Featured Resources

Strategies for Improving the Intonation of Your Orchestra  
Orchestra directors who address tone production, intonation, and rhythmic precision as important priorities in rehearsal will greatly improve the sound of their orchestras. Of these three areas, fixing poor intonation can be the most challenging to address because it requires tremendous patience and ongoing attention from both director and students.…
Fostering Effective and Enjoyable Practice  
While learning to play an instrument requires regular practice, distinguished pedagogues and research suggest there is often a lack of teacher guidance on practicing effectively and efficiently.…
Variations: Bulding Rhythm and Technique in a Multi-Level Reality  
What can you teach beginning string players that will help them continue learning throughout the first year or two? What simple song can withstand a million repetitions and their parents' plea, "Oh, no, not that song again?...
Balance Training for Musicians  
Of all the skills we teach as musicians, feeling is one of the most challenging. To encourage the emotional side of feeling, a teacher can create storylines and invoke images or colors, but how do you teach a student what a supported body or bow arm feels like?…
Ways to Do More Than Just Survive Your First Year of Teaching  
An undergraduate music education professor once told a class of future music educators that the ideal job for first-year teachers was in a program that need to be rebuilt. His reasoning: anything a new teacher can do, as long as they do it correctly, is a step in the right direction. …
Help! I Can Teach Music, but How Do I Get My Students to Sit Still and Listen?  
Much thought has gone into preparing new teachers to develop effective classroom management skills. Programs in music education address this issue by asking students to read about it, reflect on it, write about it, discuss it, observe master teachers demonstrating it, and ultimately try their hand at it during student teaching. But this simply isn't enough …
The String Teacher as Arranger  
As music teachers, we are constantly developing and reevaluating our curricula for teaching strings. Whether our student is a budding virtuoso in a private lesson or an at-risk student in a school orchestra classroom, our pedagogical choices dictate what musical experiences they will gain. Unfortunately, it seems as though the best strategies for teaching require …
10 Strategies for Developing a Strong Student Practice Ethic 
How many times have we heard, “My orchestra could do so much more if only my students practiced their music.” The good news is that there is not magic or luck in getting your students to practice. Below are concreate steps that teachers take to improve the practice habits of their students. Of course, …
Achieving an Artistic Violin Vibrato  
Vibrato is an essential musical element in string instrument playing that enhances and facilitates expressive performance. However, the acquisition of a beautiful vibrato remains one of the most difficult skills for a young string player to obtain and for instructors to teach. There are many reasons that vibrato is a difficult skill to master.…
Developing Critical Thinking and Assessment in Music Classrooms 
The increased importance and emphasis on standardized testing have affected the classroom expectations of music educators. More and more music teachers are asked to incorporate reading and writing into their curriculum. Since many public schools in the United States are having difficulties meeting testing …
Advancing Strategies for Teaching Orchestras to Tune Themselves 
Consider this: The only daily one-on-one instruction many students receive is the moment the teacher takes to tune their instruments. If teachers took only a few extra seconds with each child, student playing positions and tone quality would improve greatly over the course of a year. And with better …
Motivational Teaching Tools 
During my first several years of teaching, I noticed a big motivational shift between fourth and fifth grade strings students. The fourth grade students found the instruments new and exciting and the lessons really interesting. However, once they graduated from the fourth grade and started to participate in fifth …

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