the first several pieces in book two.

July 2, 2016 at 02:24 PM · RCM grades 1-3 repertoire books have some very interesting compositions, especially if you are looking for works by contemporary (Canadian) composers.

July 2, 2016 at 06:09 PM · I think it was intentional on Suzuki's part to have each book start off with something maybe a little easier than the last piece in the previous book, but I'm not sure. La Folia (first piece in Book 6) is kind of an exception.

July 2, 2016 at 06:44 PM · Book 4 may be another exception. I find the Seitz concertos to be more difficult than Bach Gavotte in Book 3.

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