Violin and Viola Accessories+
We list on this page only those accessories that CAM Publications' co-founder, Amy Matherly, has used and can recommend whole-heartedly. Amy is a registered Teacher Trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and has been teaching violin and viola to students, ranging from four year olds to adults, for over thirty years.
Clarity Rosin / Clarity Spectrum, from Super-Sensitive Musical String Co.: "Made from a synthetic hydrocarbon resin compound that substantially improves the properties of rosin, producing a clear string response. The hydrophobic material resists absorption of moisture making it unaffected by humidity, keeping its tack or effectiveness over time. Non-corrosive to instrument varnish." For students who have allergies - or have teachers with allergies - Clarity Rosin saves the day. And the colors make it fun!!
Wittner Composite Chinrests, from Wittner GmbH & Co. KG: These popular German-made violin and viola chinrests are "antiallergic, anatomically designed and made of 'Space Age' composite material." Available in a variety of sizes, center and side mount, these chinrests have a smooth lip for extra comfort. Students like the smooth feel - no metal clamps digging into their neck or collar bone. They come with an easy-to-install, secure fitting and the perfect size screwdriver to make installation a breeze.
AcoustaGrip, from Stern Sound: The ads for these violin and viola shoulder rests aren't exaggerating when they tell us that "AcoustaGrip is the greatest advancement in shoulder rests in over 78 years!" They are the ultimate in comfort and quite attractively shaped as a member of the string family. And they stick to your instrument without potentially harmful clamps or glue - held securely and gently with air! I've been using an AcoustaGrip for six months - it's very comfy and it stays on. I've had to wash the adhering surface once with hot water and then it was like new.
Hand and Arm Warmers
Wristies, from Wristies, Inc.: Keep your hands and arms warm without interfering with your playing. These wonderfully comfortable Polartec fleece warmers come in large (men) and small (women and teens) sizes, original long (above the elbow) and short (partially covering the forearm) lengths, and in black and beige. These warmers provide the maximum coverage possible without limiting finger movement. Cold can cause tension. Keep your hands warm and relaxed with Wristies!
44 Duets for Violin
44 Duets for Two Violins, Volumes I and II, Bela Bartok: This collection of duets by the famous composer rarely fail to inspire and entertain my students. The themes are taken, in all but two cases, from the 'peasant' folk tunes Bartok gathered in his fieldwork, so they're a nice change from the usual repetoire. These duets are perfect for intermediate and advanced students. Violin buddies can get together and have hours of fun playing these duets. The recordings of these duets by Angela and Jennifer Chun are inspiring and instructive - a great gift for the student in your life!
Hassel Free Homework, by Faith and Cecil Clark.
This book explores how we learn and offers strategies to help your child become an independent and motivated learner. Very helpful for both homework and practicing.
Practicing for Artistic Success: The Musician's Guide to Self-Empowerment, by Burton Kaplan. Analyzes the process of practicing in detail and lays out a foolproof plan for improvement, even supplying practice charts and organizers. Other topics include: what counts as practice, the value of mental practice, and ideas for working on rhythm, intonation and memorization. We spend so much time teaching others – Burton Kaplan reminds us how to teach ourselves and bring focus and purpose to practice.