“The quest to explore different traditions from around the world outside of classical music has really felt like a quest to discover more about myself,” says Mike Block.
Even the most accomplished band directors can feel a bit out of their league when teaching strings for the first time.
In music, tone is distinct and identifiable, and when played correctly and in harmony within an ensemble, it sets the overall mood and quality of a performance. However, mastering tone does not come easily.
At 15 years old, violin virtuoso Christian Howes found himself envious of his school's last-chair second violinist. Howes recalls how that classmate was composing and recording his own original songs.
Perhaps you are a violinist, violist, cellist or bassist considering the world of electric strings. After deciding to "plug in," your next question is probably: "Plug in to what?"
Many years ago I was presenting a workshop entitled "The Power of Strings: Plugging In!" at a statewide music educators conference.
We orchestral string players are used to playing acoustically … until we're asked to play in a situation where the sound from our instrument isn't going to project enough or cut through a louder group of instrumentalists.
After years of teaching band, you must now teach beginning orchestra, too. Panic sets in as you realize you don't know how to position your fingers, and you fear making screeching sounds in front of your students.
It is inevitable in the life of every string player that they will encounter a sudden distracting buzzing sound coming from their instrument.
While in high school in the 1990s, Kevin Marcus Sylvester programmed his cell phone to play a Busta Rhymes rap song.
In "Case Study: How to Grow a High School Orchestra Program," we described the steps taken by Kenny Baker to expand the orchestra program at Robert McQueen High School in Reno. Here are his five tips for success.
The halls of Robert McQueen High School in Reno, Nevada, are buzzing with excitement and anticipation for the summer. It's not the typical end-of-the-school-year eagerness that has these teenagers bouncing in their seats.