Scott Laird – Teaching Functional Musicianship in Orchestra – Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 21

Scott Laird is the Fine Arts Coordinator at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics where he directs the orchestra and teaches courses in Recording Technology,  Classical Guitar and Piano, and Music History.  I’ve always admired his ability to navigate the worlds of classical, modern, and participatory musical styles- as a player, conductor, and teacher. We sat down to talk about bringing these worlds together through the lens of a string teacher. Scroll down to listen in and learn about:

-Technical proficiency vs functional musicianship

-Dealing with harmony, improvisation, and arranging in the orchestra classroom

-Groove and pocket in the orchestra

-A litmus test for teachers: know your subject, speak to the students at their level, and come from a place of love

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While you are talking to EVS, be sure to ask them about the new Yamaha Electric Violin (you can check out my video review here). I’ve been a Yamaha performing artist for almost 20 years now and am very proud to be a part of the Yamaha family.

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Learn more about Scott Laird at

Check out his blog: Thoughts of a String Educator.


Clips in this episode

All clips in this episode are from my new series of solo violin improvisations called Mezzi Schizzi (Middle Sketches.) I’m posting a video of a new solo improvisation each week for 45 weeks (in honor of my 45th birthday). Make sure to like my page on Facebook to catch the new video each week, or see the full Youtube playlist,

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