String Books & DVDs

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Find out what’s missing in your musical toolbox and bring your playing up to date. Modernize your capabilities to reflect the music and work opportunities of the 21st century. Classical pedagogy and contemporary skills are not mutually exclusive. The information and practice techniques presented in this book have been designed to enhance listening, playing, and ensemble expertise while serving to add dimension to traditional methods and repertoire. Creative musicianship, technology for strings, multi-style-ready contemporary techniques, as well as fluency with diverse musical structures from around the world are essential updates, whether you’re teaching school orchestra or are an amateur or professional player. Discover your own voice on your own instrument!

As always, Julie Lyonn Lieberman takes concepts that appear difficult and makes them accessible and understandable to the novice player or teacher. Her research and knowledge about American Roots music is stunning this book is a must have for anyone who wants to include contemporary string concepts in their classroom or studio.
–Dr. Stephen Benham, Associate Dean & Associate Professor of Music Education, Duquesne University; President, American String Teachers Association

I have studied with Julie for the past four years as an aspiring jazz violinist. Her approach to stringed instruments is unique and profound. Drawing on biology, kinesiology, neuroscience, as a well as a vast reservoir of experience and knowledge of world music, her teaching methods are beyond excellent. Every string teacher and student will benefit from her 21st century approach to mastering bowed string instruments.
–Douglas E. Noll, JD, MA, author, peacemaker, speaker, professor



Let’s keep our string programs vital, contemporary, and thriving! Alternative Strings: The New Curriculum is the first resource book in the world to offer a comprehensive guide to string educators wishing to step into twenty-first-century inclusive string pedagogy. The “Dear Abby” for string players, Julie Lyonn Lieberman, offers detailed descriptions of over two dozen fiddle, blues, jazz, pop, and world styles; bountiful support materials; a massive discography; musical examples; photographs; and audio from master players and clinicians, far exceeding the scope of other books in the field.

About the Audio CD
Some of today’s top alternative string players and clinicians demonstrate rock, jazz, and fiddle styles, present innovative ideas for teaching new generations of string players, and more:

1. Howard Armstrong: My first fiddle…
2. Geoffrey Fitzhugh Perry: Zydeco Rock
3. Daryl Silberman: Through Contemporary to Classical and Back
4. Ed Caner: Rock Basics
5. Anthony Barnett: Stuff Smith plays “Body and Soul”
6. Mark Wood: Evolution, Rock, and Musicianship
7. Jesus Florido: Latin and Beyond
8. Randy Sabien: Jazz Strings: A Life Inspiration
9. Leanne Darling: Arabic Strings
10. Bob Phillips: Fiddling in the Schools
11. Julianna Waller: Developing Diversity
12. Martin Norgaard: Jazz String Pedagogy
13. Richard Greene: Moving Forward
14. Martha Mooke: Breaking the Sound Barrier
15. Claude Williams: Reminiscences
16. Julie Lyonn Lieberman: “Fiddle, Sing,” excerpt from Mixing America

American Music Teacher’s October/November 2004 issue
Ambitious…. There is an impressive amount of information in this well-organized book…. An attached CD recording contains more verbal wisdom from prominent alternative performers. [It] is a valuable resource and a ‘springboard’ for teachers who want to pursue this new trend in string education. An attached CD recording contains more verbal wisdom from prominent alternative performers.

AUSTA Stringendo, Journal of the Australian Strings Association, Vol. 26, No. 2
I would recommend this volume to players and especially to classroom teachers. Given the increasing pressure to include non-classical styles in the classroom, no string educator should be without a copy of this book.

Wisconsin Bookwatch, July 2004
Alternative Strings . . . [is] an excellent supplement to the music instruction or even self-instruction of any string player.

International Musician, July 2004
Any kind of string enthusiast will be able to appreciate the breadth of Lyonn Lieberman’s work . . .

Jazz Education Journal, June 2004
Alternative Strings is a landmark publication for string education . . .

American String Teacher, August 2004
This book further establishes Lieberman . . . as . . . well ahead of the curve in string music education . . .

Fiddler Magazine , Spring 2005
I would recommend this volume to players, but no string educator should be without a copy of this book.

STRINGS Magazine, Summer 2005
This book further establishes Lieberman as an undeniably intelligent, and perceptive individual well ahead of the curve in string education.

Jazz Educators Journal, Winter 2005
…a landmark publication for string education . . . a source of inspiration for both students and educators alike for a new curriculum.

