Graduation Requirements

We have put a lot of thought into all the skills a student has to master before they are ready to proceed to the next level or book. Each book gets consistently harder - so a student needs to be successful with all of these skills before moving to the next level of difficulty. When a student moves to a book they are not ready for - they are always playing catchup and perform mediocre. They know when they do not sound as good as another performer and then their motivation wanes. We do not want a student to experience that frustration. We hope this helps you - the parent to understand and help your children succeed at a high performance level. Success only comes by consistently having good practice sessions and lessons. Good Luck!

TWINKLE LEVEL - Students can accomplish this level anywhere from 6 months - 1-1/2 years

The student gets to play all their variations with piano accompaniment. The student needs to consistently show knowledge and ability in the following:
  • Care of the violin & bow
  • Knowledge of the parts of the violin & bow
  • Rest position and Bow
  • Feet positions
  • Knowledge of right & left hands
  • Beginner bow hand
  • Bow control/Tip Control
  • "Kreisler" Highway
  • Violin posture and Heavy Head
  • Recognize all Rhythms -visually and aurally
  • "E" string posture; square of the arm. Bow held silently on the strings
  • Rocking Bows from E to A string (string crossing)
  • Relaxed, Natural weight of the bow arm
  • Left hand position - touch the butterfly lightly - soft left thumb
  • Finger pops
  • Finger placement - 2/3 pattern in tune - quickness of fingers
  • Pizzicato Partners
  • Recognize ABBA pattern
  • Be able to play each of the parts in ABBA form
  • Be able to play each part in all the rhythms
  • Perform Twinkle Variations complete!

BOOK ONE - Students can accomplish this level anywhere from 1 - 2-1/2 years

The student performs a Recital of 7 favorites (Gavotte required) by memory for family and friends. The student needs to consistently show knowledge and ability in the following:
  • Bow Strokes:
    • Play
    • Change string crossings
    • Circle Bows
    • String Crossings
    • Staccato in MB
    • Legato from MB - tip; Below MB - tip
    • Martele from MB - tip
    • 2 - 4 note slurs
    • Basic hook pattern
    • Up Bow starts
  • Left Hand:
    • Ease of placement (light)
    • Keeping fingers down & Independent fingers
    • Shifting previews
    • High 3rd finger
    • Solid intonation in the 2/3 & 1/2 finger patterns
    • Finger pad placement
  • Note Reading:
    • Recognize staff, treble clef, note rhythms
    • Understand half and whole steps
    • Be able to read & play basic rhythms using: half, quarter, eighth notes and half rests
    • Be able to know names of notes & play for A Major, D Major and G Major Scales
    • Be able to read & play notes on A & E strings in the 2/3 pattern.
    • Accents, Dynamics, Ritard, fermatas, Repeat Signs, D.C. al fine
  • Piece Preparation:
    • Consistent listening to the CD's
    • Recognition of pieces by title as well as ear.
    • Singing/humming BY THEMSELVES the pieces before they play.
    • Breathing Concepts

BOOK TWO Students can accomplish this level anywhere from 1 - 2 years

The student performs a Recital of 7 favorites from Bk. 2 (Minuet in G required) by memory. The student needs to consistently show knowledge and ability in the following:
  • Bow:
    • Use of Full Bows
    • Use of both ends of bow
    • legato & staccato
    • Flexibility of the bow fingers & thumb
    • Brush stroke at frog
    • Hook stroke
    • String Crossings in slur passages
  • Left Hand:
    • Ring tones in 1st position
    • Chords
    • Trills
    • 1 through 5
    • Shifting from first
    • third position
    • Be able to play 3/4 pattern
    • finger pad placement for vibrato
    • Play & knowledge of names of notes: A,D,G,Bb,C Major Scales (all 2 octaves except D Major-1 octave)
  • Musicianship:
    • Read, Play and Hear Rhythm Patterns using: half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, triplets notes and rests.
    • Be able to know names of notes for 2/3 , 1/2 and 3/4 patterns on all strings
    • Be able to read notes on all strings in 2/3 & 1/2 pattern
    • Usage of dynamics: p, f,crescendo, decrescendo, accents.
    • Knowledge of names of all pieces and their composers.

BOOK THREE Students can accomplish this level anywhere from 1 - 2 years

Perform: entire book 3, Gavottes or Bach Pieces in Recital (by memory) Writes a report that corresponds to their choice of Recital. The student needs to consistently show knowledge and ability in the following:
  • Bow:
    • Up bow staccato stroke
    • Bow stroke of Variable speeds
    • Full bow legato stroke
    • Whole arm bow motion with the full bow sweeping stroke
    • Flexibility of bow fingers & articulation of the thumb
  • Left Hand:
    • Trills 1
    • 5
    • Mordents & Ornamentation
    • Shifting from I to III and V positions
    • Ring Tones in I & III position
    • Chords/Doublestops
  • Musicianship:
    • Knowledge of A,D,G, Bb, C Major Scales
    • 2 octaves
    • Knowledge of g, d minor scales
    • 2 octaves
    • Arpeggios in all Major Keys
    • Reading in Time Signatures
    • Read all notes on all strings in 1 Position in the keys of A,D, G, Bb, C Major.
    • Knowledge of fingerboard in I position, including enharmonic tones
    • Intervals of V, III, IV, octaves & unison.
    • Full range of dynamics

BOOK FOUR Students can accomplish this level anywhere from 1 - 2 years

Perform entire Book 4 by memory. Write a report on Vivaldi/ Bach or the Baroque Period. The Student needs to consistently show knowledge and ability in the following:
  • Bow:
    • Up bow staccato stroke
    • Bow stroke of Variable speeds
    • Full bow legato stroke
    • Whole arm bow motion with the full bow sweeping stroke
    • Flexibility of bow fingers & articulation of the thumb
  • Left Hand:
    • mordents & ornamentation
    • trills 1-5
    • Shifting: * 1 finger to the same * 1 finger to another finger
    • Vibrato: * roll * finger pad placement * finger wiggle
    • Ring Tones in Ist through IV positions
    • Doublestops and Chords
  • Musicianship:
    • knowledge of fingerboard from Ist through V positions
    • By the time a student finishes Book 4, their reading level should match their playing ability.