Bethany Nottage

March 29th, 2022 by AUSTA Conference

Bethany Nottage

Session 1.3: Using 3D Resources to Teach Beginner Strings

Session: Teaching beginner strings to young students within a small group presents challenges in establishing relaxed left and right hands. I have two life-size skeleton joint models of the human hand to show the 27 bones. When I teach the position of the left hand on the violin or viola, I move the model to show what happens to the fingers if the wrist is bent or touching the neck of the instrument. The teaching point is that the fingertips can not reach the strings, the notes will not be in tune and the fingers need to be up with bent fingertips on the string. The visual model clearly shows that the fingers start at the wrist. When I teach the right hand, I show how the fingers are relaxed over the bow, with low, flexible base knuckles, and I point out the importance of relaxing and bending the thumb and little finger.

Bethany Nottage is a musician and upper strings teacher at Westminster School in Adelaide, South Australia. Her love of music was fostered by her musical mother and she began formal violin lessons as a four year old with Alita Larsens. After completing a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education at Monash University, she returned to Adelaide to specialise in teaching upper strings.

Inspired by Colourstrings, ESTA Cremona 2019, and Paul Rolland String Pedagogy Conferences, Bethany is passionate about developing musicianship and ensemble skills with a focus on body awareness and posture establishment. An experienced classroom music teacher and director of Year 3 String Immersion Programs and ensembles in the independent education setting, Bethany teaches with an individualised approach, engaging and encouraging students of all abilities.

When she is not teaching or performing she can be found relaxing at a classical or pop music concert or by the beach with her husband Brooke as they watch their children Allegra and Sebastian competing in their sailing boats.

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