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I love Smart Scales! I have been a private teacher for over 30 years and have found most scale systems to be visually overwhelming for my students. Many are written in small fonts, or in octaves, and with generally too much on the page. This makes scales intimidating and hard for young students to read. I love that Smart Scales focuses on just one scale per page, with the option of playing one or two octaves, or both, depending on the level of the student. Also, for those who need the visual aid of the fingerboard geography, there are great diagrams. I also like that students learn all 3 forms of minor and not just melodic. In addition, there are optional fingerings provided, and since scales are not close together, there is room to write in other fingerings at the teacher’s discretion. Smart Scales is the best scale system out there for beginning and intermediate students!!

Cindy Bryan - Chesapeake, US

I teach middle school and high school beginners to advanced strings. I’m always looking for easier ways to present technique, and I find Grace’s system is better organised than others I have looked at. Her class was a great review and I registered for the full program so that I can learn more.  After taking this class, I feel my class will have a better flow, and it will be easier for the kids to grasp concepts. I have already recommended this program to others because I believe it’s well presented, straight to the point and coming from a great experienced teacher, which I value more than many books on the subject.

Giovanni Bobisse - Italy

I am a woodwind player teaching elementary strings from grades 4-6.  Before Grace’s class, my challenges were bow hold and positioning, which made me feel like I wasn’t better able to help my students. Grace had a lot of easy to implement ideas! The online interactive format was very helpful. I’m sure I will be able to apply my new knowledge once school reopens to improve my student’s playing positions. I would definitely recommend this class. Grace had a lot of easy to implement teaching strategies and she was extremely helpful in correcting my own playing!

Karen McKenna - New York

Before Grace’s course I was having a hard time transferring my knowledge as a violinist to a beginner level explanation, without overwhelming the students with information. Grace’s Smart String Teacher method is an organized and clear system that makes sense. I loved that we actually learned by playing secondary instruments instead of just listening to someone lecture. After this course I think there will be much less frustration for both students and teachers. Grace has a clear and very natural manner of relaying information and teaching. I absolutely recommend this course to other string teachers.,

Julia Sullivan - Massachusetts

I teach a mix of ability and mixed grade strings classes. As a band major, my lack of experience in playing stringed instruments makes it challenging to teach strings. It was very nerve-wracking going into a teaching assignment that had both strings and band classes. Grace’s specific tips on starting to play a string instrument were very useful. It helped me to sort out the complicated process of playing a tricky instrument. Her course is very hands-on and the practical elements are immediately applicable in a classroom. I know that I will now be able to provide valuable feedback confidently to students’ posture and playing technique. I highly recommend this course to others as there are many valuable tips for novice and experienced teachers alike!

Lindsey Wen - Richmond Hill

I am a non-strings player and I teach grade 9 to 12 strings in mixed grade and ability classes. Some students enter the program with playing experience in middle school but many have no prior experience. I understand many of the concepts I need to teach but I struggle to demonstrate on the instruments due to my lack of playing experience. I have always relied on videos to demonstate for me. Through Grace’s course I have gained a better understanding of the fundamentals of hand position and posture and some of the common errors to watch for and correct. The valuable tips that I have gotten from Grace via live feedback is what makes this different from the textbooks and videos I have read and watched in the past.  I now feel more confident demonstrating proper posture/bow hold, navigating the fingerboard, and troubleshooting common errors. I definitely recommend this course to all new non-string music educators teaching strings!

Michael Jameer

This was a great opportunity to experience a step-by-step process for teaching beginner strings. Valuable insight from the perspective of both teacher and student! I was encouraged to see how the Smart String Teacher system connects to the different teaching approaches and strategies used in classrooms without an existing strings program. The process is key!

Elizabeth Seo - Toronto

I teach 6th 7th 8th grade strings as a non-string player.  Before Grace’s class, my biggest challenge was teaching bow hold and left hand placement. This class has given me valuable tips on how to correct student mistakes. I liked how this course was hands-on and not just talking. I feel more confident now that I will be able to help my students’ technique improve. Grace is very relatable, and I highly recommend this course to others!

Melanie Johnston - Tempe Middle School

Grace’s class is very focused and hands-on. It gives all of the tools one needs to be successful in the string classroom in a way that is engaging and creative. Grace has tried and true teaching strategies that are a testament to her expertise as a string player and years of teaching experience.

