It is such a pleasure to work with enthusiastic students, and I have been invited to give presentations to orchestra students of all ages (elementary through college). My presentations are custom made according to the age of the audience and the subjects teachers want covered. I use fun, often large props to show intriguing aspects of stringed instruments (violins, violas, cellos and basses), bows and bridges (see below) to help facilitate interactive education regarding care of instruments. In the Q&A sections I often share stories of what it is like to be a violin restorer.

Please see below suggested outlines of presentations for college, high school, middle school and elementary school students. If you'd like to download Word files for your records, you can click on the links below. Also provided is a flyer in PDF format that you can download for promoting each presentation.


College Presentation
High School Presentation
Middle School Presentation
Elementary School Presentation

Presentation Flyer

If you are interested in having me give a presentation to your students, please call or e-mail me for more information.

To contact me:
artisanviolin@bsiweb.net

Or call us at: 970.903.2173 in Knoxville, TN

The first two photos below show two of the large props I created for demonstrations, the "Big Bow" and the "Big Bridge." Presentations include demonstrations, lecture, volunteer participation, passing around pieces of violins for hands-on experience, and question and answer sessions.

 
 
 
 

Stringed Instrument Presentation for College Students
by Brian Epp, violin restorer

This presentation is designed to be an enjoyable and intriguing experience to help students gain an understanding of their instrument and its sound. Audience participation and various props will be used to explain the intricacies of sound as it resonates from the instrument. Subjects can be chosen from the outline below that corresponds with the teacher’s current curriculum. There will be a question and answer period after each topic if time constraints allow.

I. Aspects of Stringed Instruments

A. Brief introduction describing the work a violin restorer does
B. A question and answer period to assess the students’ knowledge and interests
C. Various violin props passed around or shown depending on the size of the group, to illustrate lessons about structure and purpose of materials
a. Different woods used for a bowed instrument
b. The BIG Bridge Prop – tuning a bridge
c. Violin with removable parts
d. A warped table within a plaster mold

D. Brain Teaser Questions about history of shape and structure
E. Sound lessons with props
a. Tapping a top table for tone
b. Bass bar – its function and purpose
c. Sound post – function and purpose and seasonal tuning
d. Air cavity resonance – different “nodes” of sound
e. Bridge – how to get the most from your instrument
f. Wood samples for sound variations
g. What parts resonate on an instrument

F. Why is a Stradivarius a Stradivarius and a how it got that way – age, wood resonance, builder's choices (current theories and speculations with historical relevance)

II. The Big Bow
A. Prop used to show the parts of a bow
B. Brief history, different cultural usages
C. Why horse hair?
D. What makes a good bow?

III. How a violin is made
A. Props used to show some of the parts and tools used to build a violin
B. Hand made vs. machine made
C. Basic visuals to show the steps of how a violin is made

IV. FAQs
A. Peg maintenance
B. Why an instrument cracks or separates – and how to prevent it
C. My bridge looks warped; do I need a new Bridge?
D. Carpenters glue or hide glue; with history
E. Temperature & humidity effects

V. Audience Questions and Answers

 

 

Stringed Instrument Presentation for High School Students
by Brian Epp, violin restorer

The presentation is designed to be an enjoyable experience to help students in their quest for musical excellence. Use of props, guessing games and audience participation will keep the students engaged. Subjects can be chosen from the outline below that corresponds with the teacher’s current curriculum. There will be a question and answer period after each topic if time constraints allow.

I. Aspects of Stringed Instruments
A. Brief introduction
B. A question and answer period to assess the students’ knowledge and interests
C. Various violin props passed around or shown depending on the size of the group, to illustrate lessons about structure and purpose of materials
a. A warped table within a plaster mold
b. The BIG Bridge Prop
c. Violin with removable parts

D. Brain Teaser Questions about history of shape and structure with flash cards
E. Sound lessons with props
a. Tapping a top table for tone
b. Bass bar
c. Sound post
d. Air cavity resonance
e. Bridge

F. Why is a Stradivarius a Stradivarius and a how it got that way – age, wood resonance, builders choices (current theories and speculations)

II. The Big Bow
A. Prop used to show the parts of a bow
B. Brief history, different culture usage
C. Why horse hair?
D. What makes a good bow?

III. How a violin is made
A. Props used to show some of the parts and tools used to build a violin
B. Hand made vs. machine
C. Basic visuals to show the steps of how a violin is made

IV. FAQs
A. Why do my pegs bind?
B. Why did my violin crack?
C. My bridge looks warped?
D. Carpenters glue or hide glue?
E. Temperature & humidity effects?

V. Audience Questions and Answers

 

 

Stringed Instrument Presentation for Middle School Students
by Brian Epp, violin restorer

The presentation is designed to be an enjoyable experience to help students in their quest for musical excellence. Use of props, guessing games and audience participation will keep the students engaged. Subjects can be chosen from the outline below that corresponds with the teacher’s current curriculum. There will be a question and answer period after each topic if time constraints allow.

I. Aspects of Stringed Instruments
A. Brief introduction
B. A question and answer period to assess the students’ knowledge and interests
C. Various violin props passed around or shown depending on the size of the group, to illustrate lessons about structure and purpose of materials
a. The BIG Bridge Prop
b. Violin with removable parts

D. Brain Teaser Questions about history of shape and structure with flash cards
E. Sound lessons with props
a. Tapping a top table for tone
b. Bass bar
c. Sound post
d. Air cavity resonance
e. Bridge


II. The Big Bow
A. Prop used to show the parts of a bow
B. Why horse hair?
C. Proper care of your bow

III. How a violin is made
A. Props used to show some of the parts and tools used to build a violin
B. Basic visuals to show the steps of how a violin is made

IV. FAQ
A. Why do my pegs bind?
B. Why did my violin crack?
C. My bridge looks warped?
C. Carpenters glue or hide glue?
D. Temperature & humidity effects?

V. Audience Questions and Answer

 

 

Stringed Instrument Presentation for Elementary School Students
by Brian Epp, violin restorer

The presentation is designed to be an enjoyable experience to help students in their quest for musical excellence. Use of props, guessing games and audience participation will keep the students engaged. Subjects can be chosen from the outline below that corresponds with the teacher’s current curriculum. There will be a question and answer period after each topic if time constraints allow.

I. Aspects of Stringed Instruments
A. Brief introduction
B. A question and answer period to assess the students’ knowledge and interests
C. Various violin props passed around or shown depending on the size of the group, to illustrate lessons about structure and purpose of materials
a. The BIG Bridge Prop
b. Violin with removable parts
c. Loose sound post rolling around in violin – What’s that?


II. The Big Bow
A. Prop used to show the parts of a bow
B. Guessing game of how it goes together
C. Proper care of bow

III. Do’s and Don’ts in violin care

A. How to carry it in the case
B. Temperature & humidity
C. Cleaning it

V. Audience Questions and Answers