Essential Elements for Strings Book 1 offers beginning students sound pedagogy and engaging music, all carefully paced to successfully start young players on their musical journey. EE features both familiar songs and specially designed exercises, created and arranged for the classroom in a unison-learning environment, as well as instrument-specific exercises to focus each student on the unique characteristics of their own instrument. EE provides both teachers and students with a wealth of materials to develop total musicianship, even at the beginning stages.

Here’s all you need to know about what Book One has to offer students:

Enhanced Starting System

  • Book 1 uses a note-to-note sequence with easy-to-read notation

  • At the start of the book, note names are written inside the note heads, and gradually eliminated throughout

  • Contemporary pedagogy starts from the top of the hand

    • For violins and violas: three fingers down

    • For cellos: four fingers down

    • Technique creates better left-hand shape, while helping develop proper playing position from the beginning

Optimum Reinforced Learning

  • New material is carefully paced, sequential and immediately reinforced

  • New notes are approached by step, then gradually played with wider skips and crossing strings

  • Each new rhythm is introduced as a Rhythm Rap, which can be shadow bowed, then played on an open string, and finally placed in an appropriate melodic setting

  • The right hand is thoroughly and sequentially developed through a series of seven Bow Builders

    • Each Bow Builder defines a specific action required to produce an acceptable bow hand


  • Only one new concept is introduced at a time, encouraging student mastery without excessive repetition

  • You can move from line to line quickly within each class, as students master:

    • Quarter notes

    • Eighth notes

    • Half notes

    • Dotted-half notes

    • Whole notes

  • New concepts are presented in familiar keys and rhythms

    • These skills are integrated in shaded sections called Skill Builders to combine rhythms, pitches and bowings into comprehensive exercises to develop solid technique

Theory, History, Cross-Curriculum and Creativity

  • Important theory concepts explained with musical follow-up immediately after

  • It's all right in each student book, correlated with the music and concepts they are currently learning

  • Each EE book strives to meet the National Standards, integrate other subjects into the music curriculum, and still teach the essentials of music performance

Performance Spotlights

  • A variety of rounds, duets and orchestra arrangements (11) are included

    • These can be used independently throughout the year, or combined for a pre-planned concert