Beginning violin and viola students are taught to develop a proper and natural hold of the instrument and view it as a natural extension of the body. The names and pitches of the open strings and finger numbers are then explored and bowing and finger positions are taught to enable the playing of simple melodies and exercises. The importance of intonation, phrasing, and musicality are stressed early on to allow an increase in difficulty and creative expression. The study of scales, arpeggios, and technical exercises propel the student forward so he or she will soon be able to choose styles of music that are the most exciting. Students will also engage in teacher duets to sharpen their ensemble playing and timing. Advanced students will study concertos and pieces from the solo repertoire to polish their performing and practicing skills. Students will need to acquire a violin prior to the first lesson and establish a regular practice routine.