Will Snodgrass

I have taught strings for 30+ years. I currently teach 5th and 6th grade beginners in an Intermediate School. I have 135 students. I see them for 2 ensemble classes 20-30 students at a time and one smaller “lesson”, 5-15 kids at a time. I took Grace’s online class to push my technology skills and to use my “down time” from school in a constructive way. I have never done a class online! I also wanted to see if I could learn a few new tricks to refresh my teaching. I love teaching strings and I will incorporate some of Grace’s ideas into my class. I love and will use the bass scale fingering chart. I definitely would recommend this course to others, especially for non string players!

Mardi Smith - Orchestra Director, Reed Intermediate School, Newtown, CT

I teach privately only, beginner violin and viola. I live way out in the boonies so teaching online is going to be the only practical way to teach. Taking Grace’s class gives me a great way to both be inspired and to have practical tools to easily impart information online! It has given me a format to fall back on to get people of all ages started on strings. The ease of presenting the material was helpful, and I could see using this with anyone who wants to learn a stringed instrument. I have a new student starting online on Sunday, and hope to find other new students! Yes I would highly recommend this class to anyone who wants to teach orchestral strings. The class is well crafted, the material clearly presented. And it’s fun!

Mac McCord - Louisburg, North Carolina

Among all the teaching materials I have used and collected so far, is unique in the way it presents technique clearly, getting straight to the point yet remaining easy to use for the teacher and the students. I look forward to see the next publications and I strongly advise to integrate all the materials from this website into your daily classes. Smart and time saving materials coming from a great teacher!

Giovanni Bobisse - Italy

I used Smart Music Theory with my strings and vocal classes with great success. The lessons are sequential and worksheets are very nicely laid out to enhance students’ understanding. I love that they are packaged into booklets so you can hand it out at one time to students to work at the pace you set.

Camilla Rayman - Toronto

Working with Smart Music Theory has been of great benefit to me and to my students.  With multiple split grade classes, the ability to provide students with clear units of work that allows them to work independently with confidence is a game changer.  I am now able to address individual student needs by circulating around the classroom as they work to ensure student understanding and success!

Deborah Pady - Toronto

SMTheory’s method of teaching rhythm is one that addresses all the small details that we as educators might think are obvious to students. It also provides opportunities for students to practice their understanding in many different ways. Other theory methods often test understanding through limited lenses, but SMT looks at theory from multiple angles and ways of thinking.

Leonidas Varahidis - Toronto

Smart Scales for Violin is a wonderful tool for any aspiring string student. The method is comprehensive, smartly organized and effective. The results are immediate and students enjoy this easy approach to scales.

Ivana Popovic - Toronto

Smart Music Teacher contains a lot of very useful resources that Instrumental teachers can use in their classrooms. I have used Smart Fingering Charts for Strings with Middle School and High School students. The students found them very useful and easy to read. It helps enhance their understanding and visual memory of notes and fingerings very quickly. The videos and tips have helped me as a teacher to help students solve technical problems and new ways to teach and introduce music theory materials. I am so glad I found such helpful resources at SMT.

Vivian Peng - Toronto

Smart String Teacher’s Advanced Fingering Charts are invaluable for illustrating finger patterns. The charts are particularly useful when figuring out shifting arrangements. I refer to them constantly when learning a new piece and while practicing. The Advanced Fingering Charts takes the mystery out of shifting!

Sharon Scanlan

I’m decades older than most of Grace Law’s students, and adults who have been playing for a while are much harder to teach than kids. But her scale method is changing my technique for the better in all sorts of ways!

Pamela Young - Toronto is the one place you will find everything you need: blog posts, reviews, teaching materials, inspiration, and just great ideas that I’ve never come across before. Not only are they great ideas – they work! I’ve tried them with my students, and with myself as a professional violinist and educator, and especially can’t wait to implement the Smart Scales into my teaching materials!

Alessia D. - Toronto

Hello. I am a beginning Viola student and I wanted to take the time to tell you how wonderful your teaching system is. If I were to reorganize a music system for my own comprehension, I would have done it just like yours!! Your insights into how a beginner needs to perceive patterns is fantastic!! You have catapulted my comprehension immensely. And your love of Celtic Music is after my own heart!!
Thank you for your insight and inspiration!!

Rob Windsor