Fun pieces for intermediate level remediation?
My 10-year-old needs to do some remediation this summer. I would particularly like her to work on more accurate intonation, bow position (she has recently developed an angle at the frog due to a growth spurt), and bow strokes (she has almost no spiccato). She's just generally a bit sloppy.
She is currently working on Mozart 3, and previous to that played Accolay, Haydn G major, and Bach a minor. She completed Suzuki through book 7, but she's not really focusing on Suzuki pieces any more. She's also played most of the pieces in Solos for Young Violinists volumes 1-3, and a few in volume 4.
Before someone just says to ask her teacher, the response when I ask about this stuff is always Suzuki review, which my daughter simply refuses to do any more.
Any ideas? I'm looking for something not that hard but interesting, as she is not the most motivated kid. She's played a ton of Baroque stuff, so anything not Baroque would be preferred.
I hope I'm not speaking presumptively, but the first thought I have is, is it possibly time for a teacher change? If this is the teacher she's grown up with, done Suzuki with, etc, it may just be time for a fresh voice, and one who specializes more in that transitional higher intermediate-advanced level should have a good breadth of things to recommend. I personally would tend to lean on exercises for those types of things...something like Basics or Drew Lecher's technique book, where you can focus in on a skill and really feel it change and improve under your fingers... I'd better let somebody else speak more specifically though, especially to the rep to apply it to, as I do not myself teach to that level (mostly bc of having rather skimmed through it in my own training and hence not having either the rep knowledge or the technical chops to back it up :/) But I have a whole bank of stuff on my shelf queued up to work on bc I feel like there is a lot of really great rep at this level that I'd like to play just for its own sake! So I would expect that a teacher who "lives" in these levels would have some really good recommendations for you...
Past Mozart and no spiccato? Don't rush things, now.
Kreisler: La Gitana
First thing I would do would be to learn some spiccato as well as other varied bow strokes, this will make things in the future much easier as the technique will already be there. Then maybe start her on some Wolfhart, the 60 studies, and some scales. There is also a book called Introducing the Positions which I personally hated, but improved my technique immensely. It will get her familiar with all the notes in 3rd and 5th position on all strings which will in turn make life down the road much easier. Then about pieces, maybe Viotti 22 or 23 and DeBeriot could be playable, but spiccato should be the number one priority.
@Cotton, hence the remediation. When you grow up doing mostly just Suzuki, there is not much need for spiccato. They learn kind of a brushy spiccato in a few pieces in Book 4, but never a true spiccato.
I would be skeptical of a teacher that doesn't assign etudes. I think that intonation comes with time, but it also comes with attitude, so having music you really like can be a motivator to make sure you really play in tune, but it also has to be stressed in everything a student plays.
I would agree with the Mozart-Kreisler Rondo, which is fun, not too difficult, and requires precision. In general, anything with spiccato is going to require precise coordination of left and right hands. The Novacek Moto Perpetuo might be doable, too, along with the Copland Hoedown (the arrangement from "Rodeo").
A lot of good ideas here. I would also consider Sevcik Op. 3 -40 bowing variations-(Probably the most musical thing he wrote-some variations are actually quite charming).
Thank you, Christian, Lydia, and Ingrid! Some great ideas there. I think she would love the Copland and I know Czardas is on her list of things she wants to play.
That Haffner Rondo is a great one to polish LH/RH coordination! Super good choice. I think to hear that piece played very cleanly is more impressive than the first movement of Mozart 3 (not including cadenzas).
From a student’s perspective, what about lyrical pieces? I remember after years after years of technical playing (Praeludium and Allegro, Haydn/Accolay/Kabalevsky Concerti, Beethoven Sonata No. 5....) it was refreshing to play something that mostly required me to think about musicality more than techniques. I started with Wieniawski 2nd Movement, and then my teacher started me on (well we did Lalo but after that) Bruch 2nd movement.
Thank you Paul and Cassio! She's never done any Tartini, so that's something to look into. I think she needs a little bit more maturity to do sonatas justice. And we will definitely be doing some lyrical stuff this summer -- we have a good list for that -- Gluck, Meditation, etc. She needs to work on musicality and being more consistent with her vibrato in those pieces.
Fun pieces? I think it is hard to get more fun with a piece than with the Dvorak sonatina. And it was written for children just a little older than your daughter. AND--it is a masterpiece.
Maximum distance from Suzuki might be some Bartok?
This might be too low level for your daughter: My teacher assigned De Beriot's Air Varie No. 14 to use as an exercise. It has a bit of everything and each variation is really short so you can loop on the ones that are giving trouble.