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The Grand Valley State University Violin Studio stands as a community of dedicated violinists who diligently and actively refine their musical and technical skills, cultivating the skillset necessary to excel as both performers and educators. Within this tight-knit group, friendships are developed, which fosters a supportive environment where the collective ambition is to inspire and challenge one another, not only to become outstanding violinists but to evolve into the best musicians possible. 

1. Lessons

Participation in the GVSU Violin Studio involves weekly lessons with Dr. Jap. These lessons encompass dedicated work on assigned repertoire and technical studies, serving as a fundamental component of the students' musical development. In tandem with these regular lessons, students are highly encouraged to take supplementary weekly technique sessions. These specialized lessons concentrate intensively on scales, etudes, and targeted techniques targeted to each student's specific areas of improvement.

Examples of a few technical studies used in technique lessons:

  • Yost Shifting 

  • Sevcik Op. 8, Changes of Position and Preparatory Scale Studies

  • Schradieck School of Technics

  • Mazas 75 Melodious and Progressive Studies

  • Kreutzer 42 Studies or Caprices

At the end of each semester, students perform their repertoire and technical studies in a jury. This comprehensive approach ensures a well-rounded and disciplined cultivation of musical proficiency in their four year study. 

2. Studio Class

The Violin Studio get together every week for an hour, where students have a chance to perform their current repertoire, scales, and/or etudes in front of their peers to gain performance experience. Studio mates offer constructive feedback, and Dr. Jap works with the student in front of the group. This time is also utilized for collaborative rehearsals in preparation for upcoming projects. Click here for more information on current and past studio projects. 

3. Recitals

At the end of each semester, the Violin Studio gets together to present a solo recital, where each violinist performs a piece they had worked on. Additionally, violinists are actively encouraged to participate in the Student Recital Hour, a weekly event on Fridays that provides an opportunity for any music student to showcase their talents in front of their peers. As part of their music major requirements, students are required to give their own solo recital at the end of their degree.

4. Ensembles

2023 Fall Semester Recital | Violin Studio playing Csardas by Michael McLean at the end of the solo recital

The music department at GVSU offers abundant opportunities for violinists to engage in diverse music ensembles, including the Symphony Orchestra, Early Music Ensemble, New Music Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and smaller chamber groups. Beyond solo performances at the violin studio solo recital, the violinists come together to perform a collective group piece, fostering collaboration of the GVSU Violin Studio. This multifaceted approach ensures that students have the chance to refine both their individual and ensemble playing skills, contributing to a well-rounded musical education.

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