These arrangements came out of my work with group class in the Toledo Symphony School of Music Suzuki Program. Periodically, we combine classes of different levels. The usual performance approach is to play through the Suzuki repertoire. When the younger students have not learned the next pieces, they sit down and listen to the more advanced students perform. I thought the students would both enjoy and learn from playing together in ensemble, with each playing parts within their technical grasp. As the process of reading and ensemble playing poses its own challenges, I have made the parts, especially for the pre-twinkle and early Book 1 students, quite basic, primarily using open strings. These parts are specifically designed to be learned by rote. The more advanced parts can also be taught by rote. These arrangements were originally made for violin ensemble, and can be played just by violins, as well as full string ensemble. There are five violin parts: Advanced Violin, Violin I, Violin II, Violin Book I (Suzuki), and Twinkle Violin. The Advanced Violin part requires familiarity of third position and is optional, depending upon the level of students available. A piano part has been added for practice purposes and is not necessarily intended to be used in performance. Texts have been included to aid in the learning of rhythms, sometimes adapted from the music and sometimes created by the arranger.

It is my hope that these arrangements fill a gap in available repertoire for mixed-level school and Suzuki groups. I have found them successful in my own teaching. I have chosen quality repertoire which I feel is important for students to learn, at all levels of ability.

In addition to the string ensemble and violin ensemble works above, I have composed a number of mashups, consisting of familiar classical, folk songs, children songs, and fiddle tunes. These have been well received and have been successful in developing musicianship and listening skills. I have three new books in this genre:

Twinkle Pop E-I-E-I-O
Jingle Bells, Dreidels and a Happy New Year
The Violinist Meets the Fiddler

Please visit our website:
www.stringplayforall.com