Early Start on the Violin
The original German violin method was first published in 1976. The author Egon Sassmannshaus was one of the most experienced and renowned violin pedagogues in Germany. For the English edition his son Kurt Sassmannshaus worked as co-author and adapted his father’s successful method for English-speaking children.
The combined knowledge and experience of father and son make the four volumes of The Sassmannshaus Tradition the most thoroughly researched and thought-through beginner violin method in the world.
“This method teaches all important violin skills very early. the kids progress much faster in the repertoire than with any other method.” (Chee-Yun)
15 lessons. With numerous call songs and nursery rhymes. Includes flash cards for learning notes in first position and their finger placements.
After the introduction featuring open strings and basic note values, the “cuckoo call” follows as a basic interval. Note reading is introduced from the beginning, and accidentals are explained in the easiest way in the first volume. By the end of the first book, many English children’s songs using all fingers have been played and note values from whole to eighth notes have been introduced. Most exercises are underlaid with text so that rhythms can be learned easily and melodies can be perceived as a whole.
20 lessons. With numerous folksongs and nursery rhymes as well as dance forms, several in two parts for student and teacher to play together. Introduction to playing in upper positions.
The second volume already presents classical violin duets. The child’s knowledge and technique is expanded by dotted rhythms, sixteenths notes, and first double stops. And here is the most revolutionary aspect of the method: different finger patterns can be connected and combined to create any major and minor scale without the use of open strings. This creates the ability to practice scales in any position within the first or second year of playing! With this skill, songs learned in first position are easily transposed to other keys and higher positions. Coupled with beginning shifting exercises this sets a foundation for an early virtuoso technique not available in any other method.
14 lessons. Elementary duets. With numerous dances and repertoire pieces in various keys. Music from the Baroque era to the early 20th century.
The third volume emphasises duet playing in a great variety of keys, rhythms and musical styles. Different finger patterns and strokes are thoroughly practiced.
15 lessons. Playing in upper positions, scales, arpeggios, double and triple stops, harmonics, ornaments, bowing techniques. Music from the Baroque era to the early 20th century.
The fourth volume introduces various positions as well as new bowing techniques (brush strokes, spiccato, martelé, staccato). These are practiced in increasingly demanding classical duets. At the end of volume 4 students are able to play scales and arpeggios over three octaves. From this point on students can tackle easy concertos such as those by Vivaldi, Seitz and Accolay and embark on the journey to the standard repertoire.