Evaluation of Books on String Theory

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A String Method Book Evaluation

Three different methods books; “Muller Rusch String Method,” “Action with Strings,” and “ Essential Elements for strings,” revealed three very different approaches to learning. The influence of time is greatly noticeable in comparing and contrasting these three approaches. “Essential Elements for Strings” was published in 1994 and the other two books in the 1960’s. After many years of studying education the approach to teaching students how to play an instrument has greatly improved. The increased knowledge in educational psychology is evident through comparing “Essential Elements for Strings” to the other two. The student learns best through a step by step guide to this new endeavor. The student
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There is no complete fingering chart available, ensemble music included, or illustration of correct sitting posture. Technical problems are not introduced logically. Directions are given simply and clearly but the order is incorrect in teaching effectively. There is a great improvement in instruction compared to the first methods book introduced but also room for much needed changes such as logical steps.

In “Essential Elements for Strings” by Allen, Gillespie, and Hayes, instructions are clear and logical. The parts of the instrument and bow are introduced and care of the instrument is defined clearly. The book introduces skills with directions and illustrations that help build up to effectively playing the instrument. Basic music vocabulary is introduced and the student is instructed to play pizzicato on the open strings. Learning to play pizzicato is much more effective than immediately playing with the bow as in the other two books. The note names are inscribed in the note heads to help the student associate the location of the notes on the staff as well as learn the names. The wonderful finger pattern is then introduced to teach E, F#, and G on the D string. The pattern is illustrated as well as described. The book then uses an effective method of holding the bow by practicing on a pencil with illustrations and clear instructions. Different exercises help to hold the bow
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