Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Book 3

The Revised Edition of Suzuki Violin Book 3 came out a couple of months ago. I like it. The pieces are all the same but the revision fixes a couple of wrong notes and introduces some new bowings and fingering alternatives. It also includes more printed supplementary exercises and guidance. The recording it comes with is nice.

I've been using it with Fiona. I figure she's my last child through this repertoire and my best chance to really delve into the changes and internalize them. Well, let me tell you, it's not easy for me to undo 30-plus years of habits. I think I've pretty much got Bach Gavotte in D down with its extra trills and re-arranged slurs (I've always taught Gavotte I with the up-bow start, so that's easy). I've nailed the note-corrections in Bach Bourrée but the bowings are still a work in progress. Old dog, new tricks and all that.

The added wrinkle is that Fiona has heard the piece all her life with the other bowings, so she isn't learning the revised bowings as easily as she normally learns bowings. While we've ramped up the listening in the last month, she's heard these pieces differently for more than five years.

All of which has led us, for the first time ever, to put the music up on the stand as a reference. I put it up because I needed it, but she was thrilled to discover that she could read along as she played and read the bowings off the page too. Those glasses are sure making a difference! We're only using the printed music for selected lines in Bach Bourrée; I can't see her becoming reliant on it. But she's feeling very empowered to have the ability to put written and aural music together in her head and in her fingers.


  1. Hmmm, I better start practicing those new fingerings/bowings now, to get them in my head! I'm right there with you, on the old dog/new tricks thing ;-) I'm sure the updates are good, tho.

  2. I don't have a copy of this yet, but I'm glad to hear you like it. I've read a few mixed opinions on the Book 1 new edition, I was curious what the others would bring.

    And I just have to say, I love your blog! I'm a suzuki violin teacher from Lethbridge, AB, but I just recently moved to Calgary. I am teaching my 5 year old daughter and I'm loving all your violin related chatting mixed in with every day life and natural parenting! You've definitely inspired me in my daily work with her, we're having a great practice summer. Also, your mom was one of my institute teacher trainers, and I think she's wonderful too. So hello, from an adoring blog fan in AB!


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