Essential Elements for Strings – Book 1

(60 customer reviews)


SKU: 0634038184 Category:

From the Publisher

essential elements, strings, music, instruments, viola, hal leonard, comprehensive method, teaching

Essential Elements for Strings – Book 1 w/EEi – Viola

Essential Elements for Strings offers beginning students sound pedagogy and engaging music, all carefully paced to successfully start young players on their musical journey. EE features both familiar songs and specially designed exercises, created and arranged for the classroom in a unison-learning environment, as well as instrument-specific exercises to focus each student on the unique characteristics of their own instrument. EE provides both teachers and students with a wealth of materials to develop total musicianship, even at the beginning stages.

Essential Elements now includes Essential Elements Interactive (EEi), the ultimate online music education resource. EEi introduces the first-ever, easy set of technology tools for online teaching, learning, assessment, and communication… ideal for teaching today’s beginning band and string students, both in the classroom and at home. For more information, visit Hal Leonard Online – Essential Elements Interactive.

Read more

essential elements, strings, music, instruments, viola, hal leonard, comprehensive method, teaching

Take a closer look at this comprehensive string method book!

Listening Skills: Play what your teacher plays. Listen carefully.

essential elements, strings, music, instruments, viola, hal leonard, comprehensive method, teaching

Take a closer look at this comprehensive string method book!

Folk songs often tell stories. This Israeli folk song describes a game played with a dreidel, a small table-top spinning toy that has been enjoyed by families for centuries. The game is especially popular in December around the time of Hanukkah.

essential elements, strings, music, instruments, viola, hal leonard, comprehensive method, teaching

Take a closer look at this comprehensive string method book!

Dynamics: Dynamics tell us what volume to play or sing.

Forte – Play loudly. Add more weight to the bow.

Piano – Play softly. Remove weight from the bow.

essential elements, strings, music, instruments, viola, hal leonard, comprehensive method, teaching

Take a closer look at this comprehensive string method book!

Hal Leonard Essential Elements Interactive.

Learn – Play – Have fun!

Visit Essential Elements interactive website to play, record, and share online!

essential elements, strings, music, instruments, viola, hal leonard, comprehensive method, teaching

essential elements, strings, music, instruments, viola, hal leonard, comprehensive method, teaching

essential elements, strings, music, instruments, viola, hal leonard, comprehensive method, teaching

essential elements, strings, music, instruments, viola, hal leonard, comprehensive method, teaching

Publisher ‏ : ‎

Hal Leonard; 2012th edition (July 1, 2002)

Language ‏ : ‎


Paperback ‏ : ‎

48 pages

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎


ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎


Item Weight ‏ : ‎

6.4 ounces

Dimensions ‏ : ‎

9 x 0.13 x 12 inches


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Best Sellers Rank:

#101 in Music Instruction & Study (Books)

Customer Reviews:

10,501 ratings

60 reviews for Essential Elements for Strings – Book 1

  1. Rose

    Online Activation code is already in use

    I thought everything was fine when we purchased this but today my daughter was instructed to activate her book online and it keeps saying her book code was already being used. I thought I was buying a new book which is quite disappointing. I also just found out there was suppose to be a CD included with this book according to her teacher.

  2. Chris Green

    Just as described

    Arrived fast and was in great shape.

  3. Celeste


    This book was purchased in July 2015. I bought this for my daughter who will be taking viola class in school starting in September. The book quality is very good, nice quality pages. It appears easy to read with lots of exercises on how to hold and place fingers on the strings. As for the type of music, it looks very appropriate for beginners with easy looking scales and notes. Since I’m not a string player, I do not know if it would be easy to use to teach yourself.One issue we had was that it did not come with the CD. There was a mail away postcard to send for one, or you can go online to their website and request one using their Activation Code, which also allowed for streaming. Only, ours did not work. Amazon sent another book, thinking the wrong book was sent (free of charge) but the other book was the same. We wanted the physical CD because my 9 year old will be practicing in her room and I don’t want to have her using her electronics in order to practice. If she were to use her kindle or ipad, I’m sure she would find herself doing something other than practicing!So, I found we will have to try sending away with the postcard provided. The publisher did email me to try to get this resolved. I haven’t yet reached out back to them, but I’m sure this will be resolved. It shouldn’t have to be so hard though, for a little beginner book.

