Standards for measuring progress

Is there an objective way to measure one’s progress? Yes. I will list the stages one by one.
Note: This list, taken from the American String Teachers Association, was compiled long before my book was published. So that’s why you won’t find it recommended below.


Performance Requirements

Scales and Arpeggios

  • Memorized
  • Metronome: Quarter = 60-69
  • Student chooses one scale:
    • One-octave D, G or C major scale, starting on an open string.
  • No arpeggio required.
  • Bowing for scales: Separate quarter notes
  • Half or whole bows for all.

Etudes or Pieces

  • Two total. Each one must have 8 or more measures without repeats.
  • Memorized


  • None

Recommended goals for Foundation Level, Before Level One

  • Good posture, left hand position and bow hold
  • Good intonation and correct rhythm
  • Use of first, third and fourth finger
  • Meters: 2/4 and 4/4

Examples of Music Suitable for Foundation Level

Note: Teachers may choose any other works of comparable level.

  • Method Books:
    • Anderson/Frost: All for Strings, early parts (Kjos)
    • Applebaum: String Builder Bk. 1, early parts (Belwin)
    • Feuillard: Method for the Young Violoncellist, Lessons 1-5
    • Grant: Beginners Guide to the Cello to p. 16 (Ludwig)
    • Fischbach/Frost: Artistry in Strings, (Kjos)
    • O’Reilly: String Rhythms, p 3-8 (Kjos)
    • Villani: Things to Know about the Cello (Latham)
  • Pieces:
    • Grant/Donegan: 48 Folk Songs Part 1 (Ludwig)
    • Suzuki, Vol. 1 #1-9 (Summy-Birchard)

Reposted from January 2008