Teacher’s Notes

A sample lesson plan with background notes, lesson tips and hyperlinks to teaching tools

4. Big Top

Lesson Tips:

Big Top is played at a lively tempo on 3 open strings. Aim to develop clean string crossings on the alternating bows (“see-saws”).

Quavers are introduced in this piece. Encourage good tone by playing the paired quavers with a firm double-bow stroke (“rabbit” bows).

Big Top is written in ternary form with a call & response structure in the middle section. There is also a repeat sign at the end.

This piece is built on the following 3 rhythm patterns:

Teaching Tools:

  • Preview the 3 rhythm patterns in Flash Cards (Scores & eBooks)
  • Develop bow action in Preparation:
    • Ex 1: See-Saws (slow): stop the bow and cross neatly during the rest
    • Ex 2: See-Saws (quick): cross the string quickly without stopping the bow
    • Ex 3: “Rabbit” bows: firm double-bow stroke on a single string
    • Ex 4: Early in the Morning: quick string crossing & “rabbit” bows
    • Ex 5: “Rabbit” Echoes: rhythm swapping
  • Work on details in “real” time with the pdf Full Score (Scores & eBooks)
  • Play the whole piece from beginning to end with audio backing in Read & Play in Learning, Practice or Concert tempo

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