Workshops - Tracy Silverman


OK city workshop crop

I’m on the faculty at Belmont University in Nashville, TN where I teach jazz and rock violin. There are not many opportunities for string players to get instruction in non-classical styles, so it’s a very important part of my work to share my years of experience with youth orchestras and string programs in schools around the world, ranging from elementary through post-graduate level studies. Although my approach is a bit different for each age group, there are many fundamentals that are common to all workshops:

  • Improvising – cultivating our natural curiosity and playfulness; making it fun, forgetting our inhibitions
  • Awakening our innate sense of Rhythm – essential to any groove-based style, such as rock, jazz, hip hop, etc. Strum Bowing is a method that I’ve developed to teach string players how to groove
  • Listening to each other – an awareness of the greater whole, responding to the music being made around you


Workshop Topics


  • Lecture/Demonstration – selections from my solo program; explanations about equipment; questions from the audience.
  • Improvisation for Strings – an overview of the blues; call and response; simple scales and approaches for first-time improvisers.
  • Strum Bowing – physicalizing the subdivision of the beat based on the way guitar players strum, this simple and effective approach includes the “chop”.

“I’m trying to raise curiosity among anyone whose curiosity can be raised.” –Joel Sachs.

Download: Workshops for String Teachers