AST Journal - November 2021

Volume 71, Number 4

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The Orchestra Director’s Guide to Classroom Management: Managing Students the PEACEful Way
By Angela Ammerman


Classroom management is a key component to teacher success, a significant consideration for teacher dropout, and one of the greatest concerns for educators. While the importance is widely recognized, university classroom management coursework is often limited and little literature exists addressing management in the instrumental ensemble setting compared to other subjects with large classes…

Successful Strategies for Learning String Audition Excerpts
By Tomás Cotik


Auditions for high school all-state, regional honors, and youth orchestras could be considered purely as a means to an end when trying to land a seat in a coveted ensemble. However, the benefits of preparing for an audition during high school extend far beyond simply winning a spot. The audition process allows students to improve and become better musicians by learning their strengths and discovering areas in need of improvement…

Stretches for Better Violin and Viola Playing
By Hal Grossman


Do your muscles get tight after rehearsals or practice sessions? Have you ever experienced a burning sensation in the middle of your back during playing? Does your neck feel stiff or achy after an orchestra rehearsal? Body awareness and somatic integration are important in violin and viola performance, not only to understand the mechanics of violin and viola playing but also to understand better when and
why our bodies hurt…

Student as Hero: The Youthful Violin Concerto of Richard Strauss
By Michael Keelan


The Romantic era boasts a profusion of violin concertos by composers familiar to any classical performer or teacher, each offering unique technical and interpretive possibilities. It is surprising that the 1882 concerto of Richard Strauss (1864–1949) has remained so obscure given the composer’s overall celebrity and the piece’s rewarding qualities. Advanced students will find an intriguing hybrid of rhetorical rigor and bravura…

Aural Skills for Upper Position Playing on Low Strings
By Caitlyn Trevor and Aaron Yackley

For string players, the upper region of the fingerboard can inspire some level of fear, loathing, or dread. It is often associated with desperate note grabs, utter confusion, a strained sound, and thumb position pain for cellists and double bassists. Seemingly a punishing and mysterious place, it is unsurprising students might regard the upper fingerboard with more than a little trepidation. This fear may have negative consequences for string player development…

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