MUSIC EDUCATION RESOURCES

String Fundamentals & Daily Warm-ups

This multi-page exercise includes common rhythms, bow strokes, finger patterns, shifting, string crossing, and chromatic exercises. It provides a great condensed method to introduce many concepts.

Scale Rotations (One & Two Octave Examples)

Examples include D, G & C major, to be extrapolated to other keys. The important elements in practicing scales this way are 1) the right hand remains constant (full half-note bows), 2) students strengthen rhythmic relationships against a steady pulse, and 3) the lowest leading tone is included, often involving a new finger placement.

Two Octave Major Scales

With suggested fingerings and slurred-two quarter notes, these scales are formatted for most festival or honor orchestra auditions, and all major keys are included. 

One Octave Major Scales & Arpeggios

All major keys are included on one sheet with suggested fingerings for cello & bass. Violin, viola & cello are written for the octave requiring minimal or no shifting.

Bowing & Rhythm Patterns for Scales

Use this sheet for reference to over 30 bowing patterns and rhythms that can be applied to any system of scales. This is a great way to practice certain bowing challenges and/or articulations. 

Scale Mastery

Travel through every scale and key in under four minutes! Performed in one-octave versions with the Major Scale juxtaposed to its Relative Minor, this scale study can have many applications in the classroom or private studio.

Progressive Scales

This advanced exercise focuses on one key at a time and allows the student to practice a scale while starting on different scale degrees within that key. Another way to envision the exercise is that the student is playing through every mode (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian).

PAWS (Placement, Angle, Weight & Speed)

This single sheet can be used for the entire orchestra to develop right hand skills related to tone production. Placement refers to bridge proximity; Angle refers to how many hairs touch the string; Weight refers to the distance between the stick & hair; and Speed refers to how fast the bow arm moves. 

The Star Spangled Banner (with 'America')

America's National Anthem with an optional intro quoted from "America (My Country 'tis of Thee)." This Grade 3-4 string arrangement in F Major is professionally edited and ready to copy and distribute to your string players. Consider starting every school concert or community event with this harmonically stunning and dramatic arrangement. 

Get In the Loop

This handout includes a bundle of information for students or teachers to use to enter the world of live-looping. You will find introductory exercises, a list of suggested gear, and a long list of popular tunes that loop. Be sure to check out Peter's six-part YouTube series that takes the viewer through this packet of information and beyond.

Rhythm Grid

This single sheet can be used for the entire orchestra to develop better understanding of subdivision and how various rhythms relate while maintaining a steady pulse. This is good for clapping & counting exercise or great for establishing pulse with up vs. down bow. 

Intro to Improv for Strings

This handout breaks down improvisation from the "Giant Steps" into three 15-minute introductory lessons that teachers can offer their students in developing the ability to speak (not just read) their musical language. Remember, there are no wrong notes, just better choices!

Music Marking Shortcuts

Consider that a music director will give at least three music instructions per rehearsal. Take that times ten rehearsals, and our students need to remember 60 things for just one piece on the concert! TAKE THE TIME and use this guide to teach them how to cleanly, clearly, and correctly (the 3C's) mark their music. It is a valuable asset to any music student's toolbox.

Half-Step Staircase & Solfege Guide

This worksheet introduces students to scale creation (with teacher guidance to complete some of the blanks). Once each note is visualized in its "natural" position along the staircase, students quickly gain an understanding of how a sharp of flat affects a note and how scales are created. Don't  be surprised if a hypothetical G# Major is easily figured out by your students!

Several Approaches to Understanding Modes

Until I taught modes to AP Music Theory students, I never really understood them, and for sure I didn't have this info memorized! Now, with a few moments of listening or score analysis, I can actually figure out the mode of a new piece of music, and it really helps to better teach or compose a piece of music. AP Music Theory teachers and students may find this guide super useful.