The String Pedagogy Notebook by Michael Hopkins is a reference library of learning objects for playing the violin, viola, cello and double bass. The site contains a vast library of learning objects under the headings of Pedagogical Information, String Instruments, Teaching Strategies and Books and Information. The learning objects include text, photographs and Quicktime videos.
Type of Material:
String students could use this reference library as a supplement to their private lessons. Teachers could assign students to study specific learning objects each week related to specific techniques they are working on in their lessons. Graduate students could use the site as a model in developing their own teaching strategies.
Standard Browser and Quicktime movie.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The learning goals of this site range from maintaining proper posture, bow technique, instrument position, left-hand technique and hand position shifting to the history of string instruments,to teaching and practicing techniques. Each learning object is devoted to one learning goal. There is also an extensive section devoted to teaching strategies.
Target Student Population:
High school and college level music school and conservatory students. The information is also for string teachers but can be useful for students. Composers and arrangers can find useful information about different instrumental techniques.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
The ability to play a violin, viola, cello or double bass.
The information on this site is accurate. The strength of this site is in breaking down each technique into a single lesson.
Excellent resource for string teachers and students. It covers many topics from posture, positions, tuning, use of the bow, exercises among others in a very detailed way. A section is dedicated to teaching strategies with topics like the classroom management, dealing with technical problems in rehearsals, ear training strategies, improvisation and composing activities, tuning and the use of technology among many others. Another section is dedicated to the history of string instruments. Care and maintenance of the instruments as well as information about strings, tuners, etc. are also covered.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The effectiveness of this site is in its step-by-step approach to learning string technique. Students and teachers may select just the technique lessons they want to focus on.
The articles are comprehensive but at the same time very clear, easy to understand and to the point. Photos and videos are effectively used as examples of the points being discussed.
Generally speaking there are no concerns. However, some broken links to images need to be fixed. I was not able to view some videos because of old video formats (tried in 3 browsers (latest versions): Chrome, Firefox and Safari on a Mac). Some updates in this area would be very useful.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is easy to use. The navigation of the many topics is well organized. Topics are easy to find and access.
A lot of information is available but is clearly organized in 4 main sections: 1) Pedagogical information, 2) string instruments, 3) teaching strategies and 4) books and other information. This organization makes easy to find what you're looking for.
Other Issues and Comments:
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