violins playing

Brenda BrennerBrenda Brenner is associate professor of music in music education, co-chair of the Department of Orchestral Conducting, and director of the Jacobs Academy at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She specializes in string music education, teaching applied violin and courses in violin and string pedagogy.

Brenner earned a B.M. and a B.M.E. from Wichita State University and an M.M. and a D.M.A. in violin performance from the Eastman School of Music. In addition to her appointment to the Jacobs Music Education Department, she serves as co-director of the IU String Academy, a position she has held since 1993. Her String Academy students have been featured in concerts in major venues throughout the United States and have presented tours throughout Europe, Asia, and South America.

As director of the Fairview Project—a program in which every first and second grader in an underserved school is taught violin as part of the curriculum—Brenner is researching the cognitive, academic, and social outcomes of early instrumental music instruction.

An active performer of chamber music throughout the United States, she partners with pianist Kenneth Huber and her husband, organist Christopher Young. She also teaches and conducts at the IU Summer String Academy and is assistant director of the IU Retreat for Professional Violinists and Violists.

Additionally, she is an active international clinician, with recent appearances at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, American String Teachers Association National Conferences, and Music Educators Conferences throughout the United States. She is president of the American String Teachers Association.

Friday, October 13
7:00–8:45 PMSetting up for Success, Dr. Brenda Brenner
Saturday, October 14
9:00–9:45 AMPriorities in Conducting Student Ensembles, Dr. Jungho Kim
10:00 AM–12:00 PMFrom Poof to Portato ¬ a sequence of bow strokes, Dr. Brenda Brenner
12:00–1:00 PMLunch
1:00–2:45 PMWinning with Warmups, Dr. Brenda Brenner
3:00–3:45 PMTheory is Awesome, Dr. Brenda Brenner
4:00–4:45 PMGetting beyond “Good!” ¬ Effective Use of Language in the Classroom and
Studio, Dr. Brenda Brenner
5:00–6:30 PMDinner
7:00 PMUNCG Faculty/Student Showcase Concert
Sunday, October 15
10:00–11:30 AMMy Favorite Orchestra Reading Session, Dr. Rebecca MacLeod

Friday, October 13

7:00–8:45 PM

Setting up for Success, Dr. Brenda Brenner
Some of the most important factors that determine success in playing a stringed instrument involve the beginning “set up” stage, which includes establishing a proper playing position and developing free and open muscular motions. Teachers can ensure success for their students by establishing a series of procedures that break down the setup tasks to a sequence of exercises that allow their students to look and sound great!

Saturday, October 14

9:00–9:45 AM

Priorities in Conducting Student Ensembles, Dr. Jungho Kim
The primary role of a conductor leading a student ensemble is often thought to be “keeping it together.” This session will explain why it is important to shift the conductor’s focus from when to how and why. We will discuss what the conductor can do, or should not do, in order to encourage students to develop a more advanced sense of ensemble playing.

10:00 AM–12:00 PM

From Poof to Portato ¬ a sequence of bow strokes, Dr. Brenda Brenner
Bowing technique is a crucial foundational skill in string playing that creates good tone quality and forms the basis for musical style. In this session, methods of teaching fundamental bow strokes and bow choreography in group settings from beginning through intermediate levels will be explored. Literature utilizing the various strokes will be presented.

1:00–2:45 PM

Winning with Warmups, Dr. Brenda Brenner
An effective warm-up routine that integrates technical and musical elements as a preparation for playing repertoire is a key to successful teaching. Separation of both left and right hand difficulties prior to attempting them within the repertoire is essential. This clinic will examine how to design an effective routine and will present examples of warm-ups using standard repertoire from the string orchestra literature.

3:00–3:45 PM

Theory is Awesome, Dr. Brenda Brenner
Learning music theory concepts deepens students understanding of music. Knowledge of intervals, solfege, chord structure, and musical form strengthen the comprehension of musical style, allows students to contribute intelligently to the musical decision-making process, and perform with more understanding and awareness. Strategies for building practical theoretical skills in the beginning through advanced string classroom through games, musical activities, and improvisation will be presented in this clinic.

4:00–4:45 PM

Getting beyond “Good!” ¬ Effective Use of Language in the Classroom and Studio, Dr. Brenda Brenner
Have you ever said “good” to a student and then stopped to ask yourself if it was truly good? What was good, and how might it be made better? Effective teachers know what to say and when to say it. Their use of language is a key element in their success with students. This clinic will present the principles of the effective use of language in music teaching as examined through current research and practice. The use of positive and negative feedback, avoidance of approval errors, and the use of a non-judgmental approach will be investigated.

Sunday, October 15

10:00–11:30 AM

My Favorite Orchestra Reading Session, Dr. Rebecca MacLeod
This session has become a participant favorite! Participants will each bring one of their favorite orchestra pieces to teach their students. Bring your instrument to read through favorite orchestra literature for beginning, intermediate, and advanced string players.

After completing and submitting the online registration form, you will be redirected to to pay the registration fee online using a Visa or MasterCard. A copy of your registration will be emailed to the address provided.

Register Online for the String Teachers Conference