Episode 19: Teaching Beginning Strings with Efficiency


There is so much that goes into teaching beginning strings. From posture to bowing to safety, ensuring that your students understand your expectations and what is expected from them is so important. We know how valuable getting insight and tips from an experienced violinist and music educator can be for teachers who teach strings so today, we are chatting with Elizabeth Rohrs who is sharing some amazing information and advice for teaching beginning strings!

Teaching beginning strings is no easy feat. Elizabeth successfully teaches beginning strings to classes of 130+ students and has so many helpful and practical tips. In today’s episode, she is sharing her background as a violinist and educator, what the general scope and sequence is for her beginning string students, how she structures her classes, how she teaches posture, and how she teaches bow hold. This episode is packed with practical information that we know will be so helpful as you teach beginning strings!

Elizabeth Rohrs holds a Bachelors in Music and a teaching credential from Cal State Fullerton, where she received the Yamaha scholarship in music, and the Orange County Young Artist award, and was just awarded “Outstanding Elementary Educator” by the Southern California Band and Orchestra Association. She has over 20 years of experience as a music educator, performer, and recording artist. Elizabeth also performs as a professional violinist, and teaches privately.

 Elizabeth has served as string coach to many orchestras including the Southern California Band and Orchestra Association Honor Groups, Orange County Youth Symphony, and many junior high and high schools groups across Orange County. She has led multiple ensembles to superior festival ratings. Elizabeth worked full time as a high school director and junior high music director in Los Angeles, where she brought music education to many schools without a performing program, and helped start an after school arts program.

Currently, Elizabeth is an  Elementary String Specialist in the Irvine Unified School District, teaching over 500 students across 10 orchestras at Stone Creek Elementary, Stonegate Elementary, and Cadence Park School.  When not teaching or performing, Elizabeth likes to read, garden, and spend time with her two children, John and Katherine

Looking to reduce the amount of orchestra rehearsal interruptions? The Strings Cheat Sheet Bundle includes fingering charts for first position, notation guides, rhythm guides, and more. This bundle helps save time and build student independence by providing students with the resources needed to answer their questions before they have to ask you! Let’s maximize your rehearsal time with the Strings Cheat Sheet Bundle!

In this episode we cover:

  • Elizabeth’s background as a violinist and music educator
  • A general overview of the scope and sequence Elizabeth uses for beginning strings
  • How she structures her classes to ensure she is making the most out of class time
  • A look at Elizabeth’s routines and procedures that help her to run her classes with efficiency
  • How she first teaches posture
  • How Elizabeth teaches bow hold
  • What she does specifically for cello players to ensure they are successful
  • Elizabeth’s tips for teaching strings

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More about The First Six Notes with Classroom Composers

The First Six Notes Podcast with Classroom Composers is for band teachers and string teachers looking for great information from experienced teachers. 

Every other week, we’ll dive into everything about teaching band and string music students. We’re covering everything from pedagogy to fundraising and interviewing successful music teachers, composers, admin, professional private studio teachers, and more to uncover and share their strategies for musical success. 

Classroom Composers is a married team of two music teachers, Kevin Hoff and Jessica Frank. Between the two of us, we have experience teaching K-6 general music, elementary 4/5 band/strings, and middle school band/strings/guitar who want to share our knowledge and experience with other teachers.

Grab a chair and stand and join the conversation!