Mastering Bow Techniques with Sound Innovations: Sound Development

By Bob Phillips

There are many factors in creating a beautiful sound on a string instrument. My personal belief is that the right hand is key for tone, ensemble playing and even influences intonation– really everything that we want to develop in string players. The foundation for teaching these important skills begins the first day of string instruction and is present in Sound Innovations Books 1 and 2. As students reach middle school, or an intermediate level, the skills can be refined a bit further and that’s when it’s really fun to work on these skills. I am very excited to be able to tell you about the third level of Sound Innovations and announce that the focus is sound, hence the title: Sound Development.

I am really excited about this because I feel so strongly about the importance of investing time in the class or the private lesson in building right hand skills. Some of the most important skills to develop are bow placement, bow speed and bow weight and so that’s where SI: Sound Development for Intermediate Strings begins. Sequential instruction will lead the students to success. Later units focus on additional intermediate skills including new bowings and shifting and we’ll talk more about that in future posts.

Bob Phillips is well known in the music education community as a successful teacher, composer, teacher-trainer and conductor. He is the Director of String Publications for Alfred Music Publishing and the President-elect of the American String Teachers Association.

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