Technical and pedagogical overview of Paul Rolland's The teaching of action in string playing
La Vallee, Aaron Andrew
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This report provides a broad technical and pedagogical overview of Paul Rolland's teaching method, as found in The Teaching of Action in String Playing (1974), and accompanying film series of the same title. Through this report, the reader will come to understand important fundamental violin playing techniques, which may be applied at all levels of violin playing. Rolland's unique movement training exercises, called “Action Studies,” present material in a carefully organized sequence of objectives designed to optimize learning and performance in all facets of instruction (Action Studies are distinguished from other tasks by use of quotation and capitalization throughout the report). The Rolland method is pedagogically unique in that it emphasizes basic concepts and ideas and cultivates an acute awareness of the body's movements. While pedagogically innovative, Rolland's violin playing principles drew influence from many great string pedagogues of the past, including Dr. F.A. Steinhausen, Carl Flesch, and Shinichi Suzuki. Additionally, Rolland was greatly influenced by the work of British Speech Teacher Frederick Matthias Alexander, and kinesiology scientist Frances A. Hellebrandt, M.D. For the purpose of accurately expounding Rolland's topical thirty-two unit course of study, this report is organized in sections corresponding with the chapters of The Teaching of Action in String Playing.