String assessment. At the middle school, I spend the first 5 minutes of the string class reviewing skills such as D Major Pentatonic scale by having students echoing the short 4 beats pattern which I play on my instrument, or I do paradiddles for string crossing and/or use a regular scale or passage from a piece. Because I go around and have everyone play the pattern individually, it helps figure what each student can and cannot do.
I Use the “Jazz Fiddle Wizard” Book 1 by Martin Norgaard as a great way to start doing some improvising. It build confidence in student abilities to create their own patterns.
For High school, I have different students leading the group in warmups which goes from doing circle of fifths (so far we have only done from E Major to Ab Major) to different scale patterns. Each leading student chooses their patterns and the class respond.
Recordings are also very effective… I just wished that we could use Smart Music as another tool to assess our students.
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