    2 people found this helpful

  4. StaceyB

    Fantastic book and love the app that goes with it!

    I played the violin about 30 years ago, and haven’t touched one since. I’ve always wanted to start again, and decided to do so! I can read music, but even if I could not, this book does a great job introducing how to read music, the fingerings on the violin, how to read different parts of the music (the sharps, flats, repeat signs, etc). Also, there is an app that goes with the book (there is a code that is in the book) and you can play your violin along with various other instruments, or even just a metronome, and see how you sound. At first I did not use this, but I have found it to be very helpful! It shows the music and you record yourself. You can play it back to hear how it sounds and even save and send it to a teacher. I strongly suggest this as your first violin book!

  5. Janelle

    What we expected

    This is what we were told to get by our daughters violin teacher

    One person found this helpful

  6. rachel

    Very good buy!

    My son and I have found this to be a great book to pair with Kaveh Saidi violin lessons on YouTube. He is very thorough and goes straight through this book explaining everything very well! He also has lessons that go through the next book as well. Finding his lessons on YouTube was what led me to buy this book in the first place! Very good buy.

    One person found this helpful

  7. Tuleen

    it was good

    it was nice and smelt good

    2 people found this helpful

  8. Slayte74

    Easy to follow

    Music book arrived fast, it’s easy to read. Our violin teacher recommend this music book and we really like it.

    One person found this helpful

  9. Carrisa bernett



    One person found this helpful

  10. Bobby Willard

    Great book!

    I purchased this book awhile back and hoped it would help me with playing the violin for the first time. I loved it so well, that I had to show it to a friend. I had purchased him a violin to learn to play, and a wall chart to help in learning. When this book came, I showed it to him, and he liked it so much that I decided to buy one for him. We both are exceptionally happy that we have this book. Its a beginner’s book, but does not treat you like a child who is just learning. This book is a great guide to taking each step, one at a time, to learning to play the violin. Notes are discussed, as well as flats and sharps, and how long to hold your notes, etc. I just started back to learning my notes, and this is a great way to get back in practice. You also learn how to hold the violin correctly, how to hold the bow correctly, and how to keep your violin cleaned. Its a great book if you want to learn the correct way to play the violin. The notes are color coded as well, so when you get a finger guide, as I did, it will be of great help to you. I love this book.

    8 people found this helpful

  11. Lauren Smith

    Very good

    It is as expected

  12. ret11b

    great for beginners

    Easy to read, larger print.

  13. Siomara


    llego atiempo

  14. BeckyBecky

    Happy with the progression, recommend for student and teacher.

    I enjoyed how this book had a nice progression in technique. I felt like I was exposed to a variety of technique and there are pieces at the end that you will be able to play after learning everything in the book. There is a more technically difficult piece, an intermediately difficult piece, and an easy piece. The small sections of music throughout each lesson helped to apply the technique each time I learned it. As I progressed, I would go back and play these pieces from lessons before. A good amount of scales and a few varieties. I have used the Suzuki method and that method has more full pieces to play to practice with. However, this book did a great job of focusing on making sure I had the technique learned. They provide a two line piece to practice. I would have chosen Essential Elements first and then Suzuki. Suzuki is going to offer more opportunities to play it, even though it left me with less teaching of the skill itself. Essential Elements is something I will go through every few months to make sure I have the skill down. I am starting book 2 soon and my friend that started Viola also purchased this book. Great book to teach a student from if you are teaching Viola. I have no idea if the other books are the same for other instruments. The Viola book has been invaluable to me.I learn visually. I learn by practicing right after I learn a technique. I felt this offered a solid understanding and proficiency before moving me forward. I appreciated that I could listen to the lessons online through video. They have an online option to go through the book online after you purchase the physical copy. Teachers can utilize this as a way to program in lessons for a student and the student goes into their portal and finds the lessons they are to practice for the week.

