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Achieving Musical Success in the String Classroom

Karel Butz

Publication Date - August 2019

ISBN: 9780190602895

240 pages
8-1/2 x 11 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $42.95


Achieving Musical Success in the String Classroom describes a fully pragmatic pedagogical approach toward developing complete musicianship in beginning through advanced level string players by incorporating the ideas of Mimi Zweig, Paul Rolland, and Shinichi Suzuki. Author Karel Butz's philosophical assumptions are explained regarding the structure and purpose of string teaching contributing to a high level of musical artistry among students. Introductory through advanced string concepts relating to instrument set-up, posture, left and right hand development, music theory, aural skills, assessment procedures, imagery in playing, the development individual practice and ensemble skills, and effective rehearsal strategies are explained in a sequential approach that benefit the classroom teacher and student. In addition, several score examples, sample lesson plans, grading rubrics as well as videos of Butz demonstrating his pedagogical ideas and techniques with musicians are included.


  • Describes how to combine the pedagogical ideas of Mimi Zweig, Paul Rolland, and Shinichi Suzuki into an orchestra class setting
  • Offers detailed methodical approach to developing musicianship in the string classroom
  • Provides sample beginning lesson plans and sample assessment rubric forms
  • Features several videos that demonstrate the teaching concepts

About the Author(s)

Karel Butz taught orchestra in Indiana and Texas where his groups received several state and national awards. His compositions have been performed worldwide at several venues such as The Midwest Clinic, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival, as well as region and all-state honor orchestras.


"A wonderfully accessible book: conversational in style, offering clear, applicable teaching strategies lodged firmly within the pedagogical canon and reflecting the latest research and best practices. With its emphasis on individual student development as a foundation for ensemble development, the book lays out a sequential approach, from the most basic building blocks to advanced musical concepts. Butz reminds the reader that technical growth should be viewed through the lens of music itself and 'the euphoric effect of music [should be our] chief motivating factor' as the end goal is lifelong musicianship of our students. Bravo!" -- Kasia Bugaj, Florida State University

Table of Contents

    About the Companion Website
    1. Philosophical Assumptions
    2. The First Lessons: Preparation; Parental Involvement; Aural Skills; Rhythmic Training; Written Theory
    3. The First Lessons: Tension Free Playing; Posture and Instrument Set-up; Left Hand Pizzicato; Application of Music Theory to Performance; Introductory Lesson Plans
    4. The Bow
    5. Rehearsal
    6. Assessment
    7. Intermediate - Advanced Level: Refining Left Hand and Bowing Technique; Music History and Theory
    8. Intermediate - Advanced Level: Ensemble Development with Rhythm and Phrasing

Related Title

Strategies for Teaching Strings