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String Section

  • Rosin: What’s Really in that Cake?

    Lesley Schultz | November 1, 2023One essential accessory every string player needs is a cake of rosin.  Given the many different types, how does one choose the type best for them or their ensemble? Standard rosin is made of pine resins where the moisture has been evaporated and it is formed into a cake, either surrounded by wood or plastic, […] Read More...
  • Get Players Moving On Up!

    Lesley Schultz | September 10, 2023String instruments are unique in that the hand positions aren’t static, you eventually will have to move them up or down the fingerboard or fretboard.  In all the disciplines in orchestra and in your fretted classes most if not all the method books start in first position.  You can do a lot of learning in […] Read More...
  • Breaking the Ice – Creating the Ensemble Family

    Lesley Schultz | August 20, 2023Icebreakers is a word that can fill many people with a dread of an activity to introduce yourself and get you out of your comfort zone. Amongst teachers they have a bad rap. However, they are a useful tool to build a sense of community and family in your ensemble. They also help fill time […] Read More...
  • Repertoire Planning Simplified

    Lesley Schultz | July 16, 2023Even though we are in full-on summer mode, predictably our thoughts turn to the school year ahead. That means even though we may not want to, we are thinking about the big “R” in our ensembles, namely repertoire.  Choosing repertoire is a delicate balance of three things, techniques learned or reinforced, appropriate level for your […] Read More...
  • Staccato and Spiccato: Two Essential Bow Strokes

    Lesley Schultz | May 11, 2023There are many bow strokes you will want in your ensemble’s arsenal, but two of the most common that literature includes are staccato and spiccato. Although the words sound and look very similar, they are two very different strokes. Here are some tips and tricks to help your students determine which stroke is needed, and […] Read More...
  • Maximize Your Recruitment

    Lesley Schultz | April 2, 2023Spring is in the air, and with spring for most programs comes recruitment for the newest musicians in your program. Recruitment is vitally important because without solid recruitment our programs would cease to exist fairly quickly and make us prone to being cut. Here are a few tips to refresh your recruitment and hopefully gain […] Read More...
  • Encouraging Private Lessons

    Lesley Schultz | March 13, 2023As music educators we have all benefited from private instruction, and we know what a difference it can make in our ensembles and for student growth. Here are some ways you can encourage more of your students to take private lessons in your ensembles. First, make it convenient. Work with your school district to allow […] Read More...
  • Three Easy String Pieces You’ll Love

    Lesley Schultz | February 19, 2023SBO+: Lesley Schulz usually writes a regular column about orchestra and string teaching for us. Here, she shares some of her go-to easier pieces for orchestra.  First up is Dragonhunter by Richard Meyer and published by Alfred. This piece features notes of the D Major scale but has a minor modality to it. It has […] Read More...
  • It’s All About Relationships

    Lesley Schultz | December 15, 2022SBO+: Normally, Lesley writes for SBO+ about orchestra and string teaching, but this month she shares important thoughts about relationship building. This ties in nicely with Rick Ghinelli’s article in our September 2022 issue, “Be a Superhero to Your Administrators.” Every single one of the 50 educators honored in this month’s issue has relationships with […] Read More...
  • Programming a Joint Performance

    Lesley Schultz | November 13, 2022Maybe there is a big anniversary of your school coming up, or an annual arts festival and you want to try something different. Either way, administration and/or the community want to see a collaborative work between the band, orchestra, and choir. This can be a great way to highlight all three programs strengths and provide […] Read More...
  • Starting a Full Orchestra Program

    Lesley Schultz | October 13, 2022Starting a full orchestra program may seem like a daunting task, but it can be done with cooperation. A full orchestra can enrich the education experience for both band students and your own string students. It forces everyone to listen differently and enriches their experiences in all ensembles. Many states have all-state full orchestra groups, […] Read More...
  • Prepping Your Beginners for Solid Bow Technique

    Lesley Schultz | September 5, 2022The first question out of many beginner’s mouths when starting to play a string instrument is “When can we play with the bow?” A lot of this depends on the method book you choose, but there are exercises you can do with your beginners no matter the method to set them up for success. I […] Read More...
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