Have you ever wanted to play the violin? Have you ever wished there was an easier way to learn it, at home, any time of day, having your teacher always available for an advice?
Then this course is for you!
It is a very convenient way to learn to play the violin, from the comfort of your own home! Just keeping a regular practice routine of 15-20 min a day will let you pick this beautiful instrument quickly and play your favorite songs in no time.
“Cracking the Violin Code” is an online course which introduces you to violin playing in a very detailed and progressive way. Even if you have no previous experience and knowledge about how the violin works and how we play it, here you will find most of the information you will need: you will learn how to hold the instrument in a most natural way, how to play all the strings, and some of the most popular beginner's violin tunes. Along the way, I will describe how we read music notation and you will start reading music, however, you will still be able to play the songs at the end, even if your music reading skills are not fully developed (preview lectures 33 and 35).
Video violin lessons are a very convenient way to learn to play this beautiful instrument, as you have the freedom to go at your own pace, revisit particular lectures multiple times or skip parts with which you already feel comfortable. This course starts with an introduction of the parts of the violin and the way we make sound. After that, you learn how to hold the bow, followed by a few exercises clarifying the body posture and alignment, which leads to the violin position and the way we support the instrument with the left arm. All of that is explained and demonstrated in detail, with a lot of attention on anatomy and focus on the natural way of using our body. We continue with learning how to play on open strings, emphasizing the different parts of the bow arm movement. As soon as you are comfortable with it, you can start using your left hand fingers, play a few exercises on all the strings and start learning the songs. Since all of the exercises I am recommending are very intuitive, just keeping a regular practice routine of 15-30 min a day would be enough for you to pick them up quickly and help you progress by creating healthy habits.
This online violin program is supplemented with step by step exercises and practice sessions, where I demonstrate and practice along with you, with close-up shots on my hands and fingers. This way, even if something is not very clear in the explanation, you can see it working in action and get all the information you need. If something is still complicated, or if you feel that more detailed video is necessary, you can send me a personal message, or post your question on the discussion board. I, and my associate, Dr. Smiliana Lozanova, DMA, will be happy to answer all of your questions and consider your suggestions on how to make this course better. As a bonus to this course, once a month you will be able to send me a video of yourself playing, and I will personally look at it and give you suggestions on the areas you need to improve, as well as how to do it.
Learn the names of the different parts of the violin and what happens when we draw the bow on the strings.
Learn the correct position of the right hand thumb and why it is the foundation of a good bow hold.
Learn the position of the rest of the fingers on the bow. Follow a step by step practice session.
Join me for a few exercises for getting a relaxed bow hold, as I explain the role of each finger.
Learn about the difference between the "Russian" and "Franko-Belgian" bow holds.
Join me in a few exercises developing the flexibility of the wrist.
Learn the main elements of the bow arm movement and practice them with me.
They say "The best way to learn something, is to teach it to someone else"! And this is so true! So, take your phone and make a two-three minute video, explaining the most exciting thing you have learned so far. Teach someone how to hold the bow, or why the position of the thumb is important, or the main parts of the bow arm movement. Then send it to your friends to see their reaction, or simply keep it to compare with the videos you will make later and follow your progress easier.
By finding the correct body alignment we are facilitating the process of playing and can get better results with less effort. Join me in a few exercises to discover the correct body alignment and get the most natural posture.
Join me in two fun exercises to warm up and strengthen the shoulders.
Step by step guide on how to hold the violin.
Learn and practice the important aspects of the violin hold: rotation of the left arm, the angle of the wrist and the position of the fingers.
Time to make another video. Teach someone how to find the most natural posture, or how to rotate the left arm before they lift the violin, or something else you were glad to learn in this section. Send it to your friends to surprise them how well you are doing. Make sure you keep it for comparison for later, you need videos like that one to remind you where you started.
Learn about the different ways we can change the sound of the violin: sounding point, bow speed, and bow pressure. Troubleshoot some of the most common problems with the sound when you start playing for the first time.
Join me in finding the correct angle of the violin and a position where the left arm can be comfortably held in the air for longer periods of time.
And here we go playing! Starting in the middle of the bow, in the same manner we used in the exercises from lecture 8.
Learn the specifics of playing in the lower half of the bow.
Challenge your coordination and learn how to use the entire length of the bow, starting with rests between each note.
In this lecture you will be presented to two of the basic bow strokes - portato and legato, and the difference between them. You will learn how to fluently connect all parts of the bow in continuous bow strokes without the rests.
Time to make another video. Don't forget: "The best way to learn something, is to teach it to someone else"! Teach someone how we can play softly on the violin, or how we make a louder sound; show them how to play with a straight bow, while moving the arm in different directions. When you initially bought the course, you were provided with a link, on which you could upload your videos for me to revise. Send me your best video and I will personally look at it, pointing out the things you do well and the areas you need to improve. Share it with your friends to inspire them with your persistence in learning how to play this beautiful instrument.
Learn how to place the fingers on the strings. Join me in a fun exercise on how to feel the fingers in their full length, starting all the way from the wrist.
Learn to play the notes on A string, paying special attention on the little finger.
Learn some shortcuts on how to remember the notation easier. Discover the importance of preserving the same frame of the fingers on each string.
It is time for another video. Teach someone the names of the notes on A string, G string, D string, and E string. Show them how we align the left arm, so the little finger is right above the place it is going to press on the string. Compare this video with the ones you took at the beginning and see how much you have advanced. Share it with your friends and tell them to get ready, very soon you will be playing your first songs!
Great job learning your first songs! Now teach someone to play them in a video. Play each song section by section and explain how to learn it faster, before performing the entire tune at the end. Then, compare the video with the ones you made earlier in your progress. Watching your previous videos will remind you of some important aspects you might have overlooked, but will also make you realize what a long way you have gone. Share it with your friends, you deserve a word of praise!
CONGRATULATIONS! You have completed your course! Not only you now know a few songs, but you have learned a very healthy and intuitive way of playing the violin. Some things may be harder than others and may need more time to feel effortless, but you have a great foundation and you can use it to learn more songs and develop even more flexibility in your body and fluency with the instrument. Don't forget to share a video with me, so I can give you my comments, or with your friends, to impress them with your new skill! I am honored you have chosen me as your teacher. I hope you enjoyed the course as much as I did making it.
We all enjoy completing quizzes! This one covers the topics all the way from the beginning, so you can check if you remember the most important parts of the course. Great job!
Violinist Yuliyan Stoyanov holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. His professional career includes solo, chamber music and orchestral appearances in Japan, Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Russia and Macedonia, as well as throughout the United States. Recordings of Stoyanov’s performances can be found in the archives of both, the Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television, as well as West Virginia Public Radio, WNKU, and Youtube.
Along with his classical roots, Stoyanov has explored various other genres, jamming and improvising in different styles. His love for music has made him a partner with Electric Light Orchestra, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Poduene Blues Band and Newbees, and leading artists as Sarah Brightman, and Josh Groban.
Dr. Stoyanov is actively involved in teaching violin, chamber music and string ensembles. He is a strong believer in music education being fun and easy, based on the idea that anything that we do naturally, we do without effort. In his free time he enjoys playing with his two sons (1 and 6 year old) and practicing yoga as a way to learn more about the freedom of movements involved in violin playing.