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Habits of a Successful Young String Musician

By Sarah Ball, Margaret Selby, Christopher Selby, & Scott Rush

Habits Strings Books

For Beginning-Level string musicians


Methods for Violin, Viola, Cello, and Bass


Available as a physical book or online digital version
Online digital version available for $6.95


Available on both MusicFirst and MakeMusic Cloud online teaching platforms


Habits of a Successful Young String Musician is a field-tested and musical collection of 220 sequenced exercises for the beginning string student. The companion website ( features supplemental resources including accompaniment tracks, start-up clinic videos, and full performance videos for each exercise in the book. These cutting-edge online components are on MusicFirst (PracticeFirst) and MakeMusic Cloud (SmartMusic).

What makes Habits of a Successful Young String Musician unique?

Tone is at the heart of this method.

  • Students begin using the bow earlier than other resources.
  • The familiar melodies enable students to use their ears to develop good pitch and tone.
  • Online videos allow students to see and hear professional string players modeling good tone and technique for each exercise.

Tonal literacy is a key focus of this book.

  • All four open strings are introduced early.
  • New notes are introduced with clear fingerboard diagrams and pictures next to the staff.
  • New keys are taught by highlighting notes affected by the new key signature.

Rhythmic literacy exercises will have your students counting and reading independently.

  • Long notes and rests are introduced early so students learn to count and subdivide.
  • Melodies in 3/4 appear early and often.
  • Nine pages of sight-reading exercises develop stronger tonal and rhythmic literacy skills.

Online content includes:

  • High-quality photos of excellent hand positions to help students develop great technique.
  • A diverse repertoire of classical and folk melodies from around the world.
  • Warm-up pages with scales, arpeggios, tuning canons, bowing variations, and other great tools for introducing, teaching, and reinforcing skills.

Available Editions

Explore the online resources available with this method book including home-training video instructors, accopmaniment tracks, free additional reasources for teachers and more!

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Learn from experienced VIDEO INSTRUCTORS

Help students practice at home with our video training instructors. These expereinced professional musicians will guide your students from basic instrument care and maintenance, to learning open strings, finding good tone, as well as a demonstration of EVERY exercise in the book.

Meet your instrument instructor today!


Habits of a Successful String Musician is a tremendous resource for string teachers and students. It is comprehensive, well thought-out and offers strong pedagogical tools while allowing for individual teaching styles and priorities. For me, “Habits” is a time-saver and a great catalyst for teachable moments with my students on technique and broad string playing concepts in the classroom.

Scott Laird

Music Instructor and Fine Arts Coordinