The effect of string instruction method books on left hand shape of beginning violinists and violists
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This thesis is designed to research left hand shape in beginning string players. It is the author’s hope that this will help provide insight to string teachers regarding specific advantages or disadvantages of two beginning string method books, in order to promote effectiveness in instruction. There has been much pedagogical speculation that starting a student with all fingers of the left hand placed on the instrument will help form better left hand shape initially, verses methods which add fingers one at a time or in a different sequence. In this case, students from two groups were examined- one group of students who have been learning from the Essential Elements 2000 Book for Strings, and another group of students who have been learning from Orchestra Expressions. These two method books each utilize their own strategy for left hand development. This research will help to provide both quantitative data to measure left hand shape, as well as qualitative data from students regarding their ability and ease of learning appropriate technique.