Showing posts from 2017

Upcoming Book, and New Violin Supplement Songs Packets and MP3 Files

A few updates coming up soon:

The first is a new book that will soon be published for violin, viola, and cello students.  This will have exercises, rhythms, scales, practice technique, theory, etc. so that I can have a resource that I can use with students, organized in a format that I feel will be of most benefit.  More on this another time!

The other big update is with the supplement songs I've been writing for students.  During the process of working with my students and helping them learn how to read music, I've been writing a bunch of little songs to help make learning note reading on the violin much quicker and easier for students.  For this process, I have been both creating packets for students and doing some recording work.  The first 3 packets of songs, both the PDF's and the MP3's, are now available online for perusal and use.  To find these resources, click on the following link:

Supplement Songs

With the MP3's, my hope is that students will feel comfort…

Thoughts on Arranging Music - My Personal Process Part 1: Who are you writing for?

I recently have been in the process of publishing some of the arrangements that I've done for various groups, most of them my orchestra class at the Utah Conservatory (click here to see my publisher page, and click here to see my new website).  Some of my colleagues commented that the arrangements were fun and very high quality.  They were long enough to be recognizable, but short enough to be enjoyable for the students to play.  I've also started to have some success in selling these arrangements, and I wanted to take some time to talk about the process I go through when I start to arrange a piece.

In this article, we'll be talking about your intended audience:  those who will perform the arrangement and those who will hear the arrangement.

The first consideration I start out with is: what kind of group will be performing this? What is the group I'm going to be writing for like?  Who do I have to play the different parts and what are their strengths and weaknesses?  T…

The Problem-Solving Practice Process

One of my hobbies is computer programming.  One of the things I love about programming is the problem-solving process involved with making a program work correctly.  I started trying to figure out programming in High School and finally made a working game about 2-3 years later.  Each time I would go through the debugging process, I could eventually figure out something that would make the program work a little better.  Sometimes it was an easy fix such as to change where I put certain bits of code.  Sometimes it would take longer, completely reworking the code.  But even if it was frustrating, it was very logical, and if I kept at it I could come up with a solution.

I have recently started trying to incorporate that logical approach into my own playing.  I realized that I treated playing music more as an artist:  thinking of it as a magical thing when I got a piece learned and was able to perform it well.  In teaching music, I've been finding that this cannot be the case:  student…

Major Updates to Supplement Songs page

Recently, I've started a project to help students' note reading skills and their fundamental technique.  My goal has been to supplement the Suzuki method books with small, easy to learn songs that-practiced on a regular basis-increase a student's ability to recognize note patterns and such thing as skips, string crossings, rhythm variation, etc.  These are all going to be free for a while as I work on increasing the number of these little songs.  My goal is to have hundreds of these songs so that students can play lots of music at a very basic level.

As of a few days ago, all of the songs that I've finished are now up on the blog!  There are about 20 of these so far, and I've refined the process of how I go about putting them together, which means that they will be easier to put up in the future.  If you are a violin teacher or a parent of a violin student, feel free to download as many of the MP3s and PDFs as you'd like.  I'd only ask that you let me know …

New Facebook, Pinterest, and Website

In an effort to get my music more visible, I've created a new wix website to organize the different pieces I've been arranging and publishing.  Eventually, this will take the place of the page on this blog for string arrangements.  For now, I'll keep both up to hopefully start selling some of these arrangements to give me more time to spend working on new arrangements and new compositions.  Check out the new website:

Rohwer Music Studios

I've also created a facebook page and a pinterest board to help promote my music.  Check them out!

Rohwer Music Studios on Facebook

Rohwer Music Studios String Quartet Sheet Music on Pinterest

Soon to come over the summer months:

-An article on the Problem Solving Process for Practicing
-New free resources for teachers and students
-An Update on Minerva (to be premiered June 1!)
-News on the Music Theory for Composition course

Supplemental Beginner Songs

A quick update to the blog:  I'm beginning to put together a bunch of little supplemental songs to help young beginning students with note reading and technique skills.  They are going to have silly titles and will address one or two technique or note reading issues at a time to help offset some of the basic problems I've been finding come up with students as they try to learn violin.  The supplemental songs page is still under development, but we be available through my education page (currently just for Violin, but eventually other instruments as well) so these resources can start to be used by students right away.

They are designed to be bigger in size to make it easier to read, and are going to have little accompaniment files to go with them so the student can hear the melody and play along.  These resources will eventually be published in a booklet, but for now I am making them available up here for free so that I can get some feedback from teachers and parents alike.


String Quartet Arrangements: Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

I recently did an arrangement for my orchestra students of "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons.  I've put a lot of work into making the arrangements I use for my class useful but accessible.  I feel that this arrangement works really well, and I'm excited to see it performed by my class.

We've been rehearsing it to get it ready for our next gig which will be a recording session.  I'm excited to see how it goes!

For my class, I've been trying to get every piece we're playing recorded so that all of the students have the capability to hear the piece performed.  Here is the recording for my string quartet arrangement of "Radioactive:"

The sheet music is also available for purchase at


I'm going to continue doing different arrangements for my orchestra group each semester, so let me know if there's something that you'd like me to arrange for string orchestra!

Minerva: Park City High School Symphony for Strings 1st Movement finished

After watching a concert with the Park City High School's Chamber Orchestra, I felt inspired by one of the students who created a string orchestra arrangement of music from the movie "Howl's Moving Castle."  I asked the orchestra director if I could write an original piece for his class, and he consented.  I started working on it over Thanksgiving break and finished it up just a few days ago (minus minor editing).   Here is the SoundCloud link:

There have been lots of great things I've learned from this experience.  For me, this is the fastest I've ever put together a piece of this magnitude, and it has been such a refreshing feeling to finish something I've worked on.

One of the great things that I decided to do as I worked on this project was to have a deadline.  None was given to me by the orchestra teacher, but I knew that the group would appreciate having it sooner rather than later, so I set the deadline as the end of February.

Having the push to ge…