"I wanted to write and thank you again for the wonderful Violin Music By Women anthology. I've been using it in my studio for the last few months, and my students positively adore it. The first two pieces, "An Old World Minuet" and "The Gipsy Fiddler," fit beautifully in the middle of Suzuki Book 1. I use the Minuet right after Andantino to stay in D Major just a little longer and to introduce 3/4 time and the minuet before we get to the big Bach ones. Then, I use Gipsy Fiddler to introduce low 2. I like to teach low 2 long before we get to Etude, and Gipsy Fiddler is perfect since there are only low 2's in it! My students love how dark and moody the piece is, and they also adore the slurs."
She has an exceptional student, five-year-old Jiening Zhang (who has already been studying with Claire for a year and a half!) Jiening recently played "The Ice Skating Pond" from Kansas Memories Suite as an audition piece for an honors recital, and was accepted! Her parents have given me permission to post the video here for your enjoyment:
Look at that beautiful bow arm! What great energy in her strokes.
Claire also writes, "We're all excited in our studio - these pieces make such a lovely contrast with the Suzuki folk songs."
Check out her blog (http://www.claireallenviolin.com/blog) -- she always has interesting and thoughtful ideas!
Another teacher in my town, Katherine Okesson, has told me that she uses the first volume with more advanced students for position and shifting work. The first piece, "An Old World Minuet," fits beautifully in fourth position. "The Gipsy Fiddler" is a great piece for shifting between first and third positions. The beautiful "Aria" by Ethel Barns is perfect for practicing a budding vibrato. If you've found new uses for the pieces, or great ways to incorporate them into your sequence of pieces, I'd love to hear about it!