    4 people found this helpful

  15. Robyn


    Needed this for my elementary aged child to learn to play violin. It works. I wish it had spirals tho would be easier to turn pages. But all and all it’s great and works. I mean it’s a book? Lol

  16. Rodrigo Pimentel

    Great for beginners!

    Our daughter just started violin lessons and this is the required book for her class. She can see pictures of where her fingers go and the bill is a great step by step guide.

  17. ines espinal


    Good quality.

  18. Cyn

    As Expected

    Item as pictured. Does the job. Not much else to say.

    One person found this helpful

  19. April

    Former Player Starting Again

    I played the violins for 7 years, into middle school. I stopped after 7th grade and recently decided I wanted to start up with it again. I’ve had no exposure to reading music or the violin since then. This book is fantastic. It starts you off from the beginning and does a great job easing you into it. It’s made for a student so it makes me chuckle as a 32 year being told not to use my bow or do other things until my teacher tells me to.

    7 people found this helpful

  20. Yahanna bell

    Perfect for practice

    I have a little bit of experience with a violin and needed this for a refresher, this book is amazing!

  21. Justin

    Decent for beginners

    I used this book to help me start self-learning the violin.The book includes almost 200 short pieces which are all accompanied by an audio version which helps. However, most of the pieces in the audio version are played using an piano/synth, sometimes with some heavily added electronic background music which I found was very annoying.The CD features a short start-up guide detailing all the trivial aspects like holding and taking care of the violin which I found rather useful at least.The book also includes diagrams/illustrations and teaches some techniques. It also teaches some music theory and trains readers to sight-read by removing the spoon-fed alphabet notes early in the book.However, I felt much of the book was wasted teaching simple stuff and you only start with the bow after 30+ pieces which I skipped most of it. Whenever new notes are introduced, there are usually redundant pieces playing just that note or with some slight variations which sort of inflates the number of pieces.The pieces includes a variety of world music which I thought was interesting but I also found the lack of any classical pieces frustrating as by the end of the book it would seem that the reader would only be able to play lullaby and folk tunes. The difficulty also seems to be on the low side and it would take at most a month to finish this book.The “SmartMusic” software is also only available for STUDENTS with teachers or schools that are signed up with essential elements. This is misleading from the description which doesn’t state this anywhere. However, if you are self-learning and want to use this software, you should purchase the teacher’s edition instead.In summary, useful material for starters with a rounded guide on music theory, easy difficulty, distasteful audio pieces and un-usable advertised software (for self-learners). For beginners, I would supplement this with Suzuki Volume 1.P.S. Volume two of the EES2000 have their CD split into two parts which the second part needing to be purchased separately.

    8 people found this helpful

  22. Lacey B


    Best beginners book ever. I am actually not new to the violin but it has been many many years since I’ve played.I actually had the older version of this book when I first started playing and lost it somewhere afterwards. I tried picking it up again a few years but couldn’t find the book I wanted to help motivate me and I couldn’t remember the name of this book t purchase it. I’m sure if I would have gotten this a few years ago, I’d have stuck with it. It makes learning to read music soo easy (which is the main reason I purchased it). The CD helped me to remember the correct positioning of my fingers because I could listen to what the note sounded like and adjust my finger accordingly (although for beginners, I still recommend using fret tape until you have the finger placement down, then you take the tape off). I’m an adult and I don’t like having to play the kiddie songs this book has but it is well worth trudging through them to learn to read music again. Knowing how to read music is crucial to being a good violinist. I can always find free beginners sheet music with a google search once I get a little better. So yeah, buy this book. You won’t regret it!!!

