The origins of this website date to 1995, which I created based on notes I took during lectures of a string pedagogy class offered by Robert Culver, Professor Emeritus of Music Education at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Professor Culver was a dynamic and charismatic teacher and a visionary leader. In one of his lectures he spoke of a future where pedagogical information could be shared digitally, and I imagined the potential of the relatively new “world wide web” to provide widespread access to pedagogical information that included images and video examples. I went home that day, read “A Beginners Guide to HTML” and named my new website the “String Pedagogy Notebook.”
For over two decades I added information to the website. The capability to deliver video via the internet improved dramatically, alongside improved tools for website design. By the mid 2000s, websites like YouTube, Facebook, and others were changing how and where teachers and students accessed pedagogical information on the internet. Website design became increasingly complex. By 2015 I decided that I would take the content from this website and turn it into a book entitled "The Art of String Teaching," which was published by GIA Publications in 2019.
There were a few factors that led me to conclude that I should turn my “String Pedagogy Notebook” website into a book. I knew the website had enough content to develop into a book, but I also recognized gaps in the information and a need for better organization. I found myself increasingly focused on website design, rather than content. I discovered through a series of unfortunate attempts at innovation that the threat of hacking is quite real. I concluded that a hybrid approach of a written text and online video would be more beneficial to my college students than a website alone.
The book addresses the needs of students who are enrolled in string techniques (secondary instrument) courses, methods and materials courses, and pedagogy courses in teacher education programs. This book can also serve as a useful reference guide for professional orchestra conductors, teachers of group string classes, and private studio teachers.
An important feature of the book is a complementary YouTube channel that contains over 100 video demonstrations of the pedagogical techniques described in the text.
Click on the Chapters link to learn about the contents of the book, and for direct links to the YouTube playlists for each chapter.