Classroom Content as Concert Stage Repertoire


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Classroom Content as Concert Stage Repertoire: Best Practices for the Intermediate Orchestra

June 15–19, 2020

Concert preparation can be perceived as the focus of orchestra class and the pressure to present concerts as well as prepare music for contests can interfere with a thoughtful pedagogical sequence. When the curtain goes up on a concert, it is, in many ways, an aural and visual scrapbook of the technical and musical curriculum the students have experienced in your classroom. Choosing repertoire to both engage students and develop technical and musical skills is one of the most vital components of a well-designed curriculum. The intermediate or middle school orchestra experience not only solidifies skills necessary for success in high school and beyond, but also illuminates the ensemble as a social and artistic cohort. This period of skill development is crucial for preparing the technical and musical skills that will foster continued involvement with music in and beyond high school ensembles. With well-chosen repertoire, the time spent in instruction can propel technical development while developing literacy, ensemble skills and musical sensitivity.

This course will present strategies for teaching shifting, string crossings, sight-reading skills, minor tonality and advanced finger patterns, vibrato, rhythmic sensibility, and advanced bow strokes in a heterogeneous setting. Participants will acquire a basic understanding of fundamental principles of learning, and practice creating successful learning experiences that effectively change student thinking and behavior. The technical aspects of the curriculum are focused on violin, viola, cello and bass, however transfer of learning principles and adaptation of materials can be applicable to any instrument.

This course includes discussion and teaching strategies related to the following topics:

  • Developing solo literature across the ensemble
  • Sequential introduction of advanced technique in the heterogeneous setting
  • Strategies for describing end goals and designing representations of progress
  • Bow exercises that prepare students for advanced literature
  • Concert Preparation: programming literature that develops technique
  • Development of ensemble skills and supporting repertoire
  • Aural skills as they relate to ensemble skills
  • Developing rhythmic security and sensibility
  • Vertical Programming
  • The importance of classroom culture
  • Successful approaches for using peer feedback and self-assessment
  • Fingerboard geography as a vehicle for secure shifting, fingering choices and sight reading
  • Fundamental knowledge with clear connections to advanced skill
  • Assessment measures that engage, motivate, and encourage independence learning
  • Involving parents as partners and advocates for your program and for their child
  • Preparing students to successfully transition to high school programs
  • Contests and Festivals: A positive approach to participation


Dr. Laurie Scott

Scott,_Laurie_headshot_2013Dr. Laurie Scott is an associate professor of music and human learning at the University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, she serves as the director of The University of Texas String Project. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Scott served as professor of violin and viola and director of music education studies at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. As a music educator in Texas, Dr. Scott has served as an officer of the Texas chapter of the American String Teachers Association, taught middle and high school strings for the Austin ISD, and was co-conductor of the Austin Youth Symphony. Dr. Scott was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award for the School of Music and the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a teacher trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and is on the editorial board for American String Teacher. She is a guest clinician and conductor at state and national conventions speaking on string pedagogy, public school music education, orchestral bowing techniques, and character development through the arts. She is co-author with William Dick of the textbooks Mastery for Strings, Level One and Level Two. Her latest publication, Learning Together: Sequential Repertoire for Solo Strings or String Ensembles, is co-authored with William Dick and Winfred Crock. The book From The Stage to the Studio: How Fine Musicians Become Great Teachers, a collaborative effort with cellist Cornelia Watkins, was published by Oxford University Press in April 2012.

Dr. John-Rine Zabanal

IMG_0298_CROPAs an adjunct assistant professor at Florida State University, Dr. John-Rine Zabanal worked with both undergraduate and graduate string students, making him a great resource for all VanderCook students. He has additional experience with music technology, psychology of music, and research in music.
Prior to his work at FSU, Dr. Zabanal was the Director of Orchestras at Riverbend High and Ni River Middle Schools in Virginia, where his students consistently earned Superior Ratings at VBODA District Orchestra Assessment.
Beyond the classroom, Dr. Zabanal has involved himself with a number of programs that provide elementary-to-high school aged students the opportunity to build positive musical foundations. These include the FSU Strings Orchestra Camp, Rappahannock Summer Music Camp, Tallahassee Youth Orchestra and the Rappahannock Youth Orchestra.
Like many of us at VanderCook, Dr. Zabanal is a strong advocate of music education. He has held memberships with organizations such as the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and the American String Teacher Association (ASTA). Currently, Dr. Zabanal serves as the Vice President of the FSU chapter of ASTA and is the Media Specialist and Editor for the Florida chapter. He holds a PhD in music education and a master's degree in music education from FSU, and a bachelor's degree in music education from The Ohio State University.
To learn more about Dr. Zabanal, visit his website at

Course Details

 Classroom Content as
Concert Stage Repertoire

Course Code 6970

Dr. Laurie Scott
& Dr. John-Rine Zabanal

June 15–19, 2020

3 Graduate Credits

$1,050, due in full with registration

Early bird special: Register by
April 17 and save $100!

Tuition must be paid in full at the time of registration for the discount to apply.



Required Text(s)
Mastery for Strings, Level One:
A Longitudinal Sequence of Instruction for School Orchestras, Studio Lessons & College Method Courses

by William Dick & Laurie Scott
(Alfred Music Publishers)

Mastery for Strings, Level Two: Navigating the Fingerboard
by William Dick & Laurie Scott
(Alfred Music Publishers)

Learning Together: Sequential Repertoire for Solo Strings or
String Ensemble
by Winifred Crock, William Dick & Laurie Scott *
(Alfred Music Publishers)
* Vol. 2 for your chosen instrument:
violin, viola, cello or bass

Learning Together: Sequential Repertoire for Solo Strings or
String Ensemble
by Winifred Crock, William Dick & Laurie Scott *
(Alfred Music Publishers)
* Volume #2: piano score

Pattern Play for Strings: A Sequential Introduction to Reading Music
by Winifred Crock *
(Forrester Press)
* Vol. 2 for your chosen instrument:
violin, viola, cello or bass

Students are responsible for purchasing all required texts and materials. VanderCook will not provide any course materials nor have any available for purchase.

Required Materials



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