The Violin Book Music/Violin program is wonderful! It has been a joy incorporating this program into our lives! Eden Vaning has created a fun, engaging, and completely thorough program!
The Violin Book program is divided into eight different spiral bound books, - the books I reviewed. They also offer Violin Books seven and eight, and accompanying video tapes that correlate with each book - each of which comes with color coded check lists on the mastery of skills learned in each book. Parents with even no musical background, can teach this program! Starting with Book 0 - "Let's Get Ready for Violin," I started my three and six-year-olds together. This book is designed for the very beginner in music to develop the skills needed to play the violin. This book uses musical games, and movement to prepare the child's "violin muscles" and listening skills. We have had a lot of fun with this; the girls love getting stars on their mastery of skills lists.
Book 1 - "Beginning Basics" focuses on correctly handling the violin and caring for it, and the elements of sound production. The foundation is built in this book - lessons are short, but fun and focused. Proper care for the violin, where rosin comes from, posture, physical exercises to build "violin muscles," musical games, and how the violin is constructed are just SOME of the lesson topics! The result of this book is mastery of a big, beautiful violin sound - no squeaking.
Book 2 - "The Left Hand" is a broadening of skills. Lessons get more detailed, but are kept short and fun! Fingering, hand positions, "plucking," and bow position are covered. The student also plays many simple songs. Ms. Vaning quotes 30 years experience with children and it shines through in her program.
Book 3 - "Preparing to Read Notes" focuses on reading music. Again, Ms. Vaning builds up such a broad foundation in her lessons, they are fun and the children see that "YES" they can do it! (That is the feeling throughout her program!) Here they learn musical "terminology," the "musical alphabet," bow strokes, and how to put it all together to PLAY!
Book 4 - "Let's Read Notes" expands on Book 3, going into deeper detail and playing a wider variety of music. Favorite songs include Irish tunes, Country Western, French, Italian, and many others. My six-year-old can't wait to get to this book - and to learn to play "Buffalo Gals" This book also goes into detail on tuning your violin, troubleshooting, changing violin strings - and much more!
Book 4a/5a - "Scales and Vibrato made Easy" aligns with Books 4 and 5 of the program, going into scales and vibrato (the key and secret to beautiful, soulful violin playing is vibrato), while continuing on in regular lesson materials. (This book alone has an average study time of 10 months.) It corresponds with the second half of Book 4 and the entirety of Book 5.
Book 5 - "Time Signatures & More on Bowing Techniques" is getting advanced. Some of the techniques, exercises, care, and maintenance are reviewed - but with greater explanation for the more advanced student. It also covers soft and loud musical sounds, note and rhythm review, dynamics, new signs, songs, time, even cleaning instructions for your violin and bow!
Book 6 - "Advanced Left Hand Technique & Introduction to Shifting" teaches mastering the elements of "musicality," advanced rhythms, how to "shift," understanding and playing "flats," double stops, and TONS of new music! Everything from Amazing Grace, and O Holy night to marches, waltzes, Spanish music and Mozart! At this point, your child could be joining the local youth symphony, or sharing music with others by way of retirement center concerts, family concerts, Homeschool Band and Orchestra classes, which many areas offer.
All of these books (with the exception of Book 0) boast over 100 pages - and, pardon the pun, but Ms. Vaning didn't miss a beat! This program covers everything - and at the end of each book, the child receives a certificate, mails in a completion form, and then receives a gold seal for their certificate in the mail. This is a complete, wonderfully written program - we are SO enjoying it and will for years to come.
I also must add that Mr. Rosen and Ms. Vaning-Rosen run Ebaru Publishing, are just fantastic! Mr. Rosen helped me measure my oldest for a violin - that is a perfect fit for her - right over the phone! If you have priced violins, you know how expensive they can be! Mr. Rosen sent not only the violin, but a great case, complete with pitch pipe, rosin - the whole enchilada. It was even tuned and polished - you can't beat the price or the service! Mention The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and get special homeschooler pricing.
-- Product Review by: Lisa Barthuly and family, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
And another perspective:
The Violin Book CD for Book 1 Beginning Basics
Eden Vanning Rosen
The Violin Book Series now has CD's to accompany it, and this is the "icing on the cake" of a fantastic program! I think what makes this CD so important is now we can hear the actual tone of what each note should sound like and the speed of each piece or practice session. This CD was created with performance in mind, and this assists in a student's sound or tone from the beginning, hence the title "Beginning Basics".
This is a great practice and performance enhancer! This CD also comes with a checklist to master each lesson or step covered on the CD, which we find to be an excellent tool. The CD has made practice even more fun! We are having a wonderful time learning to play the violin in our home. This CD is a great bonus to an already terrific music program!
To learn more about Ebaru Publishing and The Violin Book Music Program, check out their website.