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String Teaching Simplified: Teaching Strings for the

Secondary String Player

From the basics of teaching strings to refining your pedagogical string knowledge, this 4-hour immersive session will provide non-string specialists with the information, tools, and resources needed to teach any string player. This informational and practical session will focus on the foundational principles of string playing and teaching. Instrument position, tone production, articulation, bowings, and fingerings will be presented. Participants will select a primary string instrument to learn during this hands-on workshop. The Midwest Clinic and American String Teachers Association have come together to sponsor this exciting opportunity.


This Pre-conference event will take place at McCormick Place West in Chicago, IL on Tuesday, December 19 from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM CT.  


Attendees will be able to add registration for this event at the end of their Midwest Clinic Conference Registration.  Due to limited seating, only Professional and College Student registrants are eligible to attend.  



Registration Fees:

  • Directors $100
  • College Students $50


Tentative Schedule


1:15 FUNDAMENTALS OF STRING INSTRUMENTS: Position, Posture, Bow Hold, Left-hand Frame 

2:00 PRINCIPLES OF TONE PRODUCTION: Point of Contact, Angle, Speed, and Weight

2:45 BREAK 

3:00 ARTICULATIONS: Sequencing and Musical Applications

3:45 BOWINGS: Basic Bowing Rules 

4:15 GUIDELINES FOR CHOOSING FINGERINGS: Understanding Finger Patterns and Positions





David F. Eccles is a native of Norfolk, Virginia. He currently serves as Orchestra Program and Upper School Orchestra Director at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia.  For over a decade, he was the Director of String Music Education and Orchestral Activities at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. He has held string education positions in Georgia, Virginia, and Florida. An active clinician, adjudicator, conductor, and cellist, Eccles has served as music director and principal conductor for numerous youth orchestras. He has also served as a guest conductor for many state, county, regional, and community orchestras.


Mr. Eccles has presented education sessions at several local, state, and international conferences, including The Midwest Conference, American String Teachers Association Conference, Georgia, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Florida Music Educators Conferences. Mr. Eccles is a clinician and consulting author for the Hal Leonard Corporation. Additionally, he is a featured string educator in the book, Rehearsing the High School Orchestra.


He holds advanced degrees in Music Education from Florida State University and University of Miami (Florida) and a Bachelor of Music and Media from Norfolk State University. His principal teachers include Elizabeth Eccles, Laurien Laufman, Ross Harbaugh, and Dr. Michael Allen.


David is a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Kappa Lambda, and the Georgia Chapter of American String Teachers Association. 


Heather Lofdahl is Assistant Professor of Music Education at The Ohio State University, where she directs the string education program. Prior to her appointment at Ohio State, she served as Music Director of the Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra, Program Coordinator for the Peck Alumni Leadership Program, and violin and viola teacher at The Music Academy of North Carolina. She has over a decade of experience teaching elementary through university orchestra students in Illinois, Georgia, and North Carolina.


Dr. Lofdahl is published in the String Research Journal and American String Teachers (AST) Journal. She is an active member of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) and the National Association for Music Education, and she serves on the ASTA Content Committee. Through these organizations as well as the Suzuki Association of the Americas and the International Society for Music Education, Dr. Lofdahl has presented research at the Symposium for Music Teacher Education, International Society for Music Education Conference (Glasgow, Scotland), American String Teachers Association National Conference, and various state conferences. Her research is focused on equity and access in music education, best practices of outstanding string teachers, and practice behaviors of string students.


Dr. Lofdahl holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music Education and Viola Performance from Augustana College, Master of Music degrees in Music Education and Viola Performance from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, and a PhD in Music Education from the University of North Carolina Greensboro.


Rebecca MacLeod is Professor of Music Education at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she directs the string education program and conducts the UNCG Sinfonia. She is the author of Teaching Strings in Today’s Classroom and co-author of The Contributions of Clifford K. Madsen to the Field of Music Education and Music Therapy: Love of Learning. She has also contributed chapters to Teaching Instrumental Music: Perspectives and Pedagogies for the 21st Century and Rehearsing the Middle School Orchestra, and is a contributing author for Teaching Music Through Performance in Orchestra, Volumes 3 and 4.


A passionate advocate for increasing access to string education to all students, Dr. MacLeod directs two community partnership programs that provide string instruction to underserved students: the Lillian Rauch Beginning Strings Program and the Peck Alumni Leadership Program. She continues to teach elementary string students in two Title I public schools. Dr. MacLeod is the recipient of the North Carolina Board of Governors Teaching Excellence Award; the UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance Outstanding Teaching Award; the UNCG Junior Research Excellence Award; and the American String Teacher Association National Researcher Award.


Prior to joining the UNCG faculty, Dr. MacLeod taught elementary, middle, and high school orchestra in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania and was orchestra director and chair of music activities in Beaver, Pennsylvania. Dr. MacLeod received her undergraduate degree from Duquesne University and her MME and PhD from Florida State University.

She currently serves as President for the American String Teachers Association


David Pope serves as an Associate Professor of Music Education and Chair of Professional Studies at Baldwin Wallace University’s Conservatory of Music. In addition, he is the senior conductor and camp director for the Baldwin Wallace University String Orchestra Camp and also serves as a string clinician for Alfred Music. Prior to Baldwin Wallace University, Dr. Pope taught middle and high orchestra in Tennessee, Florida, and Ohio. As an active adjudicator and clinician, he has conducted all-state orchestras, regional honor orchestras, and served as a guest clinician for orchestra programs, university summer camps, and university music education programs across the United States.


Dr. Pope recently served as a co-editor for volume 4 of Teaching Music Through Performance in Orchestra and as a co-author for Sound Orchestra. He currently serves as the chair for the American String Teachers Association’s national conference. Dr. Pope was named the 2022 Ohio ASTA Collegiate Educator of the Year and was previously recognized by the Yale Symposium for Music in Schools with the Distinguished Music Educator Award. Dr. Pope was also awarded the 2021 Presidential Service Award and the 2020 Emerging String Researcher Award from the American String Teachers Association. He is a current member of the American String Teachers Association, National Association for Music Education, and the Ohio Music Educators Association. 




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