This exciting series by the authors of Fiddle Time, Viola Time, and Cello Time provides great new ensemble material for all string groups, whatever their size. The fun and characterful pieces are each scored in either two or three parts, for any combination of violin, viola, and cello; a double bass part is also provided. The flexible scoring means that pieces can be played by any number of players, from one instrument and piano to a full string orchestra, with all combinations in between. An accompanying CD features performances and backings for all the pieces. Topped off with witty illustrations, String Time is a must-have for all those looking for imaginative and enjoyable ensemble repertoire.
"We have grown accustomed to nothing short of excellence from the pedagogical works of Kathy and David Blackwell, and in this publication they exceed expectation. I have been exploring their latest work with two of my whole class string groups, both unusual in that they cover an age range of four years . . . These 21 pieces have all been adaptable enough to offer enjoyable, and satisfyingly attainable material for all. Each piece, whether original composition or traditional arrangement, has been well crafted, providing a range of opportunities for technical development in young beginner players, without compromising musically in any way . . . There is plenty of scope for differentiation, technically, musically and cognitively, and I have found it compatible with a range of learning difficulties." - Matthew Lee, ESTA Arco, July 2016 (part 1 of review)
"As a fairly mediocre pianist, I find the accompaniments fully playable with very little preparation. The CD accompaniment tracks are very well presented and are all at reasonable speeds to work with. I have used String Time Starters for whole class teaching, but I can fully envisage making use of it with beginner string ensembles locally, and as a useful addition to performance repertoire for students who learn in small groups. String Time Starters is a fantastic addition to the repertoire at this level." - Matthew Lee, ESTA Arco, July 2016 (part 2 of review)
"These entertaining little suites are the latest addition to the volumes of pieces for young string players - or 'joggers' - by Kathy and David Blackwell . . . Indeed, the Blackwells suggest a lot of things, and their notes on how to approach and work on each piece are among the most valuable elements of these publications . . . But there is a great deal of variety in the string writing, and it's all good fun." - Tim Homfray, The Strad, December 07
"String Time Joggers is a beautifully laid out collection of original and traditional pieces designed to be played with whatever ensemble of string instruments you may have in your string program . . . String Time Joggers is a delightful addition to one's group lesson repertoire and is particularly useful if one is dealing with mixed string groups or a young string orchestra." - Regan Toews, Canadian Viola Society Magazine, August 08
"The captivating arrangements explore catchy syncopated rhythms and playing styles such as plucking and tremolo . . . All tempi are within the grasp of most beginners, and the 2nd part, while only using open strings and the 1st finger, is not restricted in its harmonies. The deceptively simple piano accompaniment uses a range of harmonies, increasing a student's musical experience and adding zest to the ensemble. The parts can easily be arranged for any mix of string instruments, including as a solo performance. Have your students enjoy music for life by sharing these enchanting musical treats with them when they're young." - Melissa Franks, Stringendo (AUSTA), 2008
Kathy Blackwell and David Blackwell
Kathy Blackwell studied music at Edinburgh University and continued with post-graduate studies in music at the University of Oxford. Kathy is a string teacher with many years experience of teaching violin and viola. She was a strings consultant for the ABRSM Music Medals, and a contributor to the accompanying book
All together! Teaching Music in groups (ABRSM, 2004). She has worked for Music Services and privately and her teaching experience has led her to co-author
Fiddle, Viola, Cello Time, and
String Time with her husband, David.
David Blackwell studied music at Edinburgh University, since when he has pursued a career in music publishing, first at ABRSM, where he became Editorial Director, and then at Oxford University Press, where he is now Head of Music Publishing. He is co-editor of OUP's In the Mood: 17 Jazz Classics for Choirs and Carols for Choirs 5, and has published a number of single choral arrangements. He is co-writer with his wife Kathy of OUP's award-winning string series, Fiddle/Viola/Cello Time, which have twice won the MIA award for Best Educational Publication.