    3 people found this helpful

  23. Felicia Murray

    Music book

    Fast delivery, exactly as expected

  24. 808 Amazoner

    Just What I Was Looking For

    Was looking for a book that didn’t conform to the current “method” teaching. I learned to play cello about forty years ago and played for three years in Junior High but haven’t touched a stringed instrument until recently when I was given a violin by my wife. Want to learn and watched some videos on line but they all seem to fall into this current “Suzuki” learning method. Reminds me of the emphasis placed on Dr. Demming when all the quality control stuff was coming into play years ago. A certain “adulation” seems to be present for one particular method and everyone falls in line or else they are not “with it.” This book uses the methodology that my orchestra teacher used for us when I learned the cello as a child so it is very comfortable for me.Anyway, this book is intended for classroom but I find it also fits perfectly into my schedule and helps me to regain a lot of what is buried in my memory. The book also helps me to make that change from the position that I held the cello, between the legs, to having the instrument on my shoulder.Altogether, I think this book is going to be “just right” for me and I’ll be buying the follow on books when I’m done with this one.

  25. Alb

    Really helpful for sure!

    It’s helpful and has LOTS of good songs in there and good instructions for an at home learner and it’s not too expensive… I really suggest buying this book

  26. Kieli

    Very geared towards kids in orchestra class…

    I am an adult trying to teach myself how to play violin, as it is something I have always wanted to do, but I was never allowed to take lessons as a kid. So I bought this book hoping it would be a good place to start… but it is definitely written for children in a classroom setting. I was hoping for more how-to’s, but most of that is relegated to side notes of “have your teacher show you…” but fortunately, there is Youtube, so I can deal with that. And that being said, it seems to have a decent selection of beginner scales and compositions to practice, the only thing disappointing there, is that for the first few pages they label all the notes (ie G, F#, A, etc) which is incredibly helpful for someone who hasn’t attempted to read music ever, or at least in a long time, but this stops within the first few pages — which is frustrating as it would be nice to have more practice getting the hang of the notes before having that little extra bit of aid dropped. It is also a very thin book… in the age of the internet, I kind of expected a bit more to make it worth the money vs simply printing all the information offline, which is absolutely the route I would have gone if I had easy access to a printer. So all things considered, this just gets a solid “okay” from me.

    128 people found this helpful

  27. StudentBern

    Review of Essen. Elements 2000 for strings

    Essential Elements 2000 is a good handbook 

    Essential Elements 2000 for Strings, Book 1, Disc 1

    for a beginning violinist or one coming back to the instrument, who is not an accomplished musician, after a lengthy layoff.This would be particularly good for the returnee who did not pay close attention initially to his/her teacher on the basic elements before a note was originally sounded. Read and follow every page of instruction and the user may find themselves saying, “I didn’t remember that,” quite often. That was my reaction as I found that I was not as smart as I once thought I was.I think the investment is good, though the volume is a rudimentary approach to making music with the instrument. Once having purchased this item, have a positive approach to the basics it drills into you and don’t let yourself be bored or indifferent to the lessons it coveys. Once the practice drills sound like the real music as it was written, think about using a one-on-one teacher whom you will impress with your basics knowledge and who can easily help you, then, improve your technique.See ya’ in Carnegie Hall!

    One person found this helpful

  28. B. Schoeffler

    Great way to learn the Viola

    I took private viola lessons for a few months in 2012 and I got the basics down from my teacher. I moved from that city to a new one and instead of getting another private instructor I decided to pick up this book and I’m really glad I did. I’ve been cruising through all of the various lessons and I’m improving every day. I’m an older player (i’m in my late 20’s right now), and I don’t have much of a musical background besides playing guitar. I struggled with learning all of the notes and reading music, but this book made it really easy. I am now almost at the point where I automatically know which note is which, and I would say I can play a tune well enough for someone to recognize it. I’m only 1/3 of the way through this book now.If you’ve never played a stringed instrument before then I would recommend you get a teacher for a couple months to show you the basics and how to tune your instrument, but after that you could pick up this book and teach yourself for the most part. Even if you didn’t get a teacher this book would be useful, but it would just be a much larger learning curve.

