Pedagogy Overview
Left Hand
  • Intonation
  • Pitch Accuracy
  • Ability to shift
  • Vibrato
The left hand set up is studied extensively. Left hand dexterity affects shifting, ability to play rapid passages, vibrato, and playing in tune.

It is important to develop a left hand technique free from tension. Excess tension leads to many bad habits and issues after as little as a few months of playing.

Encourage students not to squeeze their instruments as they may be inclined to do. Keep an eye on checkpoints to monitor your students are developing proper technique.
Right Hand
Many people underestimate the importance of right hand technique in the face of left hand challenges, but to do so is a grave mistake. The bow is practically another instrument and determines integral musical factors.

Development of the bow hold and bow arm motion will affect facility at higher levels. Proper attention to the bow through all levels is key to allowing players the ability to create good tone and facility in articulation.
  • Tone
  • Articulation
  • Note duration
Note Reading
Note reading is likely the easiest for the new-to-strings teacher to teach, as it is not unique to the string world..... except for Alto Clef.

Just remember that the point of the alto clef (like any movable C clef) points to "C." You'll get the hang of it.
  • Rhythm
  • Theory Skills
Isolation & Combination
The triangle diagram descibes the break down and gradual recombination of string technique.

In rehearsal, issues can be addressed by following this model. Is the breakdown in left hand, right hand, or rhythm/reading/theory skills? Once broken down and addressed, slowly add complexity until all elements are again combined.

Body and instrument posture is the base of the triangle--this must be established before anything else will work.

This model is essential for scaffolding in beginning orchestra.
  • Scaffolding in the string class