Bowing Exercises

Bowing Exercises

Debra Reilly
[email protected]
Northampton Area School District

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:







Computer music notation program (Finale, Sibelius, Encore, etc).


30 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

String students must have proper bow hold and an understanding of bowing terminology.

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standards of 1994: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

NAfME 2014: Performing 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Reading and notating music. 

NAfME 2014: Creating 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Evaluating music and music performances.

NAfME 2014: Responding 


Notation software (Finale, Sibelius, Encore, etc.) to create an arrangement of a simple song and the ability to play it back.


The lesson will target 3 different bow strokes legato, staccato, and slurring.
The student will listen to the song and then play back the song on their instrument using a legato bow stroke (detache).
The student will then input staccato markings using the articulation tool. The students will play back the song to hear the difference between legato and staccato. The students will then be asked to perform this melody on their instrument using a staccato bow stroke (martele).
The students will be asked to insert slurs in the arrangement using the expression tool. When playing back the slurred song set your playback setting to slow strings GM patch #50. If your synthesizer does not have this compatibility, you will need to demonstrate the sound of a slurred bow stroke. The students will then be asked to perform this melody using a slurred bow stroke.


The teacher must create a simple song or melody in the appropriate range for the elementary string student.


The lesson is successful if students have a clear understanding of the three different bow strokes targeted in this lesson. Mastering these bow strokes will take time and this lesson should be repeated often using a different melody or song and varying the bow strokes throughout.

Follow Up:

Using the same song, students could be asked to add dynamic markings, expressions, tempo marking, etc.

Items to Purchase:

none – use Finale Notepad

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