Teaching the Violin and Viola: Creating a Healthy Foundation
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Course Date: 23 September 2014 to 02 December 2014 (10 weeks)
In a practical 10-session format, Creating a Healthy Foundation presents a holistic approach to beginning violin and viola pedagogy, offering both new and seasoned string teachers a step-by-step exercise guide and repertoire that will have students looking and sounding terrific.
Stacia Spencer is a senior
lecturer in string pedagogy at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music
and string coordinator for the Northwestern Music Academy. She also has been on the faculty of the
Northwestern National High School Music Institute teaching violin, viola and
chamber music. Prior to moving to the
Chicago area, Ms. Spencer was an assistant professor of music at Indiana
University School of Music, where she taught classes in violin and viola
pedagogy and was the assistant to Mimi Zweig at the IU String Academy.
Ms. Spencer has a special interest in
contemporary music, working with composers and performing new pieces. An eclectic musician and performer, she has
been a vocalist and jazz singer in the Jon Eaton Pocket Opera Company in
Chicago and New York. As a singer and
electric violist she has also performed and recorded in the rock genre and was
the singer and co-songwriter for the band Eggs @ 8:14.
Ms. Spencer is a founding artist and
co-creator of NON:op, an experimental, mulit-arts, non opera collective that
produces site-specific works for non-traditional venues. She received her
bachelors and masters degrees in viola from Indiana University School of Music,
where she studied with Mimi Zweig, Kim Kashkashian and George Janzer.
Ms. Spencer’s students have won many
competitions and have been featured on “From the Top." They also participate in their school
orchestras as well as the Chicago Youth Orchestras and the Midwest Young
Join us as we explore the fundamental principles and early stages of teaching violin
and viola through a series of engaging video lectures and lesson demonstrations, including:
Master classes with some
of the world’s top string pedagogues
demos of teaching violin/viola set up, left and right hand technique and pieces
from the early violin/viola repertoire
Group lesson demos
of teaching music theory, ear training and fun activities that encourage good
A “field trip” to
the violin shop, where we will outfit a new beginning student with a proper
instrument and bow
You’ll also engage in a series
of discussions and reflections with colleagues and peers across the globe.
Upon completion of this course, we hope you’ll return to your studio with confidence,
a new curriculum, and a renewed approach to sharing with your students the
joyful experience of making beautiful music.
Session One: Beginning Stages Leading philosophies and pedagogical theories for teaching children the violin
Session Two: Bow Arm and Hand Violin setup and positioning
Session Three: Putting It All Together Putting the violin and bow together
Session Four: Pieces in the Key of A Major Teaching fundamentals via beginner pieces in the key of A Major
Session Five: Playing with the Whole Bow Playing with the whole bow, and the "Adult" bow hold position
Session Six:Pieces in the Key of D Major Pieces include "Long, Long, Ago," and "Butterfly, Flutterby"
Session Seven: Pieces in the Key of G Major Pieces include "Minuet in G" and "The Happy Farmer"
Session Eight: Note Reading, Vibrato, and the Group Class Best-practice teaching techniques for note reading, group dynamics, and beginning vibrato.
Session Nine: Favorite Exercises for the Older Student Exercises include "Poof Bow" and the "Invisible Violin"
Session Ten: The Master Class Learn from top pedagogues Mimi Zweig and Roland and Almita Vamos.
course will feature weekly recommended readings, discussions, reflections and
video content (including lectures, group/individual lesson demonstrations and
Early Violin/Viola Repetoire
01. Bonnie Greene Violin Tune Book Series: oneworldstrings.com
02. Royal Conservatory Violin Series
03. New Tunes for Strings: Stanley Fletcher
04. O’Connor Method: Mark O’Connor
05. The Sassmannshaus Tradition: Early Start on the Violin Vol. 1
06. Suzuki Violin School
07. The Adventures of Egbert: Mary Cohen
08. Egbert’s Circus Games: Mary Cohen
09. J.S. Bach Easy Violin Duets
Fiddling Method: Carol Ann Wheeler
11. Solos for Young Violinist: Barbara Barber
12. Quick Steps to Note Reading: Neil A. Kjos
13. Fiddle Magic:
14. Beginner Violin Theory For Children: Mel Bay
01. Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching by Ivan Galamian
02. The Teaching of Action in String
Playing: Developmental and Remedial
Techniques for Violin and Viola by Paul Rolland
03. Building Violin Skills by Edmund Sprunger
04. Helping Parents Practice by Edmund Sprunger
05. A Parents Guide to String Instrumental Study
by Lorraine Fink
06. The Music Parents’ Survival Guide: A Parent-to-Parent Conversation by Amy Nathan
07. Nurtured by Love, The Classic Approach to
Talent Education by Shinichi Suzuki