International Musician, Fall 2005
…a trove of carefully compiled and presented data for anyone interested in string music and its modern formulations. 

208 pp, over 50 illustrations, includes a CD, photos, and musical examples, 6” x 9” ©2004, softcover, ISBN # 1-57467-089-1.

Available from Hal Leonard Corporation: 800-554-0626
Also available at



The first book of its kind in the world, The Creative Band and Orchestra provides conductors, directors, and educators with over one hundred ideas, techniques, exercises, and musical examples. Through this book you will be able to:

•  Enliven ensemble interaction
•  Introduce 5 approaches to improvisation
•  Heighten listening skills
•  Stimulate new brainstyles
•  Develop innovative scores
•  Incorporate rotational seating
•  Implement motivational ideas
•  Present “playing healthy” techniques

Lieberman offers diverse ideas and unconventional approaches for inspiring students to listen, improvise, and compose.”

Jazz Educators Journal 2003
…the text challenges the traditional role musicians play within an ensemble and offers new insights.

School Band and Orchestra 2003
…presents a new model to musical ensembles of all sizes and instrumentation for playing within an ensemble, practicing, and performing.

STRINGS Magazine 2003
This text could spice up any sagging music program with tips on how to enliven ensemble interaction and introduce improvisation.

Allegro 2003
…offers strategies, techniques and games designed to encourage students to develop the ability to improvise.



(book and CD by Julie Lyonn Lieberman) Learn 16 Styles! The first of its kind in the world, The Contemporary Violinist will teach you how to play in sixteen styles! The CD will provide an example of each tune with a rhythm section accompaniment.


With the support of a practice CD, you will be guided through exercises and tunes designed to help you develop a feel for playing Latin, Flamenco, Gypsy, Tango, Klezmer, Cajun, Blues, Rock, Swing, Bebop, Country, Irish, Old-Time, Bluegrass, Franco-American, and Scandinavian.

Quotes from amazing fiddlers! The Contemporary Violinist also includes inspiring advice from Jean-Luc Ponty, Buddy Spicher, Mary Ann Harbar, Matt Glaser, James Kelly, Martin Hayes, Bruce Molsky, Jay Ungar, Mark Wood, Betsy Hill, Joe Kennedy, Jr., John Hartford, Randy Sabien, Claude Williams, Richard Greene, Stacy Phillips, Darol Anger, Michael Doucet, Leif Alpsjö, Yale Strom, Alicia Svigals, Willie Royal, Donna Hebert, Natalie MacMaster, and Papa John Creach! Features a preface by Turtle Island String Quartet.

Julie Lyonn Lieberman designed this book as a support system for classically-trained violinists and single-style fiddlers. Each of the sixteen styles offered in the book is supported on CD (she plays the tune and then the band carries on for another chorus or two). Each style chapter provides you with the appropriate left- and right-hand ornaments, warm-ups, an overview of the style (historic and context), as well as a quote from a key player of that genre. The front section of the book covers numerous topics, as does the resource section at the back. This book can keep you busy, informed, and entertained for a long time.

 The completely rewritten, expanded third edition of The Contemporary Violinist is now available as a digital book at less than half the price of the hard copy version.

Each style provides step-by-step practice techniques, a unit on the history of each style, and a tune in the style that can be used as a lesson plan. The book gradually steps up in levels of difficulty and is self-explanatory. In digital form, it can sit on your desktop or digital reader with the audio available to play from your computer or iPod. You can even burn the audio to CD.

A comprehensive teaching tool, The Contemporary Violinist includes a glossary of chords in all twelve keys, step-by-step details regarding how to capture stylistic elements, cool tips on technique, instrument maintenance, jam sessions, practice tracks, a glossary of double-stops, 13 paradiddles, a ground-breaking new section on rhythmic and pitch permutations, and a full section on pedagogy for improvisation in all styles. There’s even a fun section called “Fiddle Horror Stories” supplied by fiddlers from around the world, a Playing Healthy section, and quotes from a myriad of key players in the field.

… players are guided through dozens of exercises and tunes and how each can be used as a vehicle for improvisation.

– Chamber Music America

The book guides players through dozens of exercises designed to help develop the feel of each of sixteen styles.

– School Band and Orchestra

… a musical delight right from the start, opening up new musical horizons…a landmark edition…highly recommended.

– Jazz Educators Journal

… a veritable who’s who of fiddle players…a kaleidoscope of string styles.

– American String Teacher Journa

Other Titles by Julie Lyonn Lieberman