For string players and teachers, Connie Sunday offers a book in which she has written and collected many essays of interest to the string player and teacher. This book is available online, in paperback via Amazon, in electronic book on Kindle, or on Mobipocket for reading on a PDA or Blackberry.
Online, it’s part of Connie’s amazing webpage which is primarily commercial, selling instruments, books, and supplies. The website is so full of information, free materials, links to sources for puchasing supplies or buying books and magazines, that it can’t fail to be of interest to all string teachers, if only to get them thinking about what’s out there.
Connie’s book starts out with the history of the violin, and addresses questions about ornamentation and many other topics. It includes FAQs about violins and violas, including teaching questions, styles, techniques, audition ideas, guides for parents and for placement tests. There are essays on developing student orchestras, on administering postsecondary music departments.Several somewhat random topics, though interesting ones, are included, such as an essay on Beethoven’s violin concerto, and one on John Cage. Other essays discuss working with adolescents, elitism vs popularism, and a book review focused on the effect of public schools on genius and sensibility of students.
Of interest to string teachers might be a list of 24 questions and responses to them written by a number of string teachers. The actual questions are not listed at the top of the section, so you have to read through the text to find out what’s being discussed, but they include such issues as: how it feels to play in an orchestra and how orchestras are run; how to inspire children’s interest in famous composers; ideas on allowing verbal interaction during rehearsals; dealing with disrespectful students; traditional vs. response-centered teaching methods; nontraditional methods; inclusion of music history in instrumental instruction; working with parents; effects of seating students certain ways in a group or class; working with talented students.
I can’t say the information is comprehensive, but there is so much of it, and the ideas move in so many directions, that it’s an exciting offering to explore, whether you read it online or via the other published options.