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String Educators Workshop

Key Information

June 22 - 24, 2017

Application Deadline: June 1, 2017


hopkinsMichael Hopkins, is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Music Education at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. He teaches undergraduate courses in string techniques, orchestra methods, and music technology, and graduate courses in psychology of music and research methods. He was conductor of the UVM Orchestra from 1999-2010, is the founding director of the Burlington Chamber Orchestra, and has been a guest conductor at orchestra festivals throughout the United States. He is very active as a composer and arranger, with more than 50 published works for orchestra. He is the author of the online String Pedagogy Notebook, has published articles in the Journal of Research in Music Education, String Research Journal, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Journal of Music, Technology and Education, American String Teacher, Music Educators' Journal and The Instrumentalist.  He has given many presentations at national and state conferences on various topics in string education and music technology.

Kirk Moss

Martin Norgaard, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Music Education at Georgia State University in Atlanta where he is collaborating with faculty in mathematics, computer science, linguistics, and physics to investigate the cognitive processes underlying improvisation. He received the Dean’s Early Career Award in recognition of “outstanding work” as a faculty member of Georgia State University and was just appointed associate faculty of the Neuroscience Institute. In 2013 he presented his research in Toronto and Vienna, Austria and organized a symposium at GSU entitled The Improvising Brain. Papers from the symposium were featured in a special issue of Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain for which Dr. Norgaard served as guest editor and a follow-up symposium, The Improvising Brain II – Multiple Perspectives, took place March 2015. His research appears in the Journal of Research in Music Education, The International Journal of Music Education (article in press), and the interdisciplinary journal Music Perception.

Rebecca HunterRebecca Hunter is an active educator and performer new to the Ann Arbor MI area. She served as Assistant Professor of Applied Violin and Violin Pedagogy at the University of South Carolina (2010-2015), and was the founding director of the Suzuki Strings at USC program. She has taught at various music camps, festivals, Suzuki workshops and institutes, adjudicated festivals and competitions, and led master classes across the U.S. and abroad. She has given presentations at regional and national conferences, and in Saint Lucia and Thailand. As a performer, Rebecca has been a soloist with orchestras including the Chiang Mai Symphony and the Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Orchestra, and a section player with various orchestras including the Hallé Symphony and the Eugene Symphony. She presently plays with the Flint Symphony Orchestra and Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra. Rebecca received her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in French from the University of Western Ontario, a Masters of Music in Violin Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, a Masters of Music in Suzuki Pedagogy at Ithaca College with Sandy Reuning, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Oregon with a secondary area of Musicology. Rebecca has recently become a licensed Andover Educator, a somatic education which aims to train musicians to move according to their structure promoting facility and preventing injury and limitations.

HassoaherMaggie Hasspacher is a bassist/vocalist based in the Detroit area and is currently pursuing a DMA at the U-Michigan with Diana Gannett. She performs frequently with the modern music collective Wild Up in Los Angeles and serves as music director at Immanuel Methodist Church in Eastpointe, MI. She won awards to study classical bass in Vienna in 2012 and recently recorded solo singer/songwriter album We Shall Overcome. She sang on soundtracks for the History Channel and PBS, gave solo performances live on the radio for KPCC Los Angeles and WLRN Miami and has been guest artist twice at the O, Miami Poetry Festival. She currently subs with Flint Symphony Orchestra and will perform at the Lucerne Festival this summer in Switzerland.


The University of Michigan String Educators’ Workshop, led by Dr. Michael Hopkins, is designed to meet the needs of the variety of educators who are responsible for teaching strings.

The workshop contains two tracks. Participants are welcome to take classes in one track, or switch between tracks throughout the day.

The No Previous Experience (NPE) Track is for those with a band or choral background and others with little background in strings that find themselves assigned to teach orchestra. Instruments are provided, and we will start from the very beginning in an open, friendly, non-intimidating environment. The classes in the NPE track are all designed so participants learn to effectively teach beginning and intermediate string classes.

NPE Topics:

  • Learn to hold the bow and produce a beautiful tone
  • Learn to execute and teach different articulations and bow strokes
  • Learn to teach all left-hand positions, create good finger placement
  • Learn about special considerations for double bass - the differences and similarities with the other strings.
  • The ASTA National String Curriculum – learn how to use this resource to structure your school orchestra curriculum and inform your teaching practice.
  • Get recommendations from our experienced faculty about tried and true materials to use with your string program, including method books, supplementary classroom materials, chamber music and orchestral repertoire.
  • Learn how to create fingerings, understand fingerboard positions and teach students to play with vibrato

Experienced Track is for string principals and experienced orchestra teachers who want to continue to develop their secondary instrument, rehearsal and conducting skills, and expand their knowledge of string repertoire and pedagogy. Please bring your principal instrument. Secondary instruments are provided.

Experienced Track Topics:

  • Intermediate and advanced secondary instrument study on violin, viola, cello and double bass
  • Rehearsal Lab - Learn strategies for rehearsing orchestras to improve tone quality, intonation, rhythm, and expression. Learn how to take your orchestra from good to great and deliver high-quality artistic performances!
  • Reading sessions and conducting lab - A diverse body of repertoire will be explored to provide you with plenty of ideas for programming success. We will read new and recently released pieces for orchestra, as well as tried and true pieces of great repertoire from the past. Bring your own piece to share with participants and conduct. Participants who conduct will receive feedback and a video for self-assessment.

Special Topics Sessions (available to participants in both tracks)

  • Program Development – Learn about recruitment, retention, motivating students, and working with community partners.
  • Eclectic styles – develop your improvisation skills, learn folk, jazz and rock styles of string playing, and learn how to start an eclectic styles ensemble in your school program. Learn how to infuse your orchestra curriculum with composition activities.
  • Presentation by SHAR products on selecting instruments, bows, strings, accessories, rental programs, step-up instruments, and electric instruments.


2016 Schedule

Application Procedure

Application deadline: June 1, 2017

All applicants must submit an online application and complete the $30 non-refundable application fee.



No audition required.

Professional Development/Academic Credit

The String Educator's Workshop may be taken as part of the Master of Music in Music Education degree program, for Summer graduate credit (NCFD) or for professional development without college credit.  (Course Code: MUSED 504.201)

Apply to the Master of Music in Music Education Summer degree program

Questions regarding how to receive academic credit? Contact the School of Music, Theatre & Dance Admissions Office at 734-764-0593 or email at

Tuition / Fees

  • Non-refundable Application Fee - $30
  • Workshop fee:
    • $325 (Early Bird/register by May 1, 2017)
    • $375 (May 1 - June 1, 2017)
  • A non-refundable deposit of $100 is due by May 1, 2017. Tuition is due in full by June 1, 2017.
  • No refunds for cancellations after June 1, 2017

Admission Notification

All applicants are accepted upon completion of an online application and $30 non-refundable application fee.



Phone: (734) 936-2660


Please contact our office if you are interested in becoming a 2017 corporate sponsor or exhibiting at this event.


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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower