Clinics & Handouts

Clinic Topics for 2014–2015

The focus is strings, but many clinic topics apply to orchestra, band, and choir directors. Topics can also be customized for your situation. Contact Pam for more details.

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Music Reading Made Easy for Strings

Strategies and techniques to lead students from rote to note and an introduction to teaching sight-reading will be presented.

Getting Your Strings Off To a Great Start

Learn ideas and tips for teaching technique, aural skills, musicianship, and reading to first year players from a master of large group instruction.

Putting It Together: Technique and Musicianship for Middle School Strings

Create musicians with these strategies for teaching technical skills and developing musicianship using exercises, repertoire, and aural skills games.

Putting It Together: Technique and Musicianship for High School Strings

Learn great ways to teach and refine skills at an advanced level balancing both right and left-hand development.

Strategies for Introducing and Developing Shifting

Teaching shifting, vibrato and scales has never been easier. Specific strategies are presented for teaching students to shift with ease throughout the range of the instrument from early instruction to advanced.

Keys to Developing a Great String Sound

Learn specific strategies to improve the sound of your orchestra tomorrow. This is also a great session for band and choir teachers teaching orchestra.

Fiddling: a Tool to Motivate and Teach Technique and Creativity

Fiddle music is a great way to create excitement as well as develop right and left-hand technique. Strategies for creative music making will also be taught.

Rock Your Orchestra with Music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Learn ways you can use the music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra to motivate and excite your students. Bob will work with a demonstration group on how to put together strings with a rhythm section and even incorporate electric violin.

The Music of Bob Phillips

Come to a reading session featuring the music of one of today’s leading educational composers. All levels will be performed and the composer will outline teaching points for each piece.

What Every Band/Choir Teacher Needs to Know About Teaching Strings

So you are now teaching strings? No problem! Wind players and vocalists make great string educators. Learn concepts that will help you teach strings effectively tomorrow.

Successful Recruiting and Retention by Design

Unlock the secrets of success for recruiting and motivating students that result in high retention rates and large programs. Who, what, why, where, when and how for all levels. Applicable to band, orchestra and choir.

The Basses Rock – Secrets for Creating a Great Bass Section

What makes the basses different? The secrets of the bass unveiled for orchestra teachers. How to feed and care for your bass section in a way that develops technical skills equal to the upper strings

Copyright: What Can I Really Do?


A basic and practical introduction to copyright for educators, including copying music, copyrighting your own work and what are the urban legends vs. what is the law. Not intended as legal advice!

Showcase (A Product Specific Presentation)

Are You Using the Method that Revolutionized Teaching? Unleash the Power of Sound Innovations

Participants receive a free grade 1 band or string piece only available at these clinics! Alfred’s revolutionary new method for band and strings creates choices that teachers have always dreamed about. Learn how to customize your method book, CD and SmartMusic. Come and see why band and strings teachers everywhere are talking about this method. Books 1, 2 and 3 for band and strings are available as well as book 4 for strings.

Other (These topics require discussion prior to booking.)

Staying on Fire without Burning Out

The highs and lows that make up a successful career in teaching: Create balance in your life. Avoid the pitfalls of burnout. Know the signs of burnout. And best of all, the solutions to burn out!

School Politics Made Easy

Learn the ins and outs of successfully navigating school and community politics at all levels.

Improvisation made easy

Improvisation can be taught at any levels using all styles of music. Come learn basic techniques for getting your students to explore musical creativity.

Taking Your Group To a Higher Level or Festival Rating.

How do we get to the next level? Let’s empower the students. Specific concepts to use in preparing groups for festivals and or high-level performances will be demonstrated using a local ensemble where available.

A Great Music Program and a Great Life – How Do I Do It?

Let’s set the vision for our kids and our community! The goal – outstanding musical achievement! As leaders, how do we set those goals, paint the picture, lead the way and still have a life? Goal setting and time management for those who love music but still need to take time to eat and sleep.

Top Ten Tips for Teaching Strings at All Levels

Greatest hits of string teaching including pedagogy, classroom management, group process and delivery skills. Practical solutions to real world challenges.

Music Selection – The Most Important Thing You Do.

How to choose music that supports your curriculum, builds technique, creates expressive players and builds retention in all sections. Applies to band, orchestra and choir.

Eclectic Strings: Its easy, fun, and effective.

Using fiddling, rock, jazz, mariachi and more to energize and motivate your string students is not difficult. Strategies for implementing these cool genres right away to build excitement will be presented.

Total Tone Transformation: Creating a Beautiful Sounding Orchestra

Learn the concepts of creating an artistic sounding string or full orchestra in the middle or high school. Specific language and techniques will be presented that empower teachers to talk to their orchestra about sound. This clinic will be perfect for string teachers and a must-see for band directors working with strings.

To Bow or To Blow: String Teaching for the Non-String Player

So you are now teaching strings0 no problem! Wind players and vocalists make great string educators. Learn the basic technical issues that will help you to be a successful string teacher.

I Love BOC (Band, Orchestra, Choir)

Secrets of success for recruiting and motivating students that result in high retention rates and large programs. Who, what, why, where, when and how for all levels. Examples drawn from the string classroom but applicable to band and choir!

Public Relations and Advocacy by Design

If we don’t do it, who will? But first – How do we develop support with administrators, parents, students, business and the community at large? How do administrators and school boards think? What does your community know about your program? Questions, questions! Let’s talk about the answers! Showcase the success of your students and ensembles and have fun doing it!

Teaching Technique through Repertoire

How to extrapolate the techniques you need to teach from the repertoire you have chosen and how to choose the repertoire to support the technique you want to build.

So How Do I Teach a Large Heterogeneous String Class?

Does large group instruction really work? Yes, more really is better! Build excitement and skills for more kids and become an economic asset to your district – tips and techniques from 28 years in a highly successful large heterogeneous classroom!

The 3 Bs: Beautiful Bow Arms for Beginners

Techniques to introduce advanced right arm skills in the large heterogeneous string class. Set the right tone from the start!

Telling Is not Teaching: Non-verbal Instruction

Play rather than talk! Improve the impact of your delivery with specific techniques and modes of instruction. Learn to use non-verbal modes of teaching and musical cues in your classroom that build success for your orchestra or band.

Beyond the Baton: Rehearsing the High School Orchestra

Set the stage to strive for excellence, refine technique and maintain enrollment in your high school orchestra with these exciting strategies and rehearsal techniques.

Sight-reading: Are you a Scout or a Jedi?

Are your students prepared or do they use the Force? Specific strategies to develop sight-reading skills with individuals and large group ensembles as well as improve note reading. How to use your time in the sight-reading room for maximum effect. Emphasis on strings but applicable to band and choir.

Composing and Arranging for the School Orchestra

From one of American’s leading educational composers, learn how to blend and balance the musical elements needed to create successful orchestra compositions. An introduction to the world of educational publishing.