Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Bayley, Jonathan


Case Study, Remedial Strategies, Violin Pedagogy




Applied violin instructors at the postsecondary level often face the task of having to implement rehabilitation (remedial/corrective pedagogy) with incoming first-year students in order to address technical/musical habits or deficiencies. (Burt & Mills, 2006; Rolland, 1974b; Zweig, 2008). If students are not guided appropriately in the critical early stages, they increase their potential of developing poor technical habits or deficiencies that could be carried with them into their future studies (Hallam, 2013; Howe & Sloboda, 1991b; Kempter, 2003; Mills & Smith, 2003; Nerland, 2007). As various motor patterns are formed through habitual reinforcement, incorrect techniques may be strengthened (Salzberg & Salzberg, 1981). Using a descriptive qualitative methodology with elements of multiple case study research design, 10 postsecondary violin instructors from across North America were interviewed to gain insight into personal rehabilitative approaches, influences, experiences, and assessment strategies that they implement with their first-year performance students. The interview data, external data sources, and artifacts were then analyzed through the theoretical framework of empiricism, Social Development Theory, Scaffolding Theory, Attribution Theory, and Teacher Attribution Scaffolding Theory. The results indicated that most first-year violin performance students require remedial work, with posture and the bow arm representing the most pressing deficiencies. The participants had differing opinions in terms of how deficiencies are established, but they agreed that appropriate early instruction is imperative. Many participants believe that through experience, they now address correction based on the individual psychological wellbeing of every student, their level of self-efficacy, resistance to change, and postsecondary pressures. By contrast, other participants view rehabilitation as a necessary part of postsecondary education, regardless of artistic proficiency. The participants agreed that although some first-year students resist correction, the majority of students exhibit an increased sense of self-efficacy through a positive feedback loop of practice, motivation, feedback from their instructors and peers, and tangible documentation of improvement. The pedagogical expertise and applied experiences presented in this study should inform current and future violin pedagogues about the effects of inappropriate early instruction, how to assess the need for rehabilitation, and how to address technical/musical deficiencies effectively.