Reply To: Tuning?

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Linda has many great points. 🙂

I also consider the teaching of tuning an investment. It will take more of your time at the beginning, but it will help save time later, once students start becoming comfortable tuning their own instruments. Students will also train their ears, build self-confidence and begin to become independent musicians.

I teach tuning as early as possible because I feel it is important for students begin to explore from the beginning of their study (without touching the pegs of course!). One area I focus on is helping students internalize the pitch. This really helps them focus on what they are listening for. Have a tuner sustain the A, then sing the A to your students in four quarter notes at a moderato tempo. Have students sing the A back to you. Then have them sing, followed by the plucking of their strings and making adjustments. I like to start small, with just the A string and fine tuners. I allow students to fix their mistakes and try not to give away the “correct” answer. This takes a lot of patience, but again, is worth it in the long run.

Dr. Michael Hopkins from the University of Michigan has a wonderful article on the stages of tuning in the classroom. The article can be found here.

Best of luck!