Workshops and Clinics
Strum Bowing Workshops
Strum Bowing is a method that I’ve developed to teach string players how to groove.
A Strum Bowing Workshop could be anything from a one-hour hands-on
demonstration to a weeklong residency culminating with a concert, and is based closely on my book, The Strum Bowing Method. The workshop can include a
PowerPoint representation of key aspects of the book. It is helpful and most
effective if the instructor is familiar with The Strum Bowing Method and the students
have already been working on the 22 Groove Studies for Strings, but this is not
I work with players of all ages and abilities, from elementary school beginners to
conservatory pre-professionals and also do pedagogy sessions with string teachers.
I have lots of improvisation games that are effective for younger players (and great
for breaking through inhibitions for older players) and the simplicity of the Strum
Bowing method is accessible across age ranges.
For school orchestras, I have a collection of 22 Groove Studies for Strings which are
an effective way to apply and reinforce the concepts of Strum Bowing and to
practice techniques like Ghosting, Chopping, Subdividing, and developing the 3-D
Strum. A favorite format is to work with the orchestra in rehearsals/workshops and
then present a shared concert which usually consists of a solo program that I play
using my live looping and electric 6-string violin, and then a collaboration with the
orchestra on several pieces, which could be from the 22 Groove Studies for Strings or
any piece that the orchestra is working on.
Improvising – cultivating our natural curiosity and playfulness; making it fun, forgetting our inhibitions
Awakening our innate sense of Rhythm – essential to any groove-based style, such as rock, jazz, hip hop, etc.
Listening to each other – an awareness of the greater whole, responding to the music being made around you
Other Workshop Topics
Lecture/Demonstration – performance and explanations about technique, equipment, career etc; questions from the audience. General audience.
Improvisation for Strings – an overview of the blues; call and response; simple scales and approaches for first-time improvisers. String players with instruments.