The Stringtastic Series returns with Book 1, following straight on from Beginners. This fully integrated series by Mark Wilson and Paul Wood will develop your students’ learning from playing the notes of the D major scale all the way through to Grade 1 (Early Elementary). Book 1 is for Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass, complete with the Teacher’s Accompaniment providing the full piano score. Containing 57 imaginative pieces, all instruments can learn and play together in any combination through an engaging exploration of musical styles. Specifically designed to establish a secure playing technique and build confidence one step at a time, the books also include equal-level duets for all instruments. The pieces are ideal for both individual and group tuition as well as flexible ensemble and classroom settings.

Do you find yourself stuck when it comes to group strings? How do you manage and accommodate for differing abilities in ensemble classes?

Mark and Paul solve these common issues and more in their Stringtastic books. The layout of each book is identical, allowing for students to work together in a whole class setting or a beginner string orchestra. Whilst there are books with great tunes and books with rigorous structure, the combination of both is incredibly difficult to find. That’s why Mark and Paul wanted to write a book that combined the two, and where all bowed string instruments could learn together as well as individually.

Adapt the series to fit your needs – no violas or double basses? Absolutely not a problem, the books still work! Each piece can be played with or without accompaniment, too. This makes the series incredibly accessible and flexible, catering for varying student needs and multiple teaching situations, in turn helping to ease the stress of group lessons and learning. Every piece is supported by an exciting backing track plus a piano-only track for practice, all available to download. The Stringtastic Book 1: Teacher’s Accompaniment book provides the complete piano score which works with any combination of the instrumental parts.

Duets are also included in this set of books, which can even be expanded into larger pieces. Lots of people have been curious to know why we’ve included lyrics in music for strings, too. Well, lyrics help students to learn new rhythms in a different way and also develop a strong sense of pitch. We find they inspire creativity too – encourage your students to write their own lyrics!

Dotty and Spot (realised by Sarah-Leigh Wills) accompany students on their learning journey, and the lyrics of the pieces are written from the point of view of these characters. As well as bringing the music to life through imaginative stories, the lyrics contain technical advice to help students progress in a fun and engaging way.

Visit stringtastic.co.uk and the Stringtastic Facebook page to learn more!

About the Authors

Mark Wilson is a professional violinist and experienced teacher and composer. Mark has performed all over the world, leading orchestras and chamber ensembles, as well as giving concerto performances. He has provided masterclasses and composers’ workshops at the London College of Music, Junior Trinity and Junior Guildhall. Mark teaches upper strings at Glenalmond College, Dollar Academy and The Prince’s Trust, in Scotland.

Paul Wood is a Music Education Consultant and has worked for Trinity College London, the Scottish Brass Band Association and the Music Education Partnership Group. He has a wealth of teaching and educational management experience, including Director of Music at the Lae International School and Head of Strings for Wakefield Music Service in England. While Managing the East Ayrshire Music Service, Paul was also the Chair of the Heads of Instrumental Teaching, working closely with the Scottish Government in developing instrumental music-making in Scotland.

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