School of Music


Doctor of Music Education (DME)


Mindy Damon


commercial, violin, fiddle, strings, pedagogy, curriculum


Educational Methods | Music


Despite the stylistically diverse professional music opportunities available to twenty-first century violinists, modern collegiate violin students are most often exclusively trained through traditional classical pedagogy. Conversely, violinists who perform commercial music often do not experience formal classical training, which provides functional foundational skills required of the professional violinist. There has yet to be a collegiate violin curriculum developed that incorporates elements of both classical and commercial music, allowing for diverse musical opportunities through structured and sequential pedagogy. This qualitative research study identifies, examines, and compares current classical and commercial collegiate violin methodologies simultaneously as a framework for the development of a new hybrid twenty-first century collegiate violin curriculum. It identifies ways that the commercial violinist might be underprepared for commercial viability when training exclusively with a traditional curriculum, and it defines areas in which the structure of classical violin pedagogy can impact the learning of commercial violin styles. The scope and sequence of traditional classical violin pedagogy, when paired with structured commercial violin studies grounded in stylistically diverse listening, provide viability to the twenty-first century violinist throughout the modern and diverse professional music landscape. This study encourages further research into the relationship between classical and commercial training throughout collegiate instrumental music education.