The purpose of ViolinCircus is to practice intelligently focussing only on one aspect of string playing at a time. The actions on the cards are always to be combined with a piece or exercise the student is working on. The cards are sorted into three categories:
Technique and Accuracy:
In this category the student focuses on good body posture, economical bowing- and left hand technique.
Acrobatics and Creativity:
In this category the student can make up his own ways of playing the piece, experiment with acrobatical movements and use his/her creative mind.
Characters and Timbre:
In this category the student plays the piece in many different dynamics, he/she varies the speed, tone quality and timbre.
What makes the ViolinCircus so effective?
My students often ask me at the beginning of the lesson, if they can draw a card. I especially use the cards for memorizing passages or getting ready for a concert. I use very short passages for the little kids, repeating them using the cards. As the student first focusses on playing/learning a passage, then on drawing a card and again on playing the piece he/she has to actively remember the passage, and the piece is repeated without the student noticing. By using different characters and techniques early on the student develops a large pallet of means of expression.
Is the violin circus also suitable for adults / professionals?
Yes. Although the pictures are child-friendly, adults / professionals can also profit from using the cards (see “Reviews”). In concert preparation and to prepare difficult pieces, I often practice with the ViolinCircus. Some of the easiest cards can be left out.
Is the ViolinCircus also suitable for cello?
Yes, if it does not bother you that a violin playing clown is depicted. All cards except for 5 are easily transferable to cello.
What happens in the Violin Circus 2 and 3?
In Violin Circus 2 is the continuation of Violin Circus1 for advanced players. Violin Circus 3 is the extension for professional musicians.
Karlotta shows us how she practices Bach’s Double Concerto and an Etude with the ViolinCircus. Activate the English subtitles if you don’t speak German: