Strings for the Non-StringPlayer

All online Summer MECA
courses begin on June 7
and conclude on August 1,
except as noted.

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Registration closes at
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for ONLINE Courses.

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Strings for the Non-String Player

June 7–July 3, 2021

Note: This is a 4-week course.

The string class or orchestra can include players from many different backgrounds; students with years of playing experience, as well as true beginners. Socially, and musically, this situation requires a carefully designed curriculum, and approach to assessment that fosters the ability and potential of every student in the classroom. This heterogeneous disparity of ability and instruments increases the necessity for students to make cognitive, insightful conclusions on their own. The teacher can and must manipulate these moments of perception.

This course will focus on the fundamental principles of playing and teaching string instruments effectively. As accomplished instrumentalists and vocalists, you already recognize the tenets of fine musicianship, including expressivity, beautiful tone, precise intonation, and healthy posture. In this course you will strengthen your confidence in teaching string instruments by transferring your present knowledge of music performance to string techniques. Specific objectives will focus on a sequence for teaching posture and fingerboard geography, and the foundation of advanced techniques such as shifting and vibrato, in a heterogeneous string class setting. The physical requirements of successfully performing on each instrument, the kinesthetics of the bow arm, and the logic of navigating the fingerboard will be explored. This course will not only allow participants to foster their own technique on a string instrument, but foster a growth in understanding fundamental principles of human learning in the context of developing intellectual and motor skills. Effective learning sequences that focus on the development of excellent fundamental skills will be the focus of each class session. Participants will practice creating successful learning experiences that effectively change student thinking and behavior.

Instructor: Dr. Laurie Scott

Scott,_Laurie_headshot_2020Dr. Laurie Scott is 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 and the Musical Lives string program at UT Elementary School. She has received both the Teaching Excellence Award from the Butler School of Music and from the University of Texas College of Fine Arts. A former middle and high school orchestra director, she now mentors young professionals toward successful lives as string educators. As a pedagogue and teacher, Dr. Scott serves as an advocate for inclusive and diverse music classrooms, adult music learners, and access to quality music instruction for all children. Her former students have become exemplary string educators, professional studio and symphony musicians, and passionate arts advocates. She is co-author of the books Mastery for Strings, Learning Together and From the Stage to the Studio: How Fine Performers Become Great Teachers.

Course Details

Strings for the
Non-String Player

Course Code 7821

Dr. Laurie Scott

June 7–July 3, 2021

2 Graduate Credits

$710, due in full with registration

Class Sessions

Full-group online synchronous classes will occur on June 7, 9, 14, 16, 21 & 23. Meetings will occur synchronously from 8:00-10:00 a.m. CST two times per week for the first three weeks of the course. Individual appointments may be scheduled. Students will have the week of June 28 to complete assignments.


Required Text(s)
Mastery for Strings: A Longitudinal Sequence of Instruction for School Orchestras, Studio Lessons, and College Method Classes, Level 1
by William Dick & Laurie Scott (Mastery of Strings Press)

Teaching Strings in Today’s Classroom: A Guide for Group Instruction by Rebecca MacLeod (Routledge)

Learning Together: Sequential Repertoire for Solo Strings or String Ensemble, Level 1 by Winifred Crock, William Dick & Laurie Scott (Alfred)

Required Materials
Students will need access to a violin, viola, cello or bass. Rock stop for cello, stool for bass, Rosin and extra strings (if one breaks)



MECA Online
is powered by Schoology

Schoology is a learning management system that allows you to interact directly with your instructors, fellow students, and members of the greater VanderCook community.

Summer 2021 MECA courses officially begin on Monday, June 7. Soon after you register, be on the lookout for an email from Schoology with log-in instructions. Once you receive credentials, visit to login. On the morning of June 7, you'll have access to your classroom and course material.

Some courses have specific online chat meeting times (please see course descriptions), while others have a flexible meeting schedule. You can expect all courses to meet together in a live online chat. If a live meeting time doesn’t work, you can work with your instructor to make other arrangements.

Online grades will be reported by mid-June. If you need a transcript, please visit the online transcript request page. For faster turnaround time, please submit the transcript request to the registrar prior to the end of your course(s).

More information about Schoology can be found at


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3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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