William Starr Foreword

William Starr is an esteemed Suzuki pedagogue, Professor at University of Boulder, and author.  His Foreword is below:

Christmas Melodies: Double Stop Solos and Duets for Violin (also available for viola) is an excellent resource for the study and performance of double stops. Mrs. Martha Yasuda, a former student of mine, has developed a very practical and helpful system to assist students in hearing what double stops should sound like. Having students play the duet parts first before playing the double stop solo arrangements further strengthens one of the key principles underlying the Suzuki method of violin instruction — that of listening to a musical piece first before playing it.

Students will enjoy learning to play double stops as they play something fun and familiar to them. For this reason, Mrs. Yasuda has chosen as her musical setting well known American patriotic and folk songs sung by most children. Younger students can also join in the fun as they play the duet parts in these fine arrangements. Students will be challenged as the duet parts alternate back and forth between the melody and the harmony.

I believe very strongly that, like Christmas Melodies, this new collection, American Melodies, fills a major gap in the field of the study of double stops. Mrs. Yasuda’s idea of relating double stops to duets is very cleverly done and is clearly a demonstration of Dr. Suzuki’s idea of making learning enjoyable for the student. And like Christmas Melodies, I enthusiastically recommend American Melodies.