Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)



First Advisor

Erika Eckert

Second Advisor

Margaret Berg

Third Advisor

Charles Wetherbee

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


In the domain of music education, and particularly the field of upper string instrument pedagogy, the teaching world has seen gradually increasing depth by way of efficiency, comprehensiveness, accessibility, and communicability over the past century. With these developments, there is a notable accompanying demand for synthesis and distinction of varied ideas, which can yield, in turn, new avenues for deeper exploration by string teachers. While several other orchestral instruments have pedagogy resources that have been in existence for centuries, resources for viola pedagogy have only recently been available via text-based resources. As such, this paper highlights several fundamental parallels between the teaching philosophies of a revered viola pedagogue, Karen Tuttle, and those who work in the field of somatics, particularly the Alexander Technique and Body Mapping. Literature thus far has attempted to apply the concepts of Body Mapping and Alexander Technique to various violin pedagogies, but the author in this case gives attention to individual aspects of Tuttle’s idea of “Coordination,” and compares Tuttle’s respective ideas and language usage with somatics research, in the hopes of uncovering some potential positive overlaps, or discrepancies, which may be useful information for shoulder-instrument string musicians in both teaching and performing contexts.