Strings Methods Class

Ashley said: Dec 29, 2013
 Violin, Suzuki in the Schools
23 posts

Hello Teachers! I am teaching a Strings Methods Class for Music Ed Majors in a few weeks. I was a Suzuki kid, and love the Suzuki method, so I really like to incorporate an equal amount of Suzuki and Traditional education when working with the college students.

I will have 6 students in the class. Because of rental limitations, we will have 3 cellos and 3 violins total, for the entire semester. Halfway through the semester, students will switch instruments. We have never tried this setup, and it certainly is not ideal, but I want to get the most out of it that I can. I have some ideas about to how to get the most out of this situation, but I would love to hear some of your ideas as well.

  1. In terms of using my class time efficiently, what creative suggestions do you have for getting the most out of this heterogeneous setting?

  2. What are the top 3 things you would be sure to teach potential future string teachers in a methods class?

  3. As a violinist, I feel 100% comfortable with that aspect of the methods class, but I always feel I can use more ideas/resources for teaching cello pedagogy. Ideas are appreciated!

I appreciate any feedback to one or more of these topics!

Community Youth Orchestra Of S CA said: Jan 3, 2014
 Violin, Viola
70 posts

Teach things that they can have their students in 4th/5th grade immediately, and are common to all the instruments. I’ve got two things:

  1. One concept I love to talk about to new students about is the “Point of Contact,” the location where they choose to have the bow contact the string. The range of sounds that can be produced can be experimented with and discovered through aural, tactile, and visual methods (and combinations of all three!).

  2. No whack-a-mole fingerings (i.e., 1-2, 1-2-3, and 1-2-3-4, and not 1-3 or 2-4). Teaching string players to place all their fingers down in tetrachords right from the very beginning helps to teach them what whole and half steps are supposed to sound, feel, and loo like, and establishes a frame for strong intonation from the beginning.

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