Reply To: Out of tune players

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I filled in for a well-developed fourth and fifth grade strings program yesterday. In their small groups, I had the children finger the notes of the scale while singing the letters, then play. This worked very nicely. My problem was having enough time to tune the cellos for the full-grade rehearsal. I could not ask all the children to be silent for the 10-15 minutes it took to tune all the instruments. I managed to get the violas and violins in reasonable tune, but the cello pegs kept slipping, and forget about the bass! This made for a lopsided rehearsal, where the upper strings sounded relatively good, but the lower strings were just awful. I told the children that the intonation issue was my fault, since I couldn’t spend enough time on tuning. How do strings teachers have time for tuning these low instruments? There were more than 30 children present.