Possums at Sea

“Possums at Sea” is the sequel to “Possums in the Roof” and structured as a storybook with each chapter introducing a new left-hand finger pattern. Treasure Maps illustrate notes and finger positions, and the Navigation Charts provide scales and arpeggios as supplementary material. All the chromatic finger patterns in first position are introduced progressively as are a variety of bowing patterns and technical skills at Preliminary to Grade One examination levels. Musical styles include Elizabethan Dances, Gypsy Fiddle, French Waltzes, Sea Shanties and Irish Reels. CD with piano backing tracks is included, and a Piano Accompaniment book is also available.

Sample look & listen

Round Dance

Waltz

Overboard

Scuttlebutt

Summary of teaching points

Chapter 1:

  • Consolidates close 2nd & 3rd fingers (high 2) on all strings
  • Introduction of 4th finger
  • Continuous string crossing action
  • Up-bow staccato
  • 1st finger hop between strings
  • Contrasting dynamics
  • Mixed articulation, slurs and bow strokes
  • Tempo changes

Chapter 2:

  • Close 1st & 2nd fingers (low 2) on all strings
  • Chain slurs
  • Quick down-bow retakes
  • Simple open string double stops

Chapter 3:

  • Combinations of high & low 2nd finger patterns in D major/B minor
  • Hook stroke
  • Greater variety of bowings and articulation
  • Fingered double stops
  • 6/8 time signature

Chapter 4:

  • Combinations of high & low 2nd finger patterns in G major and A minor
  • Introduction of low 1 st finger on all strings
  • Dotted crotchet/quaver rhythmic patterns
  • Zigzag bow stroke
  • Extended double stop sections

Chapter 5:

  • Close 3rd & 4th fingers (high 3) on all strings
  • Trills
  • Extended duration of pieces to build stamina and concentration
  • Consolidation of technical skills acquired in previous chapters
Navigation Charts:

The Navigation Charts provide scales and arpeggios to support the teaching points in each chapter.

The Dorian Mode on G is included as a simple introduction to the minor scale.

The Dominant 7th Arpeggios assist the student in correct placement of the 2nd finger in the high and low patterns.

Chromatic Scales are given only in ascending form to avoid the complexity of enharmonic notation at this early stage.