June 19-24 – Charlottesville, Virginia July 24-29 – Savannah, Georgia July 31-August 5 – Edmonton, Canada Experience the pedagogy of Dr. George Bornoff in an intense program designed for teachers, college students, and high school students who are considering string teaching as a career. Participants play violin, viola, cello and bass while studying Bornoff’s materials and […]
The Foundation for the Advancement of String Education (FASE, Inc.) was established by Dr. George Bornoff in 1978 to promote and develop string teachers through training, grants, and publication of Dr. Bornoff’s unique string classroom approach. After his death in 1998, FASE turned its focus to the grant and scholarship initiatives with the hopes and dreams of inspiring students and teachers to strive for excellence, and to provide educational and financial support to help them reach their goals.
In addition to the George Bornoff Memorial Scholarship, FASE has distributed an average of over $60,000 each year to string programs and educators across the country! Grants have been awarded to a diversity of string-related programs, including Merit School of Music (Chicago, IL), Meadowmount School of Music, Boston Conservatory, National Center of Afro-American Arts/Boston City-Wide String Orchestra, South Florida Youth Symphony (Miami), Music Makers (Madison, WI), and the Montana and Massachusetts ASTA state chapters.
FASE continues Bornoff's mission with the ASTA (National American String Teachers Association) Dr. George Bornoff Memorial Endowment, which provides partial scholarships to promising young string teachers to attend the ASTA national conference. Individual string teachers are encouraged to apply for professional development grants, awarded yearly with preference given to those studying classroom pedagogy.
A Quick Glance About Bornoff
The Bornoff Approach to string education is…
- based on Gestalt psychology
- uses exercises in cycle form for teaching beginning through advanced techniques
- moves from the large motion to the refinement of small detail
- was designed specifically for class instruction (but works well for private instruction too)
- is about process
- understands that the process is in a constant state of change and adaptation
- is about connections – between the student and the music, the music and the technique, the student and the teacher, and the student within the ensemble
- uses creative review, constants and variables, and meaningful repetition (often called spiraling in Twenty-First Century educational terms)
- focuses on solo performance within a group setting
- uses a collection of bowing and tonal variations that enables the teacher to modify lessons to fit individual class needs and promotes flexibility in performance from the earliest stages of instruction
First formalized and published in the 1950s, Dr. Bornoff’s classroom approach still holds tremendous value for today’s string teacher. Believing that every child has not only the ability, but the right to learn a string instrument, Dr. Bornoff created a finely-tuned classroom approach which can develop conservatory-level proficiency without traditional private lessons.
Extensive discussion with great artists and teachers of his time – Fritz Kreisler, Mischa Elman, Jascha Heifetz, Gary Karr, Marvin Rabin, to name a few – left George Bornoff “determined that it is absolutely essential to teach students artistry in playing as well as technique – and the sooner the better!” His approach skillfully sequences and integrates bowing technique, fingering, positions, shifting, double stops, harmonics, vibrato and more, and through the use of meaningful repetition, nurtures emotional maturity, and creative and technical flexibility, firmly grounded with sonorous tone production and artistic phrasing. Over the course of this next year, FASE will be busy updating our current publications and introducing Bornoff-edited solo and string orchestra repertoire, which, until now, have been available only in manuscript form.