    16 people found this helpful

  29. guili

    This book is great, fantastic actually

    This book is great, fantastic actually, if you already know the bare basics or if you have tutorial guidance, then it is excellent, but if you don’t have a tutor and never touched a violin before, even though you play other instruments, I find it difficult. The book gives an exellent pizz (plucking) excercise, but on the bowing excercise, it lacks guidance and there is no correction assistance for trouble shooting, and if you don’t have a tutor to guide your way to sound clarity its a problem. I do the rosin excercise, and assume there is enough rosin and that the bow string is adjusted correctly ( tried different variations), I am holding the bow correctly from the elbow, but am not getting a smooth sound from inner strings, been patiently trying for quite some time now at various pressures, but still sounds like an injured gasping donkey, with laryngitis on the middle strings. Otherwise the book is well layed out with great music sheets, the CD is super.

    One person found this helpful

  30. keyana

    1st violin book experience. It was Rewarding

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     My violin teacher told me Purchase this book.I feel confident playing Violin. I’m still a beginner. This Is great for beginner Violin players learning the basics skills.

    One person found this helpful

  31. jada

    happy to get this for I haven’t played the violin in years

    This is a really good book for beginners i use to use this when I use to play the violin as a kid in school it explains pretty much the basics from holding the violin and bow down to the finger moments and strings and it teaches you the different notes…

  32. Ryan Lee

    Great book for beginners

    This Essentials Elements Book is an excellent choice for beginning and aspiring (young and old) violinists. It carries the student along throughout the process of getting to know and learn the violin. The techniques and diagrams that are featured in the book are in logical order, so you don’t have to go back forth through different pages in order to progress in performance. The lessons are also usable with young kids who may not be as interested in learning the violin. The disc that comes with the book is very useful, for the lessons sometimes have accompaniments or duet parts. Notes, musical symbols, and others are explained thoroughly through different arranged pieces. Also, students can practice different techniques through scales, arpeggios, and exercises. It really is a great book and is very useful for beginning violin students of a wide variety of ages.

  33. Christie M Robbins

    Very informative and definitely helpful and worth the cost.

    It helps students to understand the violin.

  34. RGM

    Good book to start with!

    This is made to really learn with. No matter what your age or skill level this is the book you need. Pictures for finger placement on the strings and music on the charts are great! Adding some history about the violin and composters and importantly music theory. Start with the first book and master it! Then move on to the second. Good Luck!

  35. amazonian

    Good with a teacher, not bad for self learners

    This book is for the absolute beginner at both music and the violin. If you are trained in music reading and so forth, you can just skip the bits that explain music theory. Also, at various points in the book it says things like “wait for your teacher to tune your violin”, ” listen to your teacher play this,”. So it is safe to assume that this book was meant for use with a teacher. However, if you are self learning like myself- you can just use common sense to search up a video on turning or finger placement or how hold. This book is very good in which it explains the finger placement and basic violin technique

    7 people found this helpful

  36. Amazon Customer

    Makes learning how to read violin music fun.

    I purchased this product for my daughter so that she could learn how to read violin music. It was very easy for her to learn. I recommend this book for beginner violinists who need to learn how to read sheet music.

  37. Beav

    Perfect Execution of Packing

    I liked the fact that they took the time to pack my order in a way that prevented the book from getting bent. Also I really liked the sticker they provided so I can write my name in the book.

  38. HBSurfCity

    spiral is the way to go

    so glad we waited the few extra days to get the spiral bound version of this book. it lays flat and sits well in the music stand.

