OrchestraTeacher.net Blog


Helping your students with small ensembles

For the last few weeks, my students have been working in small chamber groups (duets, trios, quartets, etc.).  We finished our large group performance assessment in mid-February and started this solo & ensemble unit afterwards. I’ve let students form their own groups and select their own pieces. For me, it’s more...


Back to school with renewed energy and excitement

Dear Orchestra Teacher Friends, It has been a while since I’ve posted on this site, but I wanted to give you an update as to what is going on. This August I began a new chapter in my career as I headed back to teach full-time in a high school orchestra classroom after spending...


ASTA 2016

ASTA is always an incredible conference and 2016 was no different.  The weather in Tampa was fantastic and I attended some amazing sessions.  Special thanks to D’Addario for the great party on Thursday evening. They are generous in their support of string teachers!! I presented two sessions: It’s all about the bow!...


Fostering Creativity Using Composition & Improvisation in the String Classroom

Download Slides (PDF) Description: In addition to learning string instrument skills and new repertoire, a complete string player is one who is willing to diversify into a variety of musical outlets, including composition and improvisation. Laux will demonstrate how to efficiently integrate composition and improvisation techniques into a string program to foster creative musicianship that...


Practical Approaches to Assessment in the String Classroom

Download the slides for this presentation (PDF) A page with website links, sample rubrics, and more will be posted soon!    


It’s all about the bow!

I’m so honored to be presenting for TMEA 2016!  My first session is entitled “It’s all about the bow! The best strategies for developing a beautiful tone in beginners and beyond.” Description: Proper bowing technique is crucial for a healthy tone. Unfortunately the physical actions required for good bowing technique are often difficult...


It’s totally tubular! How to cut PVC pipe for string teaching aids

Many string teachers have been using PVC pipe to aid students with the learning of bow hand shape, basic detaché bowing, and more. As I demonstrate these strategies at conferences and professional development workshops, many people have questions about what size PVC I use, how to cut the pipe, etc. so...


Scheduling the start time of your tuning procedures

Did you ever wish that you could begin tuning exactly at the same time each day? How cool would it be for the tuning reference pitches to sound at the same time each day? For years now, many string teachers have been using the tuning sequence that I put it up on this blog....


StringEdTech.com is now OrchestraTeacher.net

I was waiting until the start of the 2015 Ohio State String Teachers Workshop to make this big announcement, so here it is… StringEdTech.com is now OrchestraTeacher.net! This site originally started as a technology blog but has morphed into a much broader resource, so I have decided to make some changes. The rebranding...


Make terrific learning tools from broken bows

Old bows are now new pedagogy aids! Save all of your broken bows and also ask your local shops save all of the bows they were planning on throwing away. Then, cut off the horse hair and chop them off so with a jigsaw just above the grip. This allows...