Lorrie Gunn - children's lessons & play-along videos expert

How to play "Walking in the Moonlight"

Also known as "Au Claire de la Lune"

In her first video, Lorrie shows violin beginners how to approach the popular "Walking in the Moonlight," also known as "Au Claire de la Lune."

Released on July 1, 2020

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hello, fellow violin lovers. I'm Lori Gunn here to play along with you on French folk song, Walking in the Moonlight. Now, the French name of this song is Au Clair de la Luna and it is such a fun song. So much happens at night during this song that I can't wait for you to learn how to play it. Now, come to think of it, I do not need these to play this song. If we're going to be in the moonlight, we do not need sunglasses. Oh. But now it's too dark to learn the song. Could we get a little more light, please? That's better.

This song, we are going to play on the E string of our violins, and that is the highest, skinniest string that we have. We are going to use three notes. We are going to use the open E string, the first finger on the first tape, and the second finger on the second tape. Now, to get good at this songm you want to be able to play two finger patterns. So, the first finger pattern I want us to play will be open string, first finger, and second finger.

So, let's get our very best bow holds ready, put your violin into position with good hand position here, and bring your boat down, and we're going to play zero, one, two. Okay. So, that's the first pattern you want to get good at. The second pattern is really fun. What we're going to do is we're going to jump from the open E string to two fingers down. So, when you play that, you want to make sure you set both fingers down at the same time. Let's try that one more time. E and two. Excellent.

Now, in the music world, these notes have names and their names are E, and then the first finger is F sharp, and the second finger is G sharp. But on our violins, the location is E string, no fingers, E string, first finger, E string, second finger. So, let's play the whole song now together. Get your bow hold again, place it carefully on the E string, no fingers, and we play. 0, 0, 0, 1, 2, 1, 0, 2, 1, 1, 0. Excellent.

Now, you might've noticed that some of the notes were longer. So, we're going to play 0, 0, 0, 1, and when we get to the second finger, use a little more bow and make that note longer, and then lift the finger for first finger and make the next note longer with more bow there too. Let's try it one last time. Bring your bow down. 0, 0, 0, 1, 2, 1, 0, 2, 1, 1, 0. Well, thank you for playing along with me and I hope that you will continue to practice with me and on your own. If you want, there is a free sheet music download for the music in this video from virtualsheetmusic.com.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Lorrie - host, on October 2, 2020 @1:22 pm PST
I am so glad you mentioned the entire song. I was actually thinking about teaching the entire piece. The second phrase would require using the third finger in the sharp or raised position. This finger location is a bit more advanced. Before making the video I had checked some of my Elementary Method books and they only teach the first phrase in the first books for violin.
V T on October 2, 2020 @3:16 am PST
I wish you had taught the entire piece! This French folk song is actually much longer. I know because it was one of the first pieces (of piano music) that I learned as a child.
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