  39. phatkountryboy

    Great book to learn violin 🎻 strings in elements 2000

    Just what my daughter needed fir 5th grade class to learn violin lesson for first time. It is easily understood and transparent. No confusion is the material being taught.

  40. Kathleen B. Janecka

    Essential Elements! Book 1 Violin w/ CD

    Good service! // I have been using this book for several years, but I really do not like it. First, it is so boring and then you have to hunt for the scales, which are Essential Elements, dah! Be expected to mark them. Then, I hate the tunes that are used, the children find them very dull and boring, so you have to supplement with some ‘cool’ tunes, like “Mary Had A Little Lamb”; “Happy Birthday”, “Row, Row Your Boat”, and more. If there was a book out there that I really was happy with, I would change, but these are what is being used in the school system and the children recognize and accept them. Also, for a first book, they don’t have enough pictures or diagrams of holding the bow, how to stand, etc. I, also, teach country; bluegrass and celtic, and have found that Craig Duncan’s – Deluxe Fiddling Method, by Mel Bay to be excellent. Good pictures, good instruction on tuning and a super kick off of Boil’um Cabbage Down! Haven’t tried Mark O’Conner’s teaching series, but I’m thinking of trying it. I try to get my students to want to play the violin/fiddle, but with Essential Elements, it is soooo boring! Sorry… I’ll still use it, because that’s what the school system uses and that’s about it.

    4 people found this helpful

  41. shanashana

    Very good for beginning to play. Takes you step by step!

    I received it yesterday and it is the same book I first learned with in 6th grade. I highly suggest getting the essential elements books, it now has an online interactive/app that teaches you alongside the book. This means even if you are an adult like I am with no school to be learning from, you still get a good teacher through the app and paces with you instead of you no in able to keep up. This is very helpful because the book alone is still kind of hard for me even with me previously learning 10 years ago. Big gap to remember how to do everything like before. I hope this helps others who are basically starting from square one like I am.

    13 people found this helpful

  42. Titus GTitus G

    Highly recommend

    This book is great, My instructor actually uses the same book except for they have an older version. The book literally starts from the basics and then work your way up. Easy to read and understand and breaks everything down really well. Excuse the pencil note markings on one or two of the photos. That’s just notes my instructor left for me on one of our lessons. Whether you’re learning to play in a group setting or just by yourself this book teaches you all the notes and techniques you will need to learn whether you plan to play Solo music or in a group ei. orchestra / symphonies. I highly recommend this book.

    3 people found this helpful

  43. S. Schwartz

    Great learning book

    I am just starting on violin and saw this book thinking it might be a good addition to my collection. It starts simple and builds up and even names the notes as you go along the music. For people like me, who can’t read music, this was a nice surprise. I am moving through each exercise pretty fast and learning more as I go.

    One person found this helpful

  44. Rosalia’s Reviews

    Great book for my 10 year old beginning viola lessons!

    My son is 10 years old. He just began viola lessons and has never played an insturment before. I do not sit in on his lessons with him however sometimes during the week he has questions. I am able to look thru his book and help him with the easy to follow instructions on finger placement, descriptions on what the different notations are within the music, etc.I appreciate that this book has songs he recognizes, such as Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star”. The fact that he already knows the melody helps him to hear when his finger is slightly misplaced and he is able to make the adjustment himself. I think that’s one of the biggest battles for him as a beginning viola student, so these familiar songs are a great feature to this book. I’m glad his music teacher suggested we purchase it for his lessons!

    12 people found this helpful

  45. Lindsay SandersLindsay Sanders

    Book Missing a Chunk

    The book is what we ordered, however, there is a large chunk missing from the book. This is exactly how it was delivered and there was no damage to the packaging whatsoever. The only reasonable explanation is that someone saw this book when packaging it and thought it was acceptable to package and sell it as “new”. Also, and this is weird, I ordered a spiral book and as you can see from the picture this is not a spiral book. I am in the process of returning this one and ordering a replacememt.

