What piece should I learn next?

Edited: March 29, 2021, 2:36 PM · I've been playing violin for 2.5 years. I've learned Vivaldi's Violin Concerto in A Minor about a year ago, along with the Gigue from Partita No 3 in E Major around the same timeframe as the Vivaldi Concerto.

I don't take private lessons, but I've had friends recommend I play Viotti's Violin Concerto No.23 in G Major and Meditation from Thaïs.
What pieces do you recommend I learn next? I've advanced quickly over the past year and can play in the upper positions well and have a nicely developed vibrato.

Replies (23)

Edited: March 29, 2021, 3:25 PM · Strongly recommend you get a teacher.

It’s always dangerous making recommendations without actually hearing someone play, but I usually teach the Vivaldi g minor following the a minor. Viotti 23/Thais are both too big of a jump in my opinion. Either the Vivaldi g minor will be the correct level for you and you can then follow it up with Viotti 23, or you will find it easy in which case you will learn it quickly.

Did I mention that I think you would be much better off with a teacher? There is absolutely no way to know whether you are playing with correct technique or not. Many people who are self taught end up with serious technical issues.

March 29, 2021, 8:15 PM · Thank you for the recommendations, and while I really want a teacher I cannot afford one at this current time. My public school orchestra teacher works with me extensively on proper technique though. Do you know where I can get the sheet music for the G minor concerto?

March 29, 2021, 8:44 PM · Try sheetmusicplus.com
March 29, 2021, 9:23 PM · imslp
Edited: March 29, 2021, 9:30 PM · I totally agree with Mary Ellen, and you should see if there are GOOD teachers in your area that teach on a sliding scale. My teacher is excellent, studied with the best teachers in the Soviet Union, and I believe gives some students reduced rates, so don't assume that you won't be able to find a good teacher.

I'm not really in this world, but is anyone aware of scholarship funds that might be available from the school system or from private institutions, that can help pay for or supplement lesson fees for hardworking but underresourced students?

One thing I would ask is whether you are playing etudes, which, again, should be worked on with knowledgeable teachers, but you seem to be coming to a point in the repertoire where studying etudes is going to be a big driver of your growth as a violinist.

Here is the link to the Vivaldi G Minor:

Edited: March 29, 2021, 10:05 PM · I suggest buying the Galamian edition, especially since you don’t have a private teacher. It will have fingerings and bowings in it that you will find much less frustrating than trying to play from the IMSLP sheet music


March 29, 2021, 10:59 PM · The edition shown in IMSLP is copyrighted in the US.
March 29, 2021, 10:59 PM · Since your orchestra teacher is working with you, I suggest asking them for suggestions. I would have expected the Partita to have been much harder than the Vivaldi A minor.
Edited: March 29, 2021, 11:13 PM · What etudes do you recommend?

I didn't play the complete Partita only the Gigue which was a suggestion from my Orchestra Director. I have asked my Director for further recommendations, but as that would be qualified as Private lessons, I would be charged.

Thank you for the suggestion on the edition to buy, I will definitely try to get it as soon as I can.

Are any of you giving lessons possibly online or in the Texas area? What are the rates if so?

March 29, 2021, 11:15 PM · I’m in Texas; you can message me through my v.com profile.

For Lydia, the E Major Gigue is the absolute easiest of all of the solo Bach movements although inexplicably in Texas it is considered a class one solo and I suspect that is why the orchestra teacher gave it to the OP. I would agree that it is at best equivalent to the Vivaldi a minor in difficulty.

March 30, 2021, 12:05 AM · I just realized that I was thinking of the Gavotte, not the Gigue.
March 30, 2021, 8:34 AM · I tried clicking on the contact button, but I keep getting an error message.
March 30, 2021, 8:45 AM · Mary Ellen, your contact says "blocked."
Edited: March 30, 2021, 9:06 AM · In Texas you can also contact Bruce Berg -- his email information is publicly accessible because he's a university professor. I'll bet he would not mind forwarding your message to Mary Ellen, if that turns out to be impossible using the links provided on this site. Another violin teacher in Texas is Beth Blackerby in Austin.

If you are in an urban or suburban area, in my experience the biggest, most expensive private music school in your area is where you should go if you want to ask for significantly reduced-priced lessons, because the bigger outfits sometimes have small government grants to help them reach out to the less fortunate, and they have a vested interest in developing goodwill within the community. You just have to ask -- maybe a lesson every three weeks you can afford, and that's not ideal but it's one hell of a lot better than lessons never. (If your high school orch teacher is not a string player then that's basically the same thing as never.)

I had to chuckle when you said "the Texas area". That's like saying "the general vicinity of Western Europe."

As far as repertoire sequence, if you don't have a teacher, for goodness sake -- follow the Suzuki books. Do the Bach Double. Do the Handel Sonatas. Learn all the Seitz pieces. Then, get Volumes 1-2 of "Solos for Young Violinists" by Barbara Barber. Besides time-tested sequencing (which is not infallible on a student-by-student basis, but okay), you will save money this way because each book as months worth of work in it.

If you want to learn positions, scales, double stops, then I recommend the Whistler method books. They are probably the easiest to use on a DIY basis.

March 30, 2021, 9:22 AM · My High School Orchestra does have a degree in Violin Performance, however, his lessons are quite expensive so I can't afford them. As for the Suzuki Books do I get the newer or older editions.

I live in Killeen, do you know of any teachers near me?

Edited: March 30, 2021, 9:42 AM · That’s weird. To the OP, I’m in San Antonio but I do teach online. I’m not in a position to do much but I can hear you play once and make some suggestions. The problem with low priced violin lessons is that anyone good is going to charge a lot (and quite a few teachers who are not so good also will charge a lot). What you need is a good teacher with a scholarship. I am quite sure that for ethical reasons your high school orchestra director could not take you on as a private student anyway. Please email me at maryellengoree at gmail dot com.
Edited: March 30, 2021, 10:11 AM · Mary Ellen, I emailed you from this email address livefortwoset@gmail.com. Thank you for the help everyone.
March 30, 2021, 1:31 PM · In the context of taking online lessons, "the Texas area" could reasonably be a time zone thing, e.g. it could mean all places on Central time.
March 30, 2021, 1:55 PM · Andrew, I understand that which is why I specified on where I live.
March 30, 2021, 1:57 PM · These days with zoom time zones don't have to align, and you can access teachers all over the world, some at much lower rates. Check out Play With A Pro for example.
March 30, 2021, 5:17 PM · In my opinion, any edition of the Suzuki books will do as you have to take things like fingerings and bowings with a grain of salt with some pieces anyway. I try to play them as written but sometimes my old nervous system just isn't up to it.
Edited: April 1, 2021, 3:55 AM · How about one of Dancla's Air Varies? Sorry for recommending these pieces over and over again. It's the only beginner-intermediate piece that I have learned (or remember learning).
April 1, 2021, 9:14 PM · Paganini's Cantabile is nice and relaxing:


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