Category: Videos für den Geigenunterricht von Mimi Zweig



Awareness of the Teaching/Learning Process: the "Rainbow"

As the teacher begins to teach the repertoire, the following four points are always to be considered in lessons and practice time. These four points, summarized as bow, fingers, form, & practice become the teaching/learning rainbow leading to fine violin playing with musical understanding.

  • 1. Bow strokes and bow division: Awareness of the bow division and bow strokes to be used in each piece.
  • 2. Use of the Fingers: Awareness of finger placement, i.e. which fingers stay down, when to lift the fingers, and how the fingers become independent.
  • 3. Form and the Music: Awareness of form is the first step to understanding music in the beginning stages of violin playing. Other musical concepts such as dynamics, tempo markings, ritards, etc. are incorporated into learning the form. Thus each musical idea becomes a part of the total musical expression.
  • 4. Practice and Isolation of Difficulties: Isolate and practice the technical difficulties. At every level of violin playing, practicing is a matter of both discernment and informed repetition. This begins with the first lesson.

It is important that the student understand the form of the piece as it is presented. This will assist in learning and memorizing the music, as well as setting the foundation for understanding form throughout the repertoire.

Twinkle is in ABBA form. For young students, use an illustration like the sandwich to teach this this concept.

The A sections are slices of bread and the B sections are cheese slices. Bow Strokes of the Twinkle Variations Explain the meaning and difference between the martelé and detaché strokes.

The "ti's" (eighth notes) are martelé, while the "tiri, tiri's" (sixteenth notes) are detaché throughout the Twinkle Variations.

The student will use the entire upper half for the martelé stroke and a little less bow for the detaché stroke using the forearm. Each variation is be practiced on the open A and E strings. The teacher introduces one phrase at a time. The student also learns to place the finger before the bow (FBB).

• Variation A: tiri tiri ti ti uses detaché and martelé strokes in the upper half (UH)
• Variation B: ti ti bend ti uses martelé strokes in the UH (bend knees in the rest)
• Variation C: ti tiri ti tiri (Grasshopper) martelé for the 8th notes and detaché for the 16th notes
• Variation D: tiri tiri tiri tiri (Mississippi Is A River) Detaché in the UH
• Theme: Legato in the UH. The Theme is the first Twinkle to use half notes. Use a half bow on quarter notes as well as half notes.

Emphasize the need to learn how to vary the bow speed. Establishing a Practice Schedule: At the end of every lesson, the teacher will confer with the student on how to practice for the next week. In the early stages it is important to specify how many repetitions of each piece and exercise will be made in daily practice. The number of repetitions is far more important than the amount of time spent practicing. For example, at this stage the student's practice schedule may look like this.

Always alllow for flexibility:

• Statue of Liberty - 20x's/day
• Tapping over high dot - many times
• Twinkle Variations - 3x's/day, each variation
• A major scale with Twinkle Variation rhythms - 1x/day for each variation
• See Saw - 6x's/day
• Review G-D-G, D-A-D, A-E-A and A-E-A with the bow - 1x/day Note: The above tasks are interchangeable.

Hope you have enjoyed your journey through Mimi Zweig StringPedagogy Volume One!


The video and the text were provided by courtesy of Mimi Zweig, Professor of Music (Violin, Viola); Director, Pre-College Strings Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University Bloomington, USA Further information can be found at: