Course Content by Unit
Unit 1: Teaching strategies for string teachers: Working with children and young people
Pro-active teaching requires practical planning and preparation, and also an understanding of string teaching as it has developed historically and within practical contexts. All stringed instrument teachers need a range of strategies to ensure effective delivery that caters for the needs of all learners in whatever context the learning and teaching takes place. This unit enables teachers to be prepared for the diverse settings they may encounter in their teaching careers, giving them a grounding in teaching theory and exploring a range of methods and strategies that can be embedded into their own professional practice.
Students submit an extract of their written work and receive comments from their mentor before the final 3,500 essay is submitted at the completion of this unit.
Unit 2: Teaching effective technique for playing bowed stringed instruments
Building on the study undertaken for unit 1, students move on to know and understand the full range of technique associated with their bowed stringed instrument teaching specialism and have a working knowledge of technique for other bowed stringed instruments. Much of the work for this unit is undertaken at the summer school.
Students work towards presenting a short, live presentation focused on a specific aspect of playing technique and a video recording of the opening ten minutes of a first lesson, introducing a student to the instrument.
Unit 3: Learning to play bowed stringed instruments
For many professional teachers, it has been years since they experienced learning as a beginner, and being removed from the learner’s experience can be a disadvantage. Instrumental teachers are in a unique position, as opposed to a school class teacher, where they create an experience tailored to each learner. Teachers of bowed stringed instruments need to develop an awareness and understanding of how learners learn in order to enable both teacher and learner to collaborate effectively and enjoyably. This unit enables teachers to experience and reflect on the learning process, giving them a valuable tool to develop their professional practice.
In preparation for the final assessment, students analyse the content of a lesson and provide a brief written discussion of their findings. This leads on to a case study of their own (recorded) teaching. Students reflect in writing and specifically consider the impact on learning, contextualising and supporting with references to relevant teaching literature.
Unit 4: Developing effective curricula for string teaching
Stringed instrument teachers often become reliant on published schemes, tutors and methods which may play an important role in guiding both teacher and learner along a path of enquiry towards the acquisition of skills, knowledge and understanding. Through exploring the construction of curricula, teachers are empowered to make confident decisions about adapting published schemes of work or creating their own.
Students first critique the published schemes of work or tutor methods of others before constructing their own one year curriculum appropriate to a specific category of learner(s) (50%) which includes a scheme of work/short term plan and an example of a detailed lesson plan.