String Techniques

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
Department of Music
MUU 231
String Techniques
Approved by Department: November 4, 2003
Course Description
This course will prepare prospective music educators to be able to teach string instruments to
beginning school students, and to successfully apply knowledge of string instruments in the school
instrumental music program in classroom and ensemble settings.
2 Clock hours, 1 Semester Credit hour
Course Rationale
In an actual teaching position, school instrumental music educators will be expected to teach string
instruments to beginning students, and to instruct string players during ensemble and classroom settings,
even if the educator is not a string player. These goals are accomplished by having the students in this
course learn how to play strings as beginners, by giving them playing experiences, and by giving them
opportunities to teach the class how to play beginning string instruments.
This course will familiarize the student with the basic playing techniques of the violin, viola, cello
and bass. Correct posture, bow hold, and fingerings will be studied, and the student will be expected to
play elementary solo and ensemble literature. Common teaching problems and pedagogical methods will
be presented, and the student will experience opportunities to teach beginning strings, both on an individual
basis and through leading the class.
Course Objectives
The student will be able to:
1. Demonstrate rudimentary playing skills on all four instruments, including playing in first
position (both pizzicato and with the bow) and shifting to other positions.
2. Play elementary and intermediate level solo and ensemble repertoire for string instruments.
3. Teach other students correct playing skills on string instruments, including correct posture, bow
hold, and fingerings.
4. Compare and contrast various pedagogical methods.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of solo and pedagogical literature appropriate for different levels
of playing.
6. Perform basic maintenance and repair on string instruments.
Assessment of each student’s level of accomplishment with reference to the course objectives will be based
upon the following:
1. playing exams
2. exams over written material
3. evaluation of rehearsal technique
4. evaluation of instructional materials prepared by student
5. evaluation of participation
6. evaluation of teaching skills
Instructional Resources
Barrett, Henry. The Viola. SHAR Products, 1999.
Dillon, Jacquelyn, James Kjelland, and John O’Reilly. Strictly Strings. Highland-Etling., 2000.
Gerle, Robert. The Art of Practicing the Violin. SHAR Products, 1995.
Green, Elizabeth. Teaching Stringed Instruments in Classes. ASTA Publications, 1999.
Honda, Masaaki. The Vehicle of Music. Warner Bros. Publications, 1999.
Lamb, Norman, and Susan J. Cook. Guide to Teaching Strings, 7th ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 1999.
Havas, Kato. A New Approach to Violin Playing. Bosworth, 2000.
Holmes, Ramona and Terese M. Volk. World on A String. A Sampling of Musical Traditions from Around
the World for String Orchestra. Alfred Publishing Co., Inc. , 2001.
Lieberman, J. Planet Musician. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard, 2001.
Littrell, David, ed. ASTA with NSOA. String Syllabus, vol. 1. 1997. Indiana University Press:
Bloomington, IN.
Martin, Joanne, arr. Folk Strings. Warner Bros. Publications, 2000.
Matesky, Ralph and G. Jean Smith, ed. ASTA with NSOA. Orchestra and String Literature, 1959-1977.
McKean, Jame N. Commonsense Instrument Care. Milwaukee: String Letter Publishing, 2002.
Mooney, Rick. Position Pieces for Cello. Miami, FL: Summy-Birchard Publications, 1997.
Oddo, Vincent. Playing and Teaching the Strings, 2nd ed. Wadsworth Pub. Co., 1995.
Pinksterboer, Hugo. Tipbook—Violin and Viola. The Best Guide To Your Instrument. Milwaukee: The
Tipbook Company, 2002.
Royal Conservatory of Music. Violin/Viola/Cello/Bass Syllabus. Frederick Harris Music Co., Ltd., 1995.
Starr, William. Scales Plus! for Violin. Miami, Fl: Summy-Birchard Publications, 2002.
Suzuki, Schinichi. Suzuki Cello (Violin, Viola, Bass) School. Warner Bros. Publications, Inc. 2000.
Vance, George. Vade Mecum for the Double Bass. New York: Carl Fischer, 2000.
Vance, George. Progressive Repertoire for the Double Bass, Vols 1-5. New York: Carl Fischer, 2000.
Young, Phyllis. Playing the String Game. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1989.