Christmas Melodies: Double Stop Solos and Duets for Violin and Viola and American Melodies: Double Stop Solos and Duets for Violin and Viola are all excellent resources for the study and performance of double stops. Mrs. Martha Yasuda, a former student of mine, has developed a very practical and helpful system to assist students in hearing what double stops should sound like. Having students play the duet parts first before playing the double stop solo arrangements further strengthens one of the key principles underlying the Suzuki method of violin instruction — that of listening to a musical piece first before playing it.
Students will enjoy learning to play double stops as they play something fun and familiar to them. For this reason, Mrs. Yasuda has chosen as her musical settings well known Christmas Carols and familiar American songs sung by most children. Younger students can also join in the fun as they play the duet parts in these fine arrangements. Students will be challenged as the duet parts alternate back and forth between the melody and the harmony.
I believe very strongly that both Christmas Melodies and American Melodies fill a major gap in the field of the study of double stops. Mrs. Yasuda’s idea of relating double stops to duets is very cleverly done and is clearly a demonstration of Dr. Suzuki’s idea of making learning enjoyable for the student. I enthusiastically recommend both Christmas and American Melodies.
William Starr, internationally recognized Suzuki pedagogue, was the first President of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and first Chairman of the International Suzuki Association. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and taught for many years at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, before moving to Boulder where he currently teaches at the University of Colorado. Mr. Starr is an SAA registered Teacher Trainer and has appeared at workshops and conferences throughout the world, as teacher, conductor, soloist, and lecturer. He has written a dozen books for strings and Suzuki pedagogy. To Learn with Love, a companion for Suzuki parents, co-authored with his wife Constance Starr, has enriched the lives of over 50,000 Suzuki families.