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Register Online for the String Teachers Conference

Michael HopkinsMichael Hopkins is associate professor and chair of Music Education at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he teaches courses in string techniques, orchestra methods, research methods, and the psychology of music. He has been a guest conductor at over 100 orchestra festivals and clinics throughout the United States, and has given over 60 presentations at national, international, and state music education conferences on various topics in string education and music technology. He is very active as a composer and arranger, and has composed and arranged over 70 published works for orchestra. His music is published by Alfred Music Publishing, Grand Mesa Music, Kendor Music Publishing, Inc., and J.W. Pepper’s MyScore. His works have been commissioned by many schools and ensembles throughout the U.S.

He is the author of The Art of String Teaching, a comprehensive string pedagogy resource for pre-service teachers, professional orchestra conductors, teachers of group string classes, and private studio teachers. The Art of String Teaching has a complementary YouTube channel, a pedagogical resource with over 100 videos demonstrating all aspects of string technique.

Hopkins has published articles in the Journal of Research in Music Education, International Journal of Music Education, CRME Bulletin, Music Education Research, Journal of Music, Technology and Education, American String Teacher, String Research Journal, the Music Educators’ Journal, and The Instrumentalist.

Hopkins is the director of the Michigan String Educators Workshop and the U-M Bass Bash Festival. He serves on the board of the Michigan Chapter of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), and has served on several national committees, including the Collegiate Committee and the Research Committee.

Friday, January 21 
7:00 – 9:00 PMProgramming in the Zone: Motivating Your Orchestra Students through Repertoire SelectionMichael Hopkins
Saturday, January 22 
9:00 – 11:00 AMRehearsal Strategies to Improve Tone, Intonation, and Musical ExpressionMichael Hopkins
11:00 – 11:15 AMBreak
11:15 AM – 12:00 PMStrategies for Helping Your Beginning and Intermediate BassistsMichael Hopkins
12:00 – 1:00 PMLunch (on your own)
1:15 – 2:15 PMWHY DID YOU DO THAT!? Score study, interpretation, & gestural applicationWilliam LaRue Jones
2:15 – 2:30 PMBreak
2:30 – 4:00 PMCollaborative Composing in OrchestraMichael Hopkins
4:15 – 5:00 PMWhat Can My Students Hear? Tuning Pedagogy and Aural Skills DevelopmentMichael Hopkins
5:00 – 6:15 PMDinner (on your own)
6:30 – 8:00 PMMy Favorite Orchestra Piece Reading SessionRebecca MacLeod
 Bring your instrument and your favorite orchestra piece!
Sunday, January 23 
10:00 – 11:00 AMSeven Words or Less! Applying Memory Research to Music TeachingDonald Walter
11:00 – 11:45 AMShop Talk: String Teaching in 2021Rebecca MacLeod

The String Teachers Conference features clinics on topics including string pedagogy, instrument repair, and effective rehearsal techniques, presented by Dr. Michael Hopkins, Associate Professor of Music and Chair of Music Education at the University of Michigan, and members of the UNCG School of Music faculty. 

Participants may earn 1.5 units of North Carolina Certificate Renewal Credit. The String Teachers Conference is a terrific opportunity to grow and develop as teachers and musicians under the guidance and inspiration of our outstanding clinicians.

Programming in the Zone: Motivating Your Orchestra Students through Repertoire Selection

Orchestra directors face challenges in programming a high-quality diverse body of repertoire that matches the musical and technical levels of their students. Participants in this session will learn how to apply the principles from three motivation theories for thoughtful repertoire selection in order to increase student motivation and foster enthusiasm for the orchestra program from parents, administrators, teachers, and community members.

Rehearsal Strategies to Improve Tone, Intonation, and Musical Expression

Placing the refinement of tone quality, intonation, and musical expression as a high priority in rehearsal will greatly improve an orchestra’s performance. This session will focus on common problems of orchestra performance that can be addressed by teachers in the context of ensemble rehearsals.

Strategies for Helping Your Beginning and Intermediate Bassists

In this session I will address common problems that impact tone and intonation for beginning and intermediate bassists – posture, endpin length, sitting vs. standing, left hand and right hand fundamentals.

WHY DID YOU DO THAT!? Score study, interpretation, & gestural application

The session will explore moving beyond time-beating and use analysis to gain musical insights into a composition to enhance artistry. We will explore the 1st movement of Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”, the “Sarabande” movement of Benjamin Britten’s “ Simple Symphony”, and the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings.”

Make a PDF of first page of Mozart, First Page of Tchaikovsky, and first page of Sentimental Sarabande (include both themes and transition into the recap.

Collaborative Composing in Orchestra

This session will provide participants with information about how orchestra directors can develop, implement, and assess high quality collaborative composing experiences in middle and high school chamber music ensembles. Numerous examples of successful projects will be presented, along with research-based findings of the benefits and challenges of including creative experiences in the middle and high school orchestra curriculum.

What Can My Students Hear? Tuning Pedagogy and Aural Skills Development

On Day 1 of instruction, the teacher needs to tune all the students’ instruments. Eventually, all the students in the orchestra will be able to tune their instruments independently, without any assistance from the teacher. How do we get from Point A to Point B? In this session I will describe my process of investigating the development of tuning independence, and provide suggestions for teachers regarding aural and motor skills development.

My Favorite Orchestra Piece Reading Session

Bring your instrument and your favorite orchestra piece to share!

Seven Words or Less! Applying Memory Research to Music Teaching

In this session we will review scientific findings on human memory and how to leverage those findings to make our teaching more effective and perhaps a bit less frustrating for ourselves and our students. Bring your instruments as we will apply these ideas to real-life string teaching situations.

Shop Talk: String Teaching in 2021