AST Journal - August 2019

Volume 69, Number 3

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Incorporating Technology in the Performance-Based Orchestra Classroom
By Heather A. Lofdahl and John-Rine A. Zabanal


As technology continues to evolve and shape our culture, educators are faced with increased pressure and opportunity to incorporate technology into the classroom. While most music teachers have been interested in advances in music technology for years and often use technology for their own personal benefit, not as many music teachers incorporate technology into their teaching. When music technology is used with students, it is more likely to be used in general music settings than in performance settings. Seamlessly incorporating technology into the secondary, performance-based orchestra classroom can seem overwhelming; however, there are many ways to do this easily.

Strategies for Teaching Cello Students with “Double” Finger Joints
By Miranda Wilson


All strings teachers are familiar with the sight of young players whose finger joints collapse and lock under the pressure of bowing or of holding down a string. Although some students appear to master curved finger shaping with little trouble, others seem to find it physically impossible. In many cases, teachers will give up on reminding the students to curve the fingers, and the buckled position becomes an ingrained habit. Teacher and student will both believe that the student cannot help collapsing the joints because she or he is “double-jointed.”

Teaching Irish Fiddle in the Orchestra Classroom
By Laura Flanagan


Musicians are continually looking for exciting music to play and for string players, fiddling can be a favorite genre. There are countless fiddle styles to explore. The possibilities can seem both endless and intimidating. As teachers, we want to present our students with a wealth of performance possibilities while creating an authentic experience for them. Studying vernacular musics, such as fiddle styles from Ireland, America, and Scotland, one gains respect for other approaches to learning, teaching, and playing and develops a greater understanding of one’s own musical background.

Healthy Ensemble Playing
By Laurie Shawger


String pedagogy and training in ensemble playing traditionally has not fostered awareness of the whole body. The result is a prevalence of pain and injury in young string players and college-age and professional musicians, which is more often denied than acknowledged. Shifting the emphasis in teaching from narrowly focused attainment of instrument-specific virtuosity toward acquisition of skill in discovery and evaluation of healthy movement patterns provides a solid foundation for developing technique, ensemble skills, and musical maturity. Music education that includes the development of whole-body awareness can also help with injury prevention and aid in career longevity.

Violin Recital Programming from Paganini to Today
By Riana Ricci Muller


Since 1825, there have been great changes in the recital programs of violinists. These have been influenced by changes in musical taste of the audience, by discovery of music of previous periods, and by creation of new works by composers. The main decisions about changes in programming have been made by the violinists themselves, since it is the performer who decides what he will play. All recital programs are different, but most recitals of a given time and place possess similar characteristics.

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