Featured Resources

Improving Intonation
Intonation is one of the very most important aspects of playing a bowed string instrument well. It is useful to divide a discussion of intonation into three parts: the science of intonation, the various types of intonation problems, and ways to improve intonation...
Inheriting, Losing, and Rehabilitating Students
All teachers gain and lose students to either natural attrition or mutually agreed upon terms. Students float in and out of our lives, and this is the course of things. When inheriting new students, there are ways to make the transaction healthy...
What Are We Looking for in the Score?
I remember well my first serious chamber music experience as a high school freshman where I was fortunate to be placed in an earnest group with upper-classmen playing works by Arriaga and Shostakovich. Part of this new experience concerned an entreaty by my excellent coach that we faithfully and assiduously study the complete score...
Collé Action: An Alternative Perspective on Right-hand Finger and Wrist Mobility    
We have all seen it—the dreaded claw-like bow-hand shape best characterized by straight and tense fingers. The image is unsettling because we, as string teachers, understand all too well that a lack of finger and wrist mobility will undoubtedly hinder the development of more advanced bow control...
Studio Teaching Tips: Are You Equipped?    
Dorothy DeLay was equipped with a couch, stuffed animals, a grand piano, and a big, comfy chair in her studio. Finding a balance between a clutter-free teaching environment and having all of your "teaching stuff" on hand are important considerations when organizing or setting up a private studio or classroom...
Incorporating Body Mapping in Music Instruction    
One problem for musicians is that an element is missing from our educational systems: an understanding of the kinesthetic sense. Kinesthesia is the sixth sense that is often ignored in our society. We learn of the five senses—taste, sight, smell, hearing, and touch—but are not often taught about body awareness, which is the sixth sense...
4 Free Assessments for String Teachers   
Choose from:
Baseline: I Can Play with Correct Position
Developing:Tonal Development Rubric
Proficient: Perform or Improvise Simple and Complex Rhythm Patterns
Advanced: Advanced Bowing Checklist - Practice and Assessment
Online Musical Collaboration    
I often wish my students were more motivated to collaborate musically. Social collaboration is never a problem! They love to talk and share stories. But motivating them to contribute to musical decisions in the large ensemble, play chamber music, or improvise in small groups can be challenging...
Teaching Improvisation for Greater Musical Expression    
How often do you hear your students comment on the richness of their musical experiences? Does it seem as if there’s a constant struggle to get your students to focus on and achieve their artistic and personal goals regarding musical expression?...
Collaboration Between Studio and Orchestra Teachers    
One of my favorite things about being in the teaching profession is my colleagues’ willingness to share ideas. There is very little of the competitiveness that sometimes exists in commercial and industrial fields where secrets of the trade can be guarded closely...
Teaching Tuning to the String Orchestra    
Teaching string students to tune their instruments can be an arduous and slow task. Nevertheless, the ability to tune accurately can provide a foundation for all future skill development on the instrument. Intonation cannot be tasted, felt, or smelled...
How to Practice While Recovering from an Injury   
As with athletes, musicians, by the very nature of what they do, live with a high risk of injury. Sometimes it is just minor muscle pain, but other times it is more debilitating, such as carpal tunnel or tendonitis...
Fourth Finger First?    
The order of finger introduction matters in beginning string instruction. Eventual mastery of any musical instrument depends heavily on the quality of early instruction on that instrument. The mental concepts and physical habits formed...
Increasing Access to Strings Guide   
This step-by-step guide was developed by ASTA based on successful programs from around the country. Available as a brochure or flyer...
Overcoming Performance Anxiety   
Virtually all performers are affected to some degree by musical performance anxiety, and we could all benefit by learning how to decrease it. We would also like to help our students overcome their anxiety...

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