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String Gym (Stephen Chin) for String Orchestra

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A Collection of Fifty Etudes and Pieces for the Beginning String Orchestra

Grade : 0.5 – 1.0 (largely Primary B with some pieces suitable for Primary A)

Instrumentation : Vln1, Vln2, Vln 3/Vla, Vlc, Bass, Piano Accompaniment & Advanced Vln, Vla, Vlc A CD of the piano accompaniment of all 50 etudes and pieces is included.

38 Etudes and 12 Pieces as follows:

1. Breathing at the Seaside, 2. Breathing in the Alps, 3. Criss-Cross Drag Bikes, 4. Flying Fox Fun, 5. Open String Tango, 6. Carillon, 7. Première Valse, 8. Tai Chi, 9. Tricky Monkeys, 10. Fire Eater, 11. Tristesse, 12. Beach Buggy Boogie

String Gym has been developed to introduce the beginning string orchestra to a wide range of skills which form a strong foundation for successful ensemble playing at all levels. The collection comprises 50 pieces - 38 Etudes and 12 pieces. It is the result of many years of teaching all the string instruments and directing string ensembles at all levels. All of the etudes have been carefully sequenced and are tabled in a page that can be easily referred to by the conductor. The 12 pieces that follow use many of the skills that have been developed in the Etudes. Some of the features of String Gym are listed below:

• The first 15 Etudes and the first 5 Pieces use either open strings or harmonics

• All the Etudes and the Pieces 1-5 and 12 have teacher's or advanced students accompanying parts which can be played on either piano, violin, viola, cello or double bass. • The accompaniments are attractively written in a range of styles with the view to make a strong musical impression on younger players. The bowing of accompanying string parts are often matched to the tutti parts.

• All of the Etudes and Pieces may be presented in a concert situation in any order. Some may also be played straight after

• Minor keys feature to give students a different aural experience from the outset.

• Some salient features of the Etudes are: (i) the reading of notes and rests. (ii) familiarisation of all the open strings and associated harmonics. (iii) use of both 4/4 and 3/4. (iv) Octave tuning to establish the left-hand frame. (v) Tuning exercises devised so that half the orchestra takes turns in playing open string whilst the other half tune. (vi) bowing skills including sustained strokes, slurs, hook stroke, retakes, bowing divisions, staccato and spiccato.

Level 1 Curriculum IM Strings - DET EQ. 

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