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Saturday, June 4, 2016

New Method Book - in the works!

I've been asked to co-write a method book for beginning strings and it has been fun creating pages and developing a plan for my 'dream' method book.  Last year, I spent a lot of time researching different books and many have great stuff...there is just not an ideal book for my classroom.  I would like a book with a quality, simple rote section where students can easily read the exercises while focusing on what is most important...perfect position and quality sound.  A book which incorporates multi-level parts to help reach all ability levels would be helpful.  I believe that an option with more difficult parts included with easier parts helps motivate and inspire students to keep practicing in order to become advanced.  It would be nice to have a book that allows students time to master new techniques, then apply those techniques with great sounding music.

One thing I want students to learn right from the start is how to create a quality sound.  I just finished pages which teach bow direction/placement,  bow weight and bow speed.  Students can then practice those techniques on an easy exercise while reading bowings.

The bowing is meant to have students travel a short distance while stopping the bow after each quarter note so that students have time to keep checking bow direction, etc.  They perform it like this:

What would you like to see in your dream method book?


  1. I'm shopping for method books now. My dream book contains ensemble pieces, does not start with pizzicato and does not incorrectly use breath marks [or any other symbol except (V)] to indicate retakes.

  2. My dream method book also contains a lot of ensemble pieces and duets/trios, and focuses a lot on helping students understand note reading within the first few months. It also has less lines per page than most beginning orchestra method books and less total lines. One thing that bothers me about most methods is there are so many little songs and not enough time to play them all, so that you have to skip a lot of stuff in order to "finish" the book in the first year.