The Value of Paul Rolland Pedagogy

By Nancy Kredel

The string teaching ideas of Paul Rolland (1911-1978) are internationally renowned and have influenced thousands of players and teachers of all string instruments. Mr. Rolland did hundreds of workshops in the US and internationally. His former students have continued to pass on his legacy of movement in string playing through Paul Rolland Workshops in many places, including London, Hamburg and Madrid.

As a former violin student of Paul Rolland, I have based my over 40 years of teaching privately, in public schools and universities on his work. His ideas have helped my students tremendously, as well as my own playing. Rolland pedagogy emphasizes good posture, comfortable instrument and bow hold and, above all, freedom of movement in playing, free from excessive tension. He believed that the student, even in the first years of study, can learn advanced skills like shifting, vibrato and bouncing the bow if presented in a simple form.

Here is what participants in a Rolland Workshop in Tulsa, OK said:

“Excellent inservice class. Very practical teaching techniques!”
“Best and most informative inservice yet.”
“This is how it should be done!”

A young violinist at the Paul Rolland Kids Camp at George Mason University said, “I had so much fun this week. Thank you for the wonderful gifts. I have learned so much in this camp. Thank you for showing me the Paul Rolland way.” M.P.


The Paul Rolland String Camp is a program of the Illinois String Academy of the School of Music of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.