Next music piece

September 10, 2021, 3:49 PM · Hi all,

I am looking to find my next classical music piece. Having been an adult beginner violinist since March 2020 (18 months) with almost daily one hour practice and with the help of my online teacher (not classically oriented), I have tried these - Bach's minuet in G, Pachelbel in D major, Mussorgsky's pictures at an exhibition - promenade, Debussy's arabesque no.1 (1st page), Shostakovich's gadfly suite romance (1st run of the theme), Debussy's girl with the flaxen hair (all of it except I still can't do double stops and harmonics well), Chopin's minute waltz, Grieg's morning mood (1st page), Gluck's dance of the blessed spirits, Bach's concerto for two violins largo (1st page), Schubert's serenade (1st half), Ravel's le tombeau de couperin menuet (1st page) and my major piece for the last 5 months - Beethoven's romance in F major.

As you can see, these were picked as and when I couldn't resist learning it and my really amiable teacher let me go with the flow. :) As for the foundational elements, I've been trying to pick them up with the pieces I work on and with some dedicated time for exercises. I wouldn't call myself proficient even for the level of a beginner with 18 months of daily one hour practice. I have only recently started doing tolerable vibrato.

While I am interested in technique and improving my practice and proficiency, I am more likely to practice and stick with a music piece that I really love and can't do without. There are many to choose from my favorites and there are many I haven't heard yet. Based on what I've shared - music pieces and somewhat unstructured training - I would really like you to suggest music pieces that would be good to try next and if possible, I'd appreciate your reasons for your suggestions. I might try it solely for your reasons. :)


Replies (13)

September 10, 2021, 4:47 PM · It sounds like you are doing very well in only 18 months. At your level I suggest the following pieces of music:

Gluck: Melodie from Orfeus and Euridice
Tchaikovsky: Slow movement from the violin concerto
Autumn Song from Op. 37
Massenet: Meditation from Thais
Paganini: Cantabile
Drdla: Souvenir
Kreisler: Scilienne and Rigaudon
Schon Rosmarin
Praeludium and Allegro (Maybe?)

There are many, many more to be found in albums of violin solos free on or for sale

Good luck!

Edited: September 10, 2021, 6:53 PM · Some ideas:

Bach a minor or Vivaldi g minor. Haydn G major.

Elgar six very easy pieces.

Schubert Sonatinas.

September 11, 2021, 4:32 PM · Thank you for your suggestions. :) They sound lovely.

Andrew, I thought I'd forgotten to mention something. I have tried those pieces but I can't really play them well enough. Of course, I do sound like a beginner with fragmented playing but I love them and they make me want to try. : )

September 15, 2021, 10:05 AM · The early Mozart sonatas may be playable for you. Early in life, my father introduced me to the slow movement of Beethoven Op 12 No 2. It remains a favourite. The 2nd movement of the Purcell G-minor sonata was a set piece for Associated Board Grade V - I think the other movements may be easier technically. Nevertheless, that sonata also remains a favourite.
September 15, 2021, 5:04 PM · Search for some Handel Sonatas.
September 15, 2021, 5:08 PM · Check out Corelli sonatas, and I hope you are doing some Kayser/Wolfhart etudes and starting scales.
September 15, 2021, 5:58 PM · A lot of good suggestions here. I respectfully suggest, however, that you would do well to get a "checkup" or "second opinion" from a teacher who is "classically oriented" to make sure that your impressive trajectory through the solo repertoire comes with appropriate development in technique. If you're an adult learner, you want to get this right the first time, so it's vital that you're really learning to play properly. Otherwise you'll likely reach a ceiling on what you can play, and possibly that right soon.
September 16, 2021, 1:03 PM · What Paul said. You really need a classically-oriented teacher and one who does more than "let you go with the flow." A classical teacher can advise you scales and etudes, suggest what your next piece should be, and generally guide you as well as make sure that you are not picking up bad habits. Please get a standard teacher!
September 16, 2021, 1:38 PM · I've tried, in my response, to be sensitive to the possibility that the OP may have limited means to afford a "real" classical violin teacher and that one might not even be available where they live. But even one or two Zoom or Skype lessons to check your basic posture, hand positions, bowing motion, shifting, intonation, vibrato, etc., could be very helpful.
September 16, 2021, 2:48 PM · I've encountered the OP's first name once before in my life, and I think Paul may have hit the nail on the head.
September 16, 2021, 5:57 PM · I'm going to suggest something a bit different - having gone your route myself. Take a slow expressive ballad - something like 'Danny Boy' (Londonderry Air) and practice it to performance level. I think this will teach you what is actually necessary to go beyond just playing through pieces and generating something that others might want to hear.

How? Record yourself - you cell phone is fine because you are not going to project this to anyone else. Record, review, fix and repeat. Now be honest with yourself because the odds are (voice of experience here) that you are either off time or out of tune. However, do every recording with expression because it has to be an organic part of the playing, not something you add after like a sprinkle of salt.

It can be a bit daunting but just know that everyone has to go through this if they really want to get to the point of performance.

September 16, 2021, 6:25 PM · Paul’s absolutely right. The world of the violin has not changed in one sense, there are still a huge number of teachers out there. In fact, they are now infinitely more accessible and, I suspect getting cheaper. IT is absolutely not a problem to get a teacher from just about anywhere on the planet. The only remaining question for me is why do adult learners who so clearly love the violin and want to play it as well as possible still balk at the suggestion that without a teacher they are not taking appropriate steps to reach that goal.
Edited: September 16, 2021, 7:10 PM · Maybe as you get older, you feel more confident, due to a wealth of knowledge, and less open to criticism? Probably not. But, there might be a classically-conditioned association between teaching and young kids, so adults maybe scoff at the idea. Idk, just throwing some ideas around.

Edit: Also, being an adult in a teaching studio that will probably be full of kids is a bit awkward.

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