Featured Resources

Start the year a better conductor: Five areas to evaluate 
Conducting technique is important for several reasons. As a nonverbal teaching skill, it can save valuable rehearsal time when executed clearly and succinctly. Together with instrumental technique and musicianship, learning to respond to increasingly intricate conducting gestures is an important curricular responsibility for ensemble directors...
Starting an orchestra program 
The orchestra program in Rockwall Independent School District (RISD), Rockwall, Texas is flourishing. The program began with a little more than 150 students in fifth and sixth grades at 12 elementary schools in the RISD. It has grown to include all of RISD’s elementary and secondary schools with approximately a 1,000 students in...
Get your string class up and running in 10 minutes or less 
The start of any string class presents many obstacles that can prevent a rehearsal from running smoothly. More often than not broken instruments, stuck pegs, broken bows and out-of-tune instruments can prevent a teacher from beginning a rehearsal. Establishing effective procedures for a string class can be a difficult task, but such procedures are...
Excerpt from:
ASTA String Curriculum
 
Are you developing or reevaluating your string curriculum? The ASTA String Curriculum provides standards, goals, and learning sequences for essential skills and knowledge in K-12 string programs. It is designed to assist all teachers, regardless of experience, and can be used or adapted for a wide range of curricular standards...
Achieving an artistic violin vibrato: Applications of research to the classroom
Vibrato is an essential musical element in string instrument playing that enhances and facilitates expressive performance. However, the acquisition of a beautiful vibrato remains one of the most difficult skills for a young string player to obtain and for instructors to teach. There are many reasons that vibrato is a difficult skill to master...
Preparing to purchase: Pointers to ensure a positive experience 
“How much should a violin cost?” That is a question asked by many parents and administrators. It is a question that John Rihani of Encore Orchestral Strings [shop] in Indianapolis often asks students when speaking to groups of aspiring string players. And the kids usually throw out numbers at him...
Common technical problems of the young cello player and how to fix them
Year after year and all around the world, students learning to play the cello seem susceptible to the same basic problems. What follows is a list of many of these problems along with suggestions for fixing them. I’m sure you’ve considered, and even tried, some of these ideas, but...

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