A Comparison of String Methods - Adventures of a Music Teacher

for Beginning String Classes
Heather Gullstrand
Strictly Strings
 Pages 1-14 no staff, note heads with letter names
 New concepts at top of page
 Bowed exercises appear on p. 14
 Regular note heads appear on p. 15.
 Curved bridge
 Hand positions
 Fingering
 String maintenance
 Instrument/bow parts
 (can be easily copied for a quiz ; )
Suzuki Method
 Rote learning
 Technique is incorporated into the pieces
 (no etudes…except for #12…”Etude”…)
 Bow is used from the start
 Focus is on intonation and tone production
 Best for use in homogeneous settings
Suzuki Method
The Five Conditions for Ability Development
 1.) An early start
 2.) A superior environment
 3.) A commitment to practice
 4.) A superior instructor
 5.) A thorough teaching method
New Directions for
 Focus is on positioning the instrument
 Color coded string indicators
 National Standards indicated throughout
 New concepts (“directions) and reviewed concepts
are indicated throughout
New Directions
 Rote activities are incorporated throughout
 Letter names only at the beginning of Book 1
 Pizzicato circles (bow lift preparation)
 Can be used in a team teaching setting with a music
theory or other general music teacher
New Directions
 2 options for bass players: “traditional” and “D
string” (3rd position from the start)
 Music theory practice activities
 Dictation skills and ear training are incorporated
 More advanced techniques are introduced early on:
finger tunnels, bow lifts, bow use
The method books that I grew up with
The method books that I grew up with…
String Explorer
 Great color pictures of real human beings
positioning their instruments
 New concepts are found on “Adventure Maps”
 Eighth note rhythm introduced early
 Repeated notes with note heads & letter names
String Explorer
 Notes appear on staff early on; exercises have many
repeated notes
 Bowing techniques introduced early on (hooked
bowings and slurs)
 Ear training, theory, and composition activities
 Throughout
 Solfege introduced
 Improvisation exercises
 Composer and music history information
All for Strings
 All for Strings- KJOS Music
All for Strings
 Keep left hand fingers down!
 Many photos of instrument positioning, technique,
 Many fingering charts incorporated throughout.
Essential Elements 2000
 The most widely used String Method book in the
 Pizzicato is used for an extended time, setting the left
hand position well before introducing the bow
Essential Elements 2000
 Note names are indicated inside note heads
 Indications of “fingers down” throughout
 Bow technique and rhythm: “Rosin Raps” p. 13
 Fingering chart near the end (I feel that there should
be more of these incorporated throughout the book)
 Teacher manual has many resources:
 Evaluation
 Parent letters
 Teaching tips and timelines
Sound Innovations
 Newest addition to string methods by Bob Phillips
 Teacher can create book by selecting techniques,
songs, exercises
 Single sheet orchestra music with new concepts and
terms (3 more added this year)
Sound Innovations
 Sound Innovations
Artistry in Strings
 Artistry in Strings
 Allen, M., Gillespie, B., Tellejohn-Hayes, P., & Higgens, J. (2001).
Essential Elements 2000 Book 1.
 Anderson, G., & Frost, R. S. (2008). All for Strings Book 1. Kjos.
 Applebaum, S. (1995). String Builder Book 1. : Belwin Mills.
 Dillon, J., Kjellan, J., & O'Reilly, J. (1993). Strictly Strings. Highland
 Fischbach, G., & Frost, R. S. (2002). Artistry in Strings Book 1. Kjos.
 Muller, J. F., & Rusch, H. (1962). String Method Book 1. Kjos.
 Phillips, B., Boonshaft, & Sheldon. (2010). Sound Innovations String
Orchestra Bk 1. Alfred.
 Phillips, B., Dabczynski, A., & Meyer, R. (n.d.). String Explorer Book
1. Highland Etling.
 Suzuki, S. (2007). Suzuki Violin School Book 1. Alfred.

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