best violin songs

How to Choose the Best Violin Songs for Your Recital

best violin songs

Do you have a big recital coming up? Below, violin teacher Julie P. shares some tips on how to choose the best violin songs and nail your next performance…

If you’re a beginner violinist preparing for your first big recital, you’re probably wondering how to pick the best violin songs that will showcase what you’ve learned throughout your violin lessons.

Chances are you’re also nervous about how you’ll play in front of people. While it’s good to have some butterflies in your stomach, there’s no need to be overly anxious, as your violin lessons have prepared you for this exact moment.

To ensure that you choose the best violin songs for your performance, follow the tips and tricks below. There’s also a short list of suggested violin songs for beginners.

Tips for Choosing the Best Violin Songs

Not too easy, but not too hard

You want to choose a recital piece that is difficult enough to keep you engaged in the learning process, but not so challenging that you can’t play it well.

Pick a piece that looks about as difficult as other music you’ve played well in the past. When in doubt, err on the side of picking an easy violin song.

For your first recital experience, you want to be as comfortable and confident as possible.

Appropriate for the setting

Is your recital a formal event or more causal? Will the other performers be playing strictly classical music, or will there be a mix of musical styles like pop and rock? Are you expected to perform with piano accompaniment?

These are all questions that you should be asking yourself to determine the overall performance setting.

A song from Pirates of the Caribbean performed with CD accompaniment, for example, may be appropriate for one recital, while a more classic song will be best suited for another performance.

Enjoyable for you

Choose a song you enjoy playing. There is nothing worse than spending hours and hours learning to play a song you don’t even like.

The more you enjoy playing and listening to your recital piece, the more you will end up practicing it.

Plus, your enjoyment will radiate on stage and will put you more at ease while performing.

Your comfort level

Some students feel perfectly comfortable performing alone in front of an audience, while others are terrified of being on stage alone.

If you’re one of those people who prefer to play with someone else, here are some options you might want to consider:

  • Perform a duet with another student or your violin teacher
  • Play with accompaniment of some sort (piano, guitar, CD, etc.)

Best Violin Songs for Beginners

If you’re still not sure what recital piece you should choose, below are five of the best violin songs for beginners:

1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

While it’s not the most exciting song, almost any student who has been playing for a few months can pluck or bow this classic. Because students are already familiar with the tune, it will be easy for them to pick up.

2. Minuet No. 1

This song is part of the Suzuki violin repertoire. It’s a great song for showing off your bowing technique and the repeats make it sound longer and harder than it really is.

3. Ode To Joy

With its recognizable melody and limited note range, Ode To Joy is a great first recital choice. Even if you don’t read music, this song can be easily written out by letter names. What’s more, piano accompaniment is easy to add, as is a friend to play along.

4. Can Can

This upbeat tune is fun to play and listen to. Played in the key of D, this song only uses the D and A strings and is perfect for students early in their training.

5. Old Joe Clark

This American folk tune is a great intro to the world of fiddling. For a fun twist, play this song through twice during your recital; the first time at a medium tempo, and the second time at a faster tempo.

Use the following tips and list of songs to help you nail your next violin performance. Most of all, remember to have fun and enjoy your time up on stage–you deserve it after all of your hard work!

Looking for more songs to play? Check out this list of 50 easy violin songs!                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches flute, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Performance from New Jersey City University. Learn more about Julie here!

Photo by Alden Chadwick

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