The tradition of folk music can benefit any level of string teaching with its accessibility, culture, and intriguing history. All around the world, folk music is passed down through generations by rote, or without written music. Teaching students by rote, also known as “by ear,” immediately
develops their sense of pitch, sound quality, and ability to play many styles of music. The combination of rote teaching and folk music in a string program can create a well-balanced curriculum. I have taught workshops, created a folk group within the Crane School of Music, invited guest artists to campus, and organized traditional folk dances. Teaching students to read music as well as to use their own ears to play string instruments is important, and this exciting
genre easily lends itself to this type of learning.
Powerpoint slides prepared for the Presidential Scholars Presentation Series, April 29, 2010