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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 HunterMolly Baugh is a doctoral student in music education at the University of Michigan. Prior to beginning her studies at UM, she taught orchestras at the elementary, middle, and high school levels for 13 years in Oklahoma and Texas. During her tenure in Oklahoma, she also taught AP Music Theory, mentored student teachers, and conducted the Oklahoma Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. Ms. Baugh holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from University of Oklahoma and is a National Board Certified Teacher. She has served as the Oklahoma All-State Orchestra Chair and the Oklahoma Music Education Association Orchestra Vice-President. She is an active clinician and has presented at the annual conferences of the National Association for Music Education, the Michigan American String Teachers Association, Oklahoma Music Educators Association, and the Texas Music Educators Association.

HassoaherAbigail Alwin (BMA’92, MMed ’08 University of Michigan) has a rich career as an educator and performer. Ms. Alwin is recipient of the Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award which recognizes music teachers across the United States for their leadership, innovation and pedagogy. As Director of Orchestras at Clague Middle School in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, Ms Alwin’s orchestras have been honored to perform at the Michigan Music Conference in 2013, and the 10 th Anniversary Opening Collage Concert. Her young orchestras have consistently earned division I ratings at District and State Orchestra Festival, and have received the highest praise for their precision, energy and musicianship. She is proud to be part of a team of educators in the Ann Arbor Public Schools who have been recognized by the Grammy Foundation as well as the NAMM Foundation’s “Best Communities for Music Education.”

Ms. Alwin enjoys teaching as a guest clinician and has presented at the Michigan Music Conference on topic ranging from teacher wellness, string pedagogy, and composing with young musicians. Abby is deeply committed to helping all children have equal access to music education, through her work with the AAPS Comprehensive Outreach Music Program and the Meru Music Project in Meru, Kenya. Her classroom is utilized to collaborate for teacher training at the University of Michigan, and she enjoys mentoring student teachers. She has directed orchestras at the MASTA Strings Camps and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and as part of a team of educators, represented the AAPS at the Forum 21 Symposium 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden. As a cellist, Ms. Alwin collaborates with local composers focusing on improvisatory and contemporary idioms as well as the folk traditions of the Balkans. In addition, Ms. Alwin is the Assistant Conductor of the Dexter( MI ) Community Orchestra.


HassoaherMegan McDevitt is currently a performer and teacher in the Ann Arbor area, and recently completed her DMA in bass performance under Dr. Diana Gannett at the University of Michigan. Born and raised in San Francisco, bassist Megan McDevitt has worked extensively as an orchestral musician, having performed regularly with the bass sections of the Stockton Symphony as well as those of Oakland, Berkeley, Silicon Valley, Marin, Santa Rosa, Ann Arbor, Lansing Symphonies, among others. Megan studied with Barry Green with whom she worked at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she received her Bachelor of Music with Honors, and continued on to her Master of Music with Scott Pingel at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Other influences include Christopher Hanulik and Eugene Levinson, with whom Megan studied at the Aspen Music Festival. For many years, Megan has performed in the Mendocino Music Festival Orchestra, and since 2012 has spent summers as a faculty member at Golden Gate Bass Camp in San Francisco.


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.


2017 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.


group class

cello students

instructors and students


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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower