Studio News Term 4, 2023, updated 20th Nov

Theme for Term 4: Writing music

Well done everyone for really good performances at the Studio Concert on 21st October!

Group Lesson pieces for 5th Dec
Book 1: Twinkles, Lightly Row, Song of the Wind, Aunt Rhody, May Song, Perp.Motion, Minuet 1
New folk tunes: Davy’s Brae, Doudlebska Polka

Group Lesson dates still to come in Term 4
Tuesday 5th December

Group lessons are
– for violin/viola students in Books 1-3
– two Tuesday afternoons a term, 4.30 to 5.30 pm
– at Buda Garden Room, 42 Hunter St
This term we welcome new student Jaantje and mother Sari to the studio.

Recommended concerts

Bendigo Symphony Orchestra, Sat 25th Nov, 7.30pm & Sun 26th Nov, 2.30 pm
Ebbs & Flows – Strauss Blue Danube, Elgar Sea Pictures
Student free accompanied by adult/concession, use code STUDENTTIX

Lesson schedule
2.30 pm Ada
3.00 pm Gabrielle (60 mins)
4.15 pm Gwen
4.45 pm Bibby
5.30 pm Paddy
6.00 pm Owen (60 mins fortnightly)
7.30 pm Joyce (fortnightly)

Tuesdays (not group lesson weeks)
4.15 pm Alex
4.45 pm Isabelle
5.15 pm Dante
5.45 pm Perryn

12.15 pm Elena
1.00 pm Parents’ class (30-45 mins fortnightly)
3.45 pm Jaantje
4.15 pm Zoha
4.45 pm Elsie (45 mins)
5.30 pm Sebastian
6.30 pm Kyle

Term 2 Concert
The studio concert was a great success, thanks to all students for playing, John Tungyep on piano, and parents for your strong support of your child’s learning.

Zoom lessons
In-person lessons should be replaced with Zoom online lessons whenever anyone (including me) has cold or flu symptoms, has Covid, or is a close contact. Please try to give 24 hours notice regarding a switch to Zoom. Please update Zoom and use an external microphone for proper immersive online lessons. Audio settings must be musicians’ settings (otherwise I can’t hear your violin!).

Term 4 starts Monday 2nd October, ends Friday 15th December
No lessons 9th Oct, 6th-7th Nov.

Studio Concert Dec 1st, 2021

Enjoy listening to the solos and group items from this concert held at Buda Garden Room. Thanks to Liz Wilson, cello and John Tungyep, piano, for adding their musical talents and encouraging our students to enjoy their music.

Isabelle, Hunters’ Chorus
Dante, Twinkle Variation D & Theme
Yael, Lightly Row
Mary, Allegro
Sebastian, May Song, Allegro
Annie, Honeybee, Lightly Row, Cuckoo
Polly, May Song, Allegro
Liam, Happy Farmer
Elsie, Gavotte in G Minor, J.S.Bach
Owen, Seguidilla from Carmen, Bizet
Owen, Maria from West Side Story, Bernstein
Bibby, Concerto No 5, 3rd movt, Seitz
Frances & Liz Wilson, Themes from Der Freischutz opera, C.M. von Weber, arranged Dancla
Violin trio, Bibby, Elsie & Isabelle, Finnish Waltz
Violin group, Perpetual Motion
Violin group, May Song
Violin group, Twinkle variations & Theme

Studio News Term 4, 2021, updated 8 December

Concert Wednesday 1st December
at Buda Garden Room
The concert was a great success, we appreciated coming together in person and hearing the progress of our students, plus a guest performance from cellist Liz Wilson who plays with the Bendigo Symphony Orchestra and brilliant piano playing including exciting improvisations in various styles by John Tungyep.

See Studio Concerts page for the audio recordings.

Term 4 ends on December 17th, and Term 1 in 2022 starts Mon 31 January.

Recording yourself with piano accompaniment‘.
Most students have now made a recording with piano accompaniment, well done everybody.

The listening piece is ‘Peter and the Wolf‘ by Sergei Prokoviev (Russian composer 1891-1953). Which character’s theme do you like? and why?
Update – please listen to the whole piece played by a different orchestra (search on YouTube or maybe you have a CD at home?)

Zoom audio, microphones

Acknowledgement to Katie Wardrobe, Midnight Music, for this excellent guide to getting the best audio in a Zoom music lesson:

This site has info for iPhones and Android phones:


Using an external microphone for your computer greatly improves the sound at my end and this makes for a better music lesson.

Recommended USB microphones:

Blue Snowball
Blue Yeti

Recommended microphone/recorder:

H2N Zoom

How to care for violin and bow

Whether you have a new beginner instrument or a well-loved professional one, it is critical to care for your instrument in the correct way. Instruments perform at their best when they are regularly cared for through cleaning, servicing and general maintenance.

To ensure your instrument remains in optimal playing condition, we recommend following these guidelines:

  • Keep your instrument protected from water and moisture.Water causes timber to swell, which can cause cracks. Keep your instrument away from windows, moisture and excess humidity.
  • Keep your instrument protected from excessive amounts of heat.Sun and heat can severely affect your instrument, potentially causing cracks and damage to the varnish. Make sure you store it away from windows, heaters or fireplaces.
  • Never leave your instrument in the car.
  • Keep your instrument clean.Wiping off rosin with a dry cloth from the top of your instrument and strings after playing will prevent rosin build up. Don’t use water to clean.
  • Never clean your instrument with solvents or household products.Varnish is very delicate and can be easily damaged. Specialised cleaning products are available to assist with cleaning your instrument if necessary.
  • Keep your fingernails trimmed.This prevents damage to the strings and fingerboard of your instrument.
  • Cover the instrument with a cloth in its case.This protects your instrument against scratches from the bow while closed.
  • Only players with experience should use the pegs.If you are not confident using the pegs, your teacher should help you to tune your instrument using the pegs. The fine tuners can be used to control small pitch changes.
  • New instruments and strings take up to two weeks to settle.During this time, the strings will continue to go out of tune. We recommend that you do not change your strings in the two weeks before an important performance or exam.
  • Remove your shoulder rest when your instrument is in its case.Your shoulder rest must always be removed while the violin is in its case and not in use.

String instruments perform at their best when serviced regularly. We recommend getting your instrument serviced every six months. Services are conducted by our team of trained luthiers and entails checking the strings, bridge, pegs, bow, and a general clean of your instrument.
Your first service should be two weeks after the instrument has been set up, then every six months following. Strings should be changed once a year depending on how often you play. For violinists, your E and A string will need to be changed every 3-6 months, while your D and G string will need to be changed every 6-12 months.


To keep your bow in good playing condition, we recommend following these guidelines:

  • Avoid touching the bow hair with your fingers. Even small amounts of grease, sweat or dirt from your fingers can affect playability and make it difficult to apply rosin
  • Always loosen the bow while it is not being used.If it is not loosened after you have finished playing, the hair stretches out and will eventually not tighten to playing tension.
  • Do not over tighten the bow.Tighten your bow until the hair is pulled away from the stick only approximately 8mm at the narrowest point for violins/violas and 10mm for cellos. For double basses, tighten your bow until the hair is pulled away approximately 15mm for French bows and 20mm for German bows. It is important that the bow remains curved. If the stick looks straight to the hair, it is too tight.
  • Don’t rosin your bow every time you use it.You should only need to rosin your bow every 5-6 hours of playing time or every 1-2 weeks for beginners.
  • To keep your bow performing at its best, we recommend rehairing your bow every 12 months.

Reprinted by permission of Sydney String Centre


Contact Frances by phone:   0414 878 071

Or by email:

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