Violin Beginnings Class

Mason Community Arts Academy

Spring 2019 - Drew Robertson

Class Schedule

Our class meets Thursdays from 6:00 -7:00 PM at Mason Community Arts Academy Building A-3, Room 9. We will be meeting weekly with the following exceptions:

  • No Class - Thursday, 3/7 - Mr. Drew at the American String Teacher’s Association Conference in NM

  • No Class - Thursday, 4/18 - Spring Break

  • No Class - Thursday, 5/30 - Mr. Drew at the Starling-DeLay Symposium at Juilliard

Contact Information

For any questions related to schedule, payment, or registration, please contact Morgan Johnson in the MCAA office at academy@gmu.edu or (703)993-9889

For any questions related to class content, teaching, practice, or anything else, please contact Mr. Drew at drewrobertsonmusic@gmail.com or text (616)443-2573


Course Content


WEEK IV - 3/21

  • Review

    • Parts of the violin

    • Sing through Sunflower Solfege

    • Group and solo playing of Ant Song, GDG, DAD, and AEA songs

    • Review parts of the bow (singing up the scale)

  • New Material

    • Bow holds on the bow!

      • Two ways to set up the bow:

        • shake & flop, cover the eye, pinky perches, first finger wraps around like a snake, thumb swings like a monkey and lands on the ferrule

        • Build a bow bunny (thumb, middle, and ring fingers touching; pinky and first finger extend like ears), then the bunny nibbles onto the bow

        • Check your position with bow dots on the fingers!

        • Make sure the bow hold is relaxed! Check thumb muscle, first finger muscle, and pinky muscle - should be soft like a marshmallow.

    • Bow Hold Games

      • Up Like a Rocket Song - Check for curved pinky & bent thumb!

      • Stir the soup; stir the teacup - Soup should be upper arm and shoulder; teacup should be fingers!

      • Windshield wipers - Forearm rotation

    • Twinkle Rhythms - Air bow these together and sing (all rhythms begin down-bow)

      • “Pepperoni Pizza” (or everybody down up)

        • “Ice Cream (shhh) Cone” (shhh is an essential silent rest where we do not play!)

        • “Strawberry Raspberry”

        • “Pineapple Pineapple”

        • “Watermelon Watermelon”

        • Learning the parts of the bow

  • IMPORTANT - When building bow holds please consider these common problems:

    • The bow hold must be RELAXED - it should be so loose the bow nearly falls out of our hand

    • The pinky must be perched atop the stick of the bow. It will want to fall off the side of the bow or the joint will want to lock in place. Neither are what we need for a good bow hold!

    • The thumb must be bent and gently placed on the ferrule (silver piece next to the bow hair)

  • Composer of the week: W.A. Mozart

    • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star - Link

    • Concerto No. 5 in D Major - Link

    • Symphony No. 40 - Link