February 13, 2011 – Limiting Your Teaching Materials

I have recently discovered that there are a large number of books available to any teacher at any certain time. I believe that you must do the best job that you can at picking the books that will most significantly benefit your students without overburdening their pocket books.

Here are my thoughts on books to recommend to help for a variety of Levels.

  1. Suzuki Book 1 (for violin, viola, or cello) with CD – This is the first and most important in a student’s journey to music. Even if you use a modified Suzuki method, I believe that this book has everything that the student needs for the first year of development or more. Although not initially intended for students to learn by reading, it can be used by the parent to take notes in order to best help the child. Older students should begin pre-reading as they start this book. Older students, especially, should be reading by the time they get to the Minuets.
  2. Essential Elements 2000 – This is a good book to help reading. I do not use it as prescribed. I would go a little bonkers having kids doing pizzicato on all of those exercises. Typically, I start my students from the being with the bow. It teaches common terms and symbols used in music.
  3. Christmas Kaleidescope by Frost – This book is amazingly helpful at getting students reading music.
  4. Suzuki Book 2 – Necessary as students complete Book 1. It contains wonderful repertoire.
  5. Wohlfahrt Foundation Studies – This book assists students in reading and rapidly progresses their technique.
  6. Samuel Applebaum’s Beautiful Music for Two Stringed Instruments – This book addresses a wide variety of reading and counting skills.
  7. Suzuki Book 3 – As with the other Suzuki volumes, this book contains a number of great pieces strategically ordered for student progress.
  8. Wohlfahrt Foundation Studies Book 2 – This book introduces the different positions on the violin.
  9. Introducing the Position by Whistler – This book is essential to developing good shifting.
  10. Suzuki Book 4 – Has a number of concerto movements that students.
  11. Kayser 36 Studies – This will be one of the last books students should work on before entering college. Very advanced students may move past this etude book, but this may be all students will need.

There are other books that I have and supplement with, but these are the ones I feel are absolutely necessary for the student to purchase themselves.  Depending on the student, it maybe be good to move into Suzuki Books 5 and 6, but these are very advanced pieces.

 

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