Viola Guidelines

Viola Guidelines

I:

Fluent Memory

Rhythmic Integrity

Accurate Pitch

II:

Beautiful Tone

Phrasing

Appropriate Dynamics

Both list I and II contain the graduation requirements for all levels. List I contains the more objective aspects of a performance and List II contains the more subjective aspects. The levels of graduation require increasing skill in all requirements, particularly those in List II.

It is the teacher’s decision when a student’s recording meets the requirements. A recording should not be send that has memory stumbles, wrong notes or lack of a steady tempo. If the student has major problems in these areas then continue to work on the piece and submit it at a later date.

Level 1: Gossec Gavotte (Book 1)

The ability to keep a steady beal while playing the variety of note values that are present in this Gavotte is a challenge to many students so specific attention should be given to this.

Requirements: List I and II with special focus on List I

Student Level: Student should be in Book 2 or beyond.

1. Staccato bow stroke at beginning.

2. Clarity of string crossings with clean grace notes.

3. Intonation of the F# in measure 7.

4. Clarity of intonation B natural to f natural in measure 15.

5. Intonation and articulation of the F# to F natural without a slide in measure 20.

6. Clear articulation of the 16th notes in measures 25, 27, 29, 30, and 31 especially when slurring from the G to C string.

7. The pizzicato in tempo.

Level 2: Bach Bourree (Book 3)

A student making a tape for this level should have more highly developed skills from list II than would be expected from graduation Level 1.

Requirements: List I and II

Student Level: Student should be in Book 4 or beyond.

1. Chords at the beginning should have clear intonation and all notes sounding with ringing tones in measure 2 & 4.

2. Accurate intonation of G#’s in measure 10, 12, 13, & 15.

3. Accurate intonation of the high F natural in 2nd position in measures 19.

4. Careful, accurate intonation in the minor section (Bourree II).

5. Clean string crossings and bow articulation throughout the whole piece.

Level 3: Telemann Concerto in G major, 2nd Mov (Book 4)

Increased sophistication of tone, dynamics, and phrasing.

Requirements: List I and II and increased sophistication of tone, phrasing, dynamics and vibrato (if vibrato has been taught at this point).

Student Level: Student should be in Book 5 or beyond.

1. Even rhythm in the string crossings in measure 15.

2. Rich tone and accurate chords in measures 19 and 25..

3. Accurate intonation in measures 33-36, especially measure 36.

4. Clean, even string crossings in measure 45-46.

5. Accuracy of intonation in measures 53-54 and 57-58.

6. Steady tempo and careful intonation in measures 60-64.

Level 4: Seitz Concerto No. 3 in C minor (Book 5)

This piece is extensive in its difficulties – C minor key, chords, advanced shifting, more treble clef, and expanded string crossings.

Requirements: List I and II with special attention to steady rhythm and intonation.

Student Level: Student should be in Book 6 or beyond.

1. Lots of intonation issues – especially watch for clean, matching of pitches when changing fingers e.g. in measure 13.

2. Accurate rhythm with grace notes in measure 32.

3. In measure 34 chords – careful B natural following low 1st finger.

4. Careful intonation and shifting in measure 39-43 followed by clean arpeggios.

5. Make sure the 3rds are in tune in measure 47.

6. In measure 73 make sure the up bow passage is clean and articulate.

7. In measure 76 be sure the D natural on  beat 3 is in tune following the C flat passage.

8. Careful intonation in the chords and high shifting in measures 88-97.

Level 5: Bach Concerto in C Minor, 1st Mov (Book 6)

This piece is similar to the Seitz C Minor Concerto in the complexity of the key, chords, shifting, and use of treble clef.

Requirements: List I and II and increased sophistication of tone, phrasing, dynamics and vibrato.

Student Level: Student should be in Book 7 or beyond.

1. Play with lots of energy and full rich tones.

2. Open chord with low E flat to set tonality for the whole piece.

3. Accuracy of intonation in 2nd position in measure 24.

4. Shifting accuracy in measures 34-35.

5. Careful intonation with accurate shifting in measures 38-44.

6. Chord with beautiful tone in measure 47.

7. Careful intonation in measures 60-65.

8. Intonation in measures 128-137.

Level 6: Handel Concerto in B Minor, 1st Mov (Book 7)

This piece is a staple of the viola concerto repertoire. It deals with more extensive sophisticated playing and technique in the left and right hands and includes many arpeggios.

Requirements: List I and II and increased sophistication of tone, phrasing, dynamics and vibrato.

Student Level: Student should be in Book 8 or beyond.

1. Clean string crossings.

2. Intonation in 4th position in measure 26 and 45.

3. Arpeggios in measures 38-39 and 68-69.

Level 7: Bruch Romanze (Book 8)

This piece is a showcase of all the elements of sophisticated playing with expressive playing and shifting, rubatoes, and skilled, expressive bowings.

Requirements: List I and II and increased sophistication of tone, phrasing, dynamics and vibrato.

Student Level: Student should be in Book 9 or beyond.

1. Intonation on chords in measures 32-35.

2. Stringendo passage: accuracy of chords and runs in measure 58-68.

3. Chords in measures 93-95.

4. Careful intonation on fifths across strings in measures 50-57.

Level 8: Schubert Arpeggione, 1st Mov

This piece is in the classical genre. It is very expressive and requires a more involved left hand technique, especially in the extended arpeggio passages, ornamentation, and high shifts.

Requirements: List I and II and increased sophistication of tone, phrasing, dynamics and vibrato.

Student Level: Student should be beyond the Suzuki books.

1. Opening with a warm, rich sound.

2. Expressive ornamentation in measure 22.

3. Bow articulation with slurs or separate bows which occurs often including in measure 53.

4. Option of high octave in measure 114.

5. Use of two-note slurs with stress on the first note in measure 144.

6. use of four-note expressive gestures leaning on the 3rd note in measure 140.

7. Final arpeggio with high harmonic in measure 200.