String Workshop Books frequently asked questions & answers
Will these books teach all string students in the one classroom?
Definitely yes, as the learning is all the same.
Is the learning easy to understand by students and their parents?
The learning is logical and progressive. All the note information required for each piece is on each page.
What does this note information look like?
The note information is in diagram (finger numbers and note names, coloured for each string) as well as in notated form with the name of each note underneath and the finger number on top.
Can students tell which string they are supposed to be on?
Yes. Colourful string characters are on each page informing the students which strings are used for each piece. The simple coloured note diagram also assists in explaining the name of the note, which string is required for that piece and the finger that plays that note.
What other information is on each page?
Note value information is included when first encountered and reinforced in the early Book 1 pieces, dynamic information is included when first encountered.
What else is learnt about the instrument and bow?
The 'Colour in your violin/viola/cello/double bass' and naming of the different parts section informs the student about the instrument that they are learning. The requirements of naming the parts of the bow also assists the students in knowing more about their bow. Violin/Viola/Cello and Double Bass Posters with the bow picture are also available to display in your teaching space
How can students learn how to hold their bow and instrument correctly?
Clear pictures are provided in all the books (1 and 2), showing correct posture and good bow hold; the beginner bow hold in Book 1 and the advanced bow hold in Book 2. Bow hold Posters are also available for each instrument. to display in your teaching space.
How can students know how to place their fingers correctly on the fingerboard with a good shape?
Clear pictures are provided in all the books (1 and 2), showing correct finger placement for all instruments (low and high 2nd finger notes for violin and viola, 1, 2, 3 and 4 for cello, 1, 2 and 4 for double bass). Left hand Posters are also available for each instrument. to display in your teaching space.
How can students play in tune?
Coloured tapes and a left thumb sticker (free in each book), enable the students to place their fingers accurately for each note; fingers 1, low 2, high 2 and 3 for violin/viola - fingers 1, 2, 3 and 4 for cello and fingers 1, 2 and 4 for double bass.
How is the left hand strengthened?
SingleStringLearning (the learning of all notes in first position, minor and major) strengthens and instructs the left hand because the easy pieces learnt on all strings promote muscle memory.
How can bowing style be taught from the beginning?
Low and High Markers (provided free with each book) enable awareness of which part of the bow to use. The beginning open string fun exercises promote an early awareness of bowing straight, flat and using a specific section of the bow. Information is provided on most pieces on how to play with style for each piece and which part of the bow is to be used. An early appreciation of long strokes for semibreves (whole notes), minims (half notes), crotchets (quarter notes) and short strokes for quavers (eighth notes) and semiquavers (sixteenth notes) is obtained. Easy words 'big' or 'little' also assist in the understanding of playing with style.
How can students make a good sound right from the beginning?
The emphasis in Book 1 on bowing straight and flat, the beginner bow hold requirement and the specific easy instruction of 'press hard' or 'use soft little strokes', enable students to produce good sounds. The easy little pieces provide the opportunity for students to succeed from the beginner without tiring from complicated repertoire.
How do students learn notes and note values?
From the very beginning notes and their values are taught and explanations given. Notes are referred to in English (semibreves etc.), American (whole notes etc.) and Kodaly (ta's etc.) terms. The value of the note is always given plus the counting of the note (ta, ta, ta, ta and 1, 2, 3, 4etc.). 'Trace and Copy' requirements are emphasised throughout Book 1 for the notes on each page and for the notes in each section (D String, A String, C or E Strings and G String). SingleStringLearning also instructs which notes are on which string.
Can students Improvise and Compose?
Yes. Improvisation is required at the end of the D and A string sections in Book 1. Composition is required at the end of the C/E and G string sections of Book 1 plus the D Major, G Major and C Major sections of Book 2.
Can students learn to play together as an ensemble?
Yes. Students can play together in the classroom (all strings) or play the pieces with the free audio file at home or at school giving them a much valued ensemble experience.
Are there rewards for good playing?
Yes. In both Books 1 and 2, there is the personal Sticker Chart at the back of each book. Aspects of playing can be rewarded for the individual student (good posture, straight bows, bow hold etc.), as well as for the different pieces.
Specific Class Sticker Charts are also available and students can be acknowledged for their success with playing the pieces well by placing a sticker on the chart thus promoting healthy competition.
RibbonRewards are also available. A ribbon (silver on black for Book 1, gold on black for Book 2) can be given to students to acknowledge their achievements; Posture, Bow hold, Rhythm, D, A, C/E and G String Sections for Book 1, Posture, Bow hold, Rhythm, D Major, G, Major and C Major Sections for Book 2.
Can you know exactly what has been practised since the last lesson?
Yes. The Practice Chart located in each book requires the student to detail the page number and how many times that page has been played. You can also easily see what day has been a practice day and whether the parents have signed.
Can parents know exactly what has been practised each week?
Yes. The Practice Chart located in each book requires parents to sign and gives them an idea of what has been practised, how many times the page has been played and what days of the week the practice has occurred.
How can students practise more effectively?
When students play along with the free audio file, they will end up playing each piece 2 or 3 times, therefore extending their practice time and their ability to play more accurately.
Is strength and knowledge gained in both hands?
Is an ensemble experience guaranteed?
Is there a play along audio track?
Are there reward opportunities for your students?
Is there learning provided on many different levels for all students.
Yes. Note, dynamic, string, instrument, left hand and right hand, style and playing with accuracy is promoted in both books for all instruments. Visual learning enhanced by coloured tapes and a left thumb sticker. Visual learning enhanced by Low and High Markers for the bow. Visual learning enhanced by colourful string characters and coloured note/string/finger diagrams for each piece on each page. Visual learning enhanced by pictures of correct posture, left hand placement and bow hold.