Category: Teaching Strategies

Sessions at ASTA 2014

The national ASTA conference is always my favorite one each year because of the  many wonderful sessions, performances, and exhibits.  I just wish I could be at several places at once!  It’s so hard to make a decision on what session to attend.  The NOF groups were incredible as was...

TMEA & TI:ME 2014 Sessions

Texas is awesome.  San Antonio is such a great city and t’s an honor to be back here presenting at TMEA and TI:ME 2014! Here are my sessions… 1. Motivate 21st-Century String Players with Technology Wednesday, February 12 | 11:30 AM | CC 207 Use the “Presentation Topics” menu on...

Using practice parts for a fugue

A while back, I made a string orchestra arrangement of Bach’s Contrapunctus I from The Art of Fugue.  I am currently working on this arrangement with my KSU Philharmonic orchestra as a last minute add-on piece to our October 1 program.  My orchestra is a mix of non-music majors and music...

Bowing Factors, “PAWS”

A recent post by MB Miller on School Orchestra and String Teachers, v2 Facebook Page using the word “PAWS” to describe the factors of bowing inspired me to post my version. Note: I did not choose to use “angle” of the bow because I was teaching middle school when I created this....

Parts of the Instrument Worksheet & Quiz

Another beginning of the year assessment for beginning strings…  Enjoy! Parts of the Instrument (pdf)  

Online Level-Based Note Naming Flash Cards

We all know that music reading takes practice and simple memorization of what each note looks like on the staff.  But what holds many students back is the speed that they can recognize and play notes. There are some great software programs out there, but one of my favorites for...

Foldable music note flash cards

For those of you who are starting beginners this fall, I would like to share some foldable flash cards for violin, viola, cello and double bass.  They are PDF’s and can be printed and cut.  Feel free to share on your website/blog!  When I was teaching elementary strings, I did...

Bow “Seat Belts”

Using a rubber band attached to the frog can help the bow become more manageable for students who are new to string playing. Or, the  rubber band can serve as an aid to correct students who have developed bad bow hold habits. A rubber band (the “seat belt”) attaches to...

OSU String Teacher Workshop 2013

It was great to be back in Buckeye Country, presenting at the OSU Summer String Teachers Workshop!  Below is some information about what we discussed, including links to hardware, software, and websites. Essential Elements Interactive A new supplementary technology tool to accompany Essential Elements 2000 for Strings or Band.  Visit...

Bow Warm-Up Exercises

When students first start to play a stringed instrument, they don’t usually have the hand strength or fine motor skills to hold the bow correctly and without tension.  The muscles in the hand need to be trained and strengthened.  So, as Arnold Swartzenegger said in the movie Kindergarten Cop, “It’s...