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Course Syllabus

Course: MUSC 1840

Division: Fine Arts, Comm, and New Media
Department: Music
Title: String Workshop and Pedagogy I

Semester Approved: Spring 2021
Five-Year Review Semester: Fall 2025
End Semester: Fall 2026

Catalog Description: This course focuses on learning the fundamental skills necessary to play the string instruments (violin, viola, cello, and string bass), and the skills necessary to teach those fundamentals to others. Required for instrumental music majors.

Semesters Offered: Fall
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 1; Lecture: 2; Lab: 0

Justification: The instrumental music major, regardless of his/her main instrument, must attain a playing proficiency on all of the other instruments in the band and orchestra. Following this course, students will continue with the woodwind, brass, and percussion families. Courses of this type are taught at other schools in Utah that grant degrees in Music Education. This class most closely resembles MUSC 1750 (String Instrument Study I and Lab) at the University of Utah.

Student Learning Outcomes:
Each semester students will learn to play one of the four primary string instruments, (violin, viola, cello, bass) as assigned by the instructor.  Four in-class playing tests/recitals will be performed during the semester. Students will then be given a critique by fellow students and the instructor about the performance. Students will also provide a detailed practice log to be turned at the end of the semester.

Students will be able to discuss and write about current topics in string music education.  Students will read articles and watch videos about current string teaching techniques and topics. Students will then write analysis papers and participate in class discussions about these articles and videos.

Students will be able to teach mock lessons and rehearse other beginning students in front of the string pedagogy class.  Students will receive individual feedback from the teacher and other students about the lessons/rehearsals. Students will need to have included teaching aspects such as rote playing, games, appropriate classroom management, explanation of book concepts, and rehearsal of book pieces. The routines should also focus on teaching a specific skill such as tone, bowing, rhythms, vibrato, sight reading, dynamics, pitch, etc. Students will need to upload a detailed copy of their lesson plan to Canvas.

Students will be able to identify major musical works of string orchestra literature.  Several aural listening exams will be administered during the semester. Students will be asked to identify the titles of major string works and their composers during each exam.

Students will study current string method books that contain multicultural music, in addition to teaching musical terms and skills from said cultures. Class discussions will include approaches to teaching about this diverse music with respect and cultural understanding. The course will also provide short teaching experiences during class, which will be reviewed and discussed by the teacher and fellow students. These reviews and discussions will include ideas for teaching diverse issues and perspectives in a string orchestra class, as well as other string teaching techniques.

Key Performance Indicators:
Students will be graded on the following:

Class playing tests and practice record 30 to 40%

Written Assignments and Course Readings  30 to 40%

Aural Listening Exams  5 to 15%

Midterm and Final Exams  10 to 20%

Teaching Experiences  15 to 25%

Representative Text and/or Supplies:
String Pedagogy – A Course Guide to MUSC 1840-1850 by Brent Smith

String Explorer by Andrew Dabczynski, Richard Meyer, and Bob Phillips

Essential Elements for Strings by Michael Allen, Robert Gillespie, and Pamela Hayes

Pedagogy Statement:
Music literature and music method books will be chosen from a variety of sources and styles. These materials will include music from various nations, ethnic groups, and time periods. Class discussions and rehearsals will address said musical styles, their importance, and how to present them in an accurate, sensitive and understanding manner. Musical topics that relate to diversity and inclusion in a string orchestra setting will be discussed. All student teaching experiences will be conducted in manner that encourages respect and awareness between students. All students in the class will be treated with respect and in an equitable way.

Instructional Mediums:

Maximum Class Size: 20
Optimum Class Size: 15