Welcome to "Images and Imagination". As the name suggests, this is a series of worksheets concerned with concepts and perceptions.
It is for young violinists and viola pupils being taught in groups, and covers eight aspects of musicianship and string technique.
Our ability to learn some later skill is so often affected by the way we were originally introduced to a topic. For example, within weeks of starting, my beginners' classes would be bowing D and A half-way harmonics to accompany my playing, say "Lavender's Blue". The resonance of the violin is emphasised, the freedom of both left and right arms is encouraged; but beyond that comes the more general perception that the whole fingerboard is there to be used, not just the bottom few inches.
Of the eight topics selected here, only two are primarily technical, Spiccato and Across the String Slurring (Paul Rolland's buoyant elbow). Each has three short pieces to be introduced individually over whatever period of time the teacher judges appropriate.
There are three Rhythm Catch sheets, again to be introduced over a period, perhaps even over a year or two. My pupils loved these sheets, and as a regular five-minute warm-up to the lesson they were hard to beat. My own pupils would typically have been learning for about a year when rhythm sheet one was first introduced, which is also when I would introduce the three Creative Writing sheets, leading up to their second Christmas.
The two sheets called Feeling the Harmony are a development of the rhythm sheets, and in my own scheme of things came rather later. Paul Rolland did try to introduce the idea earlier, if I remember correctly; but I found year three suitable for most children.
One of the beauties of the Rhythm and Harmony sheets is that they do allow the teacher to stretch the abler pupils in the group, while also catering for the slower pupils, within the same piece.
The Pentatonic Exploration sheet offers a way of introducing both the pentatonic scale and also improvisation, while finally Positions and the Treble/Alto Switch pack continue to develop the perception of reading first introduced in the creative writing sheets.
All my young pupils were introduced to alto clef in the second year, not to encourage them to become violists (though some did, happily) but to widen further their concept of notation, which in the vast majority of cases then meant they coped much more easily with the reading when position work was introduced.
There are sixteen pages in all, grouped under eight headings. All the pages have been well and truly tested over many years, though not in today's glorious colour! They first appeared under the title "Images and Imagination" for an ESTA conference in London in July 1986, and in their present layout for an in-service course in 1993.
I hope you find something here of interest, and that it will spark your own new ideas on how to put across our message. These sheets themselves still need an imaginative teacher to bring them to life - but if you are reading this, that is hardly a problem!
Click here to proceed directly to the WORKSHEETS
For background information and notes on use click this TEACHING NOTES link.