    One person found this helpful

  46. Deb B

    Good for a beginner.

    It teaches you to learn the instrument and reading music. The way repetition is used in increasing difficulty with different melodies. Standard music notation I am familiar with for guitar, mandolin and violin is in G clef. Viola is C clef. I am not familiar with other instruments. Instructions seem good for holding bow and the viola. Luckily I was familiar with this so skipped these areas. Be patient with the learning process. If you get frustrated take some time out. Daily practice is the most helpful even if it’s for a short amount of time but any practice is better than none. Have fun!


    Purchase for a new violin player

    Purchased for a new violin player. This book is very easy to follow and read. I have a new violin player who is making strides over the last several weeks in school learning how to play using this book. Entire school district uses this book.

    One person found this helpful

  48. KatMac

    GREAT Book to Learn the Violin!!

    Fantastic book to learn the violin–for those (of us) who’ve never even touched a violin! This books gets started at the “basics”—learning notes by plucking (pizzicato) first and then bowing. I love the fact that the buyers of this book have on-line access to background music to play-along with (beginning violin karaoke!)—it feels great to be part of a “band”! The only thing missing is a “how-to” on how each song should “sound” when played (music theory). Problem solved—I went to YouTube, and Patrick Murphy (PhD) plays each song in this book, which has been a HUGE help in learning the timing and mechanics of each song. I am also taking violin lessons, and my teacher is using this book. This book, access to the background music, and YouTube has helped reinforce the lessons in this book—and I am really enjoying learning the violin!

    46 people found this helpful

  49. Emily M.

    Essential to learning as a beginner

    Ha, see what I did there with the headline, anyways when I was learning the sax in middle school we had these books so when I bought my violin I knew this would be very important to help me learn. I gotta say I’m very happy with what I got for such a (what I consider at least) low price. There were essentially no marks on the book and it definitely makes learning my new violin much easier. Especially without a tutor. The instructions and songs you learn are easy to understand and not as humiliating as say Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (although honestly that song is in the book too, but there are many other songs so you could even skip some). The book has little review type practices. Like writing in what certain notes are after you’ve learned them to help you remember. All in all a good buy worth the money.

    8 people found this helpful

  50. Brahms1545

    Very happy with this method.

    I use these for my violin classes. They are great! My third graders find the picking very easy to understand. There are a lot of pages of plucking and not bowing. However, once the students learn that method I introduce the bow for the same music so they are eased into bowing a bit earlier. My fourth graders really excelled and my fifth graders went further than any other method I’ve used. I’m very pleased with how they have learned to read the notes and rhythms. The students always have a pencil handy so they can make their own marks.Fortunately I was able to get an older copy with the CD. I prefer that to the Internet version, which is good but our internet is iffy at times. Glad to have the CD for consistency.

    5 people found this helpful

  51. C. Morris

    Still hard without a teacher, but ok

    The first part of the book (maybe the first fifth or so) is all about finding the notes and not using the bow, just finger-picking the notes out. After that, it starts getting into bowing techniques. There are may sections that tell you to “hold the bow the way your teacher shows you” and “do not place the bow on the strings until your teacher instructs you,” and there are a few sections that are just not clear without a teacher. As with any instrument, though, there’s no way to really learn the right way to do it from a book. I wish the instructions were clearer, but I’m not really sure I could articulate HOW the instructions could be made clearer in a written form.There’s a lot of basic little songs for the first half or so of the book. None of them are terribly interesting, but, again, a beginner book can only do so much. I went from squeaking horribly to playing “Michael row the boat ashore” just a bit off tune in about a week and a half. (Disclaimer: I’ve played the piano for over 20 years, so I have a large headstart in the reading music department). My husband picked the violin and book up to start messing with last weekend and I was impressed with the progress he was able to make in just a weekend. This book breaks things down into manageable chunks so you always feel like you’re progressing but you’re not taking on things that so difficult as to be intimidating.My method with progressing in this book is to play every song/exercise until I can play it perfectly three times in a row. By perfectly, I don’t mean perfect pitch – I’m going to be a little flat and sharp on notes until I get the feel for it and I accept that – but I play it until I don’t squeak and until I can get my timing right and switch between strings smoothly. Using that as my baseline, and backtracking about 5 pages every day to refresh, I seem to be making good, steady progress with this book.It certainly doesn’t replace a teacher, but if you’re going to teach yourself, this seems like a good way to do it.

