Barbara Barber

Violinist      Violist      Teacher

A Teacher Development course in Bogotá, Colombia

I enjoy teaching pedagogy almost more than playing the violin and viola!  Delving into a complex technical problem, breaking it down into small steps, or exploring the various ways a phrase can be shaped with a group of teachers is stimulating for all of us.  I continue to research every course I teach and always discover something new.  There’s so much to learn!

Below is a description of all of the clinics, workshops and courses that I have developed. Each course can be tailored to meet the needs of the attendees.

                           Barbara Barber's

Courses, Clinics and Workshops

Solos For Young Violinists: Stepping Stones to the Major Repertoire

An overview of Barbara's widely-used violin series. Excerpts from Solos For Young Violinists are performed to demonstrate the introduction and development of advanced techniques, emphasizing the student’s preparation for the major repertoire. 1-4 hours. Teachers perform selected pieces in the longer clinic. 

Solos For Young Violists: Expanding the Repertoire

An overview of Barbara's widely used Solos For Young Violists. Performance of excerpts from exciting newly discovered literature for viola students of all levels, demonstrating a variety of techniques and musical styles. Includes discussion of the violin-to-viola issue. Of interest to all viola and violin teachers. 1-4 hours. Teachers perform selected pieces in the longer clinic.

Solos For Young Violinists or Solos For Young Violists

These courses are based on Barbara Barber’s series, Solos For Young Violinists, Volumes 1-6 or Solos For Young Violists, Volumes 1-5, published by Alfred Publishing. Each unit covers a volume of Barber’s widely used collection of graded repertoire. Beginning with Volume 1, every piece is studied in detail and performed, demonstrating teaching points, technical and musical features, and ideas for solo and group use. Various advanced and virtuoso violin/viola techniques are discussed, demonstrating where they can be introduced and how they are taught and developed through student violin literature. The teaching of stylistic awareness is also emphasized as teachers learn to prepare their students for the major repertoire. Teachers may take any unit; however, study of all volumes from the beginning is strongly encouraged. Each volume - 10 hours.

Developing Artistry: Teaching Style Consciousness from the Beginning

What makes a student sound like a student and an artist sound like an artist? Getting beyond the printed page is the essence of a musically convincing and emotionally expressive performance. A discussion and demonstration of the use and combinations of various techniques that add style and finesse to a string player’s performance. 1-15 hours (SAA Teacher Development Unit). Teachers perform selected pieces in the longer clinic. Pianist required at the beginning.

Tune It Or Die! 

Using Barber’s book, Violin Fingerboard Geography, Volume 1, the fundamentals of intervals, theory, shifting, double-stops and chords are discussed. Their use is demonstrated with emphasis on teaching excellent intonation from beginning through advanced literature. 

1-6 hours with teacher participation.

Scales For Advanced Violinists: The Importance of Scale Practice

The practice of scales need never be monotonous! A look at the scale systems of Sevcik, Flesch, Galamian and Barber and the teaching of 3 octave scales, arpeggios and double-stops. 

4-8 hours with teacher participation.

Splendid Spiccato!

Playing Mozart in Suzuki Volume 10 with an accomplished spiccato begins in Volume 1! Beginning with the basics of a relaxed, flexible bow hold in Suzuki Volume 1 and the introduction of a loose detaché and collé in Volume 2, teachers will learn the basics of the spiccato stroke and its variants – collé, piqué, ricochet, sautille and saltando – for violinists and violists. Using the Suzuki literature (including Bohm Perpetual Motion in Revised Violin Volume 4) and supplementary pieces, we will explore these assorted techniques, learning how introduce them to students in the early books and continue their effective development through the repertoire. 

1-4 hours with teacher participation

Viva la Vibrato!

A look at the history and development of violin/viola vibrato. Various approaches to teaching vibrato will be presented, demonstrating how and when it can be introduced to students. Continuing the development of vibrato as an artistic tool, teachers will guide their students into the advanced literature. 1-4 hours with teacher participation

Smart Practice: Creative Practice Techniques for String Players

Teaching ourselves and our students how to practice is an important responsibility. Barbara Barber will explore the purpose of practice and ways to make it more efficient and interesting. Teachers will experiment with dozens of creative practice techniques from the Suzuki Violin School and supplementary literature. Also included will be the practice of scales, arpeggios and double-stops. Teachers should have completed SAA training in Suzuki Violin or Viola, Vols. 1-4. Excerpts from Barbara’s Solos for Young Violinists and Scales for Advanced Violinists will be performed. Violists, please bring a violin. Cellists and bassists can audit this course. Teachers may register this with SAA as a 10-15 hour SAA Enrichment Course.  2-15 hours with teacher participation

Violin/Viola Basics

The foundation the teacher lays at the beginning is the one the student will build on for the rest of his life. Setting up beginners with natural bow arms, violin posture, teaching excellent intonation from the start, flexibility, bowing styles, vibrato – this is the most important stage of string teaching. 1-4 hours

A Comparison of Suzuki and Traditional Teaching

An analysis of the differences and similarities of these approaches. We will discuss the impact Suzuki teaching is having on string teaching in America at all levels. Includes a look at both the strengths and weaknesses of the Suzuki approach and an explanation of the Suzuki Association of the Americas’ Teacher Development Program. This discussion is especially appropriate for teachers, parents and advanced students. 1-2 hours.

Violin Suzuki Teacher Training

Barbara Barber is a registered Violin Teacher Trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and teaches all levels of the SAA’s Teacher Development Program. Her specialty is advanced and overview units. Unit 1 consists of 28 hours of class with 15 hours of written observation and teacher participation. Subsequent units consist of 15 hours of class with 8 hours of written observations and teacher participation. See for more course details.

“Every Child Can” 

The SAA’s introduction to the Suzuki Philosophy and Method is a 6 hour course which is open to all teachers, administrators, parents and others. 10 hours