Electric String Ensemble Checklist

Electric string ensembles in school music programs are not the far-fetched idea they once were. 

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  4032 Hits
4032 Hits

Cellist Mike Block's Musical Quest

“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. 

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  2831 Hits
2831 Hits

Mike Block Remembers the Hidden Meaning Behind a Lesson

Cellist Mike Block, an associate professor at Berklee College of Music, remembers a huge moment from when he was in college at the Cleveland Institute of Music

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  2481 Hits
2481 Hits

7 Ways to Help Band Directors Tackle Strings Education

Even the most accomplished band directors can feel a bit out of their league when teaching strings for the first time.  

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  5126 Hits
5126 Hits

Improve Students’ Tone

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.

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  3536 Hits
3536 Hits

Violinist Christian Howes’ Three Pillars of Pedagogy

In the blog post, Christian Howes: Versatile Violin Virtuoso, renowned strings performer and educator Christian Howes explains why he started Creative Strings Academy. 

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  2558 Hits
2558 Hits

Christian Howes: Versatile Violin Virtuoso

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. 

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  2829 Hits
2829 Hits

How to Choose an Amplifier for Your Electric String Instrument

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?"

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1817 Hits

Electric Strings: The Power of Plugging In

Many years ago I was presenting a workshop entitled "The Power of Strings: Plugging In!" at a statewide music educators conference. 

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  2075 Hits
2075 Hits

Pros and Cons for Pickups, Microphones and Electric Strings

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.

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  2342 Hits
2342 Hits

New to Teaching Strings?

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.

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  3520 Hits
3520 Hits

My String Instrument is Making a Weird Sound — What is It?

It is inevitable in the life of every string player that they will encounter a sudden distracting buzzing sound coming from their instrument. 

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  2434 Hits
2434 Hits

Black Violin Dares Students to Dream Big

While in high school in the 1990s, Kevin Marcus Sylvester programmed his cell phone to play a Busta Rhymes rap song. 

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  4198 Hits
4198 Hits

Five Tips to Grow an Orchestra Program

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.

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  2581 Hits
2581 Hits

Case Study: How to Grow a High School Orchestra Program

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. 

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  4504 Hits
4504 Hits

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