    20 people found this helpful

  52. Leilani

    Exactly what we needed 😊

    Perfect, exactly what we needed

  53. corwyne


    Unless you want this rolled up and shoved in your mailbox. Product is exactly what you are looking at.

  54. Nina C. Anderson

    Perfect for School

    My daughter uses this for her orchestra class in middle school. It’s been very helpful.

  55. Tabong

    It is great

    It is great

  56. Amazon CustomerAmazon Customer

    First music book

    Music book with a key inside for additional help for my kiddo. Easy to navigate the online portion. Affordable and it shipped very quickly.

    One person found this helpful

  57. Jessica

    Self-Study Users Need to Contact Site to Set Up Account

    I’ve been a big fan of Essential Elements books. I’ve been studying with Hal Leonard since I was a kid. Aside from the useful information in the book, many of their books had audio CDs. This is nice for me, because I can’t always understand music–even though I’ve learned to read it–unless I hear it. I understand basic notes, but the more complicated music baffles me in written form, so I do better playing by ear.When I decided to take up viola, I looked for Essential Elements. They don’t do CDs anymore but online sites. BUT, I encountered something that initially was discouraging. This company assumes most of its users are enrolled in classes. I guess it is primarily used by music teachers. Though I had a student activation code, I needed a teacher to register me on the site first. The problem is, I am self-study…so initially it looked like I wouldn’t have access to the web site. I did find another web address in the back of the book that had the lessons for the book but lacked some of the bells and whistles of their main site. The main site has the ability to record and has other helpful features. Their secondary site is just a library.However, I contacted the company, and they set up an account for me–so now I have access to the main site. If you are self-study like me, you will have to contact them–but they are very nice about it. If you are under thirteen, your parents will need to do it. Otherwise, they just need to know what instrument you are playing and that you are over thirteen years of age.

    100 people found this helpful

  58. laura cardoso

    I really recommend Amazon

    Delivery was fast and was as expected

  59. ERIKA Reyes


    Perfecto para la clase de mi hija

    2 people found this helpful

  60. Charles Le Pere

    So far so good

    I’m new to violin and am using this book to teach myself how to play. I played trumpet before, so I can read music without any problem. I find this book is a good starting point as it’s filled with many great illustrations and exercises that are quite challenging. The book is thoughtfully organized to help you work your way into trickier and more difficult concepts without over-doing it like many other books do. I don’t have an instructor and don’t plan on getting one any time soon (which, I’m sure many people would advise against) so I use youtube and the internet as an aid for several things that this book relies on a teacher for. I practice in the mirror a lot too so I can see what I’m doing right and wrong. With this book, I try to play each exercise with the best possible form and sound (I play with a tuner on my music stand) before moving on to the next exercise and I’ve progressed rather quickly, which is really encouraging.I would not rely on just this book alone to teach you violin as it’s very easy to develop bad habits if you aren’t paying close attention. Having a visual and audible guide to help you understand the mechanics and coordination involved in playing this instrument is vital and should accompany this book. That being said, if you do have an instructor or other visual/aural aids I highly recommend this book for beginners. I feel like I’m making great progress thanks to this book!(Haven’t tried the CD as I don’t have a CD-rom drive on my MacBook Air, wonder what I’m missing?)

    One person found this helpful

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