Music Department - St. Cloud State University

Music Department - St. Cloud State University

String Methods - Back to Basics

When Monday-Wednesday, July 22-25 @ 9:00 a.m. - 12:00p.m. & 1:00pm - 4:00 p.m.
Where Performing Arts Center Room 230
Contact Hours 18 String Methods - Back to Basics

The goal of this class is to engage teachers (string and non-string majors) in continued practical, relevant skill development so students in their ensembles will have the best possible musical, academic, and social-emotional experience.

Necessary Supplies: One or two string instruments to play throughout the week.

I. Teaching Rhythm and Group Pulse in Orchestra

    • Tuning and warm ups
    • Developing solid rhythm from day #1
    • Smooth transition from rote experiences to the written page
    • Arco patterns and pulse work
    • Breaking down rhythmic concepts

II. Successful Teaching Practices

    • Strategies for running a “tight ship” – classroom management and set up
    • Take your time on the fundamentals
    • Re-teach, re-teach, re-teach
    • High expectations
    • Am I talking too much?
    • Teacher stance
    • Establishing a routine
    • Positive reinforcement: individual-section-group

III. Keys to Teaching Good Classroom Intonation

    • Intonation – the true challenge
    • Common elements of groups with great intonation
    • Using repertoire for ear training

IV. Rehearsal Hierarchy

    • Determining rehearsal priorities and when/how to teach them
    • Teaching students how to practice
    • Drills:  More strategies for keeping all students actively engaged
    • Energy and pacing in the rehearsal

V. A Year One Teaching Sequence That Works

    • Teach in “3/s”
    • Keep it Simple, Simple and More Simple!

 VI.      Teaching Vibrato in the Heterogeneous Class

Terry Shade is a nationally recognized Middle School/Jr. High School Orchestra Specialist whose past orchestra programs have been selected to perform at the Southern Division Music Educator’s National Conference, the Mid-West Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago and the Atlanta International Band and OrcTerry Shadehestra Conference. Following these performances, she was featured in the Instrumentalist Magazine discussing effective teaching methods and practices. After teaching for years in Gwinnett County, Georgia, she moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to continue her career in the Clark County School District.

Ms. Shade worked as a Project Facilitator with the district, mentoring a large staff of orchestra teachers (approximately 80 teachers) and performing supervisory duties for the Secondary Fine Arts Department. Under her supervision, the Clark County Orchestra Program experienced huge growth and national recognition.

She received a state award for her work with the Las Vegas teachers; The Steve Maytan Contribution to Education Award was presented to Terry at the NMEA Conference. Also while in Nevada, Terry was playing violin professionally in the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the Nevada Chamber Symphony and performing for various celebrities on the Las Vegas Strip. In the past several years, Ms. Shade was invited to conduct Jr. High All-State Orchestras and Honor Orchestras in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Oregon, Louisiana and Nevada.

Terry contributed a chapter in the ASTA Publication String Teaching in America: Strategies for a Diverse Society about her experiences teaching orchestra in at-risk schools throughout her career. Published by Kjos, she is the co-author of the comprehensive new method book String Basics: Steps to Success for String Orchestra. She currently resides in the Seattle, Washington area where she is continuing to be active as a conductor and clinician.

Summer Music Education InstituteMaximizing Student Performance
in Orchestra

The goal of this class is to engage participants (string and non-string players) in continued practical, relevant skill development so students in their ensembles will have the best possible musical, academic, and social-emotional experience.

VI. Making orchestra a place where all students want to be!

  • Creating a comfortable classroom environment
  • Recruiting and retention
  • Rote experiences, playing by ear, and improvisation
  • Concerts – number, venue/audience, theme, expectation for participation, repertoire/difficulty (fluency)

VII. Performance Assessment

  • Assessment for learning
  • Feedback – the critical element in assessment
  • Turning scores into grades
  • Individual practice and reflection

VIII. Practical Music Theory and History – What can you teach through the repertoire?

  • Bloom’s Taxonomy for higher level thinking
  • Creating activities and assessments that meet the standard
  • Rhythm
  • Music Vocabulary
  • Program music
  • Historical or cultural context (with text-reading strategies)
  • Visual Thinking Strategies

Necessary Supplies:

  • One or two string instruments to play throughout the week.

Wendy Barden has been a music educator in Osseo Area Schools (Minnesota) since 1977, and currently serves as K–12 Music Coordinator for a department of 55 music educatorsWendy Barden. Her teaching experience spans elementary through college levels in instrumental and general music classrooms.

She was named a Yamaha National Mentor Teacher, MENC Nationally Registered and Certified Music Educator, and 1992 Minnesota Music Educators Association Band Educator of the Year. Under her leadership, Osseo Area Schools has been named one of the Best Communities for Music Education for multiple years.

Dr. Barden’s extensive work in the classroom has provided the basis for several groundbreaking publications for band, strings, and general music, all published by the Neil A. Kjos Music Company. Barden is the author of the Maximizing Student Performance series, and co-author of Artistry in Strings and Recorder Excellence.

She is also a contributing author of the Standard of Excellence Beginning Band Series and String Basics: Steps to Success for String Orchestra, and author of the Standard of Excellence Music Theory and History Workbooks Teacher’s Editions. Barden is an active clinician, and has presented workshops for music educators in 31 states and Canada.

Wendy Barden holds B.S. and M.A. degrees in music education from the University of Minnesota. Her Ph.D., also from the University of Minnesota, is in music with emphasis in music education and musicology. She has pursued additional studies in assessment, arts integration, and creativity.

Dr. Barden has actively served on the board of directors of Chamber Music Minnesota, and as president of both the Minnesota Band Directors Association and Minnesota Music Educators Association. She is a member of Phi Beta Mu.

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