Why Amplify? Why Master Technology for Strings?


Amplification is normally associated with playing rock & pop, but it can be used for any style of music. Learning to play an electric doesn’t exclude or ruin one’s skills on an acoustic or amplified acoustic. It enhances them. For instance, an amplified set-up can be applied to:

  • Teaching online;
  • Teaching in a classroom when demonstrating to a large group of students;
  • The use of a looper to teach students how to create bass lines, rhythm, harmony, and melody which, in turn, enables students to listen to more than the melody when playing in ensembles and heightens their appreciation of the composed music they’re working on;
  • Performing in church, outdoor festivals, weddings, funerals, and any other environment outside of a carefully designed concert hall.

When you need amplification of any kind, it’s best to have complete control over your tone and volume because most engineers don’t know how to deal with bowed strings. Equipment specifically designed for our instruments isn’t the same as a mic designed for voice, bass, keyboard, or guitar. An amplified instrument includes learning how to…

  • use a preamp and/or amp to perform your personal version of a soundpost setting;
  • use stomp boxes, which include special effects that Julie Lyonn Lieberman will demonstrate.

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About the speaker

Julie Lyonn Lieberman, Violin

Julie Lyonn Lieberman has been teaching string teachers and players about amplification and special effects since she started using them in the 1980s. She has included information about amplification in many of her 13 books, instructional videos, school residencies and clinics throughout the United States and abroad. Even her National Public Radio series, “The Talking Violin” included a 5th episode featuring players using electrics and special effects.

She started her crusade to push string education into the 21st century in 1984 and has focused on an inclusive approach to playing and teaching that embodies diverse cultures, creativity, and the use of what she likes to call “electric spice.”

The only constant is change, and as the world spins forward, our student’s needs have changed. During her efforts as a performer and educator in America, the number of professional players who’ve moved in this direction has increased enormously and she’s witnessed how string teachers, who’ve chosen to step out of approaches to instruction that date back for many decades if not centuries, have increased their program size enormously.

Though offered many different instruments to endorse, Julie chose the NS violin for its superior technology and lightweight design. She has been an NS Performance Artist and Clinician for many decades.