Rigorous Technique Training for Advanced Violinists

 

What is the “Advanced Violin Seminar?”: This lecture series will present a systematic, rigorous study of practical violin technique based on the pedagogical works of Galamian, Flesch, Frischenschlager, Yankelevich, and others. It is intended to help the advanced student develop a complete concept of technique, with individual skills broken down, explained, and studied with practical exercises. These lectures will offer exercises and practice methods to address common technical problems, and will present technique as a skill set that can be systematically trained as a means to achieve artistic freedom. The lectures will follow a detailed and progressive curriculum of Mr. Peckins’ design, including posture, freedom of movement, all bow strokes, left hand frame and articulation, double stops, vibrato, glissandi, sound production, posture, as well as virtuoso skills such as chords, harmonics, ricochet, left hand pizzicato, etc. Tools for self-assessment and further, independent study of technique will also be discussed. Watch the Introduction Lecture (below) to learn more about what this course will cover.

Intended Participants: This course is recommended for college age students and older, but may be appropriate for highly motivated and advanced high-school students. The ideal participant is analytically minded, curious about violin technique and playing, and motivated to radically improve his/her technique through intensive study. College students, dedicated amateurs, as well as professionals looking for a thorough review are encouraged to take this course. Teachers looking for a comprehensive survey of violin technique may also be interested.

Please Note: This lecture series is different from the other instruction materials available on Peckins Studio Online. There are hundreds of lessons for violinists of all levels on this website, including for complete beginners and intermediate students, but this series is for the advanced player at the college/conservatory level or beyond. This series may be right for you if you are currently playing the standard concert repertoire, are comfortable with three-octave scales, arpeggios and double stops, and have significant experience with etudes by Rode, Gaviniez, Dont, Kreutzer, Paganini, or similar. If you are not at that level yet, please browse some of the other instructional materials on this website intended for beginner/intermediate players.

Warning: This lecture series offers highly valuable information, but does not offer any feedback or live instruction. Consult with an experienced, qualified, professional violin teacher for personal feedback and to make sure you are understanding the material correctly. You are responsible for your own progress, and no guarantee is made about the results you will achieve with this lecture series! Many of the exercises in this lecture series are strenuous; consult with your doctor before attempting any new techniques or modifying your routine, and in any case of pain, discomfort, or fatigue.

Instructions: Lectures in this series will be added over the course of the 2019/20 academic year. Please study the lectures in order, and practice the material thoroughly before progressing to the next lecture. Audio/video examples of famous violinists will be referenced with external links (by clicking these links, you will leave this website, and we are not responsible for those links being maintained/up to date - apologies in advance if they are changed or taken down.) When sheet music is in the public domain, we may offer PDF’s that can be downloaded and printed. For other score/book examples, you may need to purchase sheet music from your music store of choice.


Let’s Get Started!

Click below to watch the first lecture!

 
  • Lecture 1 introduces the course.

  • Watch the intro to learn what this course will cover, who it is for, how it is organized, and how it is different from the rest of Peckins Studio Online.

 

The following lessons are available only to Premium Access subscribers. Click here to get free access for 14 days. Members please click the text links below to load your videos/PDF’s.

 

PDF: Basic Violin Techniques and Exercises, by Joshua Peckins

  • Click to view and print before watching Lecture 1

  • This PDF lists the skills necessary for an advanced violin technique.

  • Under each skill (e.g., vibrato, bow stokes, shifting, etc.), a list of exercises is offered.

  • This will be used as an outline for this course, and can be a valuable reference for studying the complete violin technique and organizing a personal training plan.

PDF: “Urstudien,” by Carl Flesch

  • Click to view and print before watching Lectures 2 and 3.

Video: Lecture 2, Intro to “Urstudien”

  • Lecture 2 introduces “Urstudien,” by Carl Flesch.

  • By the end of this lecture, you should understand Carl Flesch’s idea of “mechanisms of technique,” or specific physical movements that are used in various combinations to play the violin, and the possibility (and value!) of training those mechanisms.

  • To review and reinforce the ideas in this lesson, read all the text in “Urstudien,” and think about how Carl Flesch’s five left hand mechanisms are used in combination to produce real violin playing.

Video: Lecture 3, “Urstudien” Left Hand Exercises

  • Lecture 3 teaches and demonstrates the left hand exercises from “Urstudien".

  • Proceed with care, as these exercises are strenuous! Don’t over due it, listen to your body, and only do what is comfortable.

  • To review and reinforce these ideas, continue to practice these exercises, and consider making them part of your daily warm-up routine.

  • We will go further into detail about how to do these exercises in the following lessons.

Listening Example: Hilary Hahn, famous violin soloist, practicing “Urstudien”

  • Watch Hillary Hahn practicing “Urstudien.”

  • These exercises are certainly not for beginners, and are used by top-level violinists such as Hillary Hahn!

  • Notice the strength and stability in her hand as she practices the dropping and raising “mechanism.”

  • This is an external link; you will leave this website.

Check back soon for lecture 4

  • Lectures in this series will be added over the course of the 2019/20 academic year.

  • Please check back soon for the next lecture in this series.