Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)



First Advisor

Barbara Lewis


Experts advise string teachers to identify and model successful string teachers and programs. However, there is a scarcity of literature that examines this subject. There is literature that examines exemplary band teachers and programs, and these works can be useful to the string teaching profession. However, string teachers ·can benefit more from literature that specifically examines exemplary string orchestra programs and teachers. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to gather information from a renowned public school string teacher about the components of his successful string orchestra program.

The researcher conducted a personal interview with James Hainlen, retired director and chair of the Stillwater, Minnesota Public School's orchestra program. The researcher questioned Hainlen on components of the Stillwater string program. Hainlen' s comments from the interview are presented in chapter five of this paper. Many components of Hainlen' s string program were like those discussed in existing literature pertaining to teaching band and orchestra. The researcher attributed the success of Hainlen' s string program to a combination of his school politicking skills, a well-planned curriculum, a high standard for musical performance, accurate and thorough record keeping, special events planned for students, and the personal connections he made with students at all levels of the string program. These topics seem to be somewhat overlooked in the existing literature about string teaching.

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