Essential Elements for Strings offers beginning students sound pedagogy and engaging music. This method is carefully paced to start young players on their musical journey. EE features familiar songs and specially designed exercises. The exercises in Essential Elements are created and arranged for the classroom in a unison learning environment. Essential Elements also features instrument specific exercises to focus each student on the unique characteristics of their own instrument. EE provides both teachers and students with a wealth of materials to develop total musicianship, even at the beginning stages.
Book 1 uses a note to note sequence with easy to read notation. Students begin with note names written inside the note heads. Then the names are gradually eliminated.
Modern pedagogy starts from the “top” of the hand. Violins and violas start with three fingers down. Cellos start with four fingers down. Students create a better left-hand shape and develop proper playing position from the beginning with this technique. Teaching the double bass is done without displacing the octave.
New material is carefully paced and immediately reinforced. New notes are approached by step, then gradually played with wider skips and crossing strings. Each new rhythm is introduced as a Rhythm Rap, which can be shadow bowed, then played on an open string, and finally placed in an appropriate melodic setting.
Only one new concept is introduced at a time. The pacing encourages mastery without excessive repetition. You can move from line to line quickly within each class. Students master quarter notes, then move to eighth, half, dotted-half, and whole notes. New concepts are also presented in familiar keys and rhythms. Students integrate their new skills in shaded sections called Skill Builders. Skill Builders combine rhythms, pitches and bowings into comprehensive exercises in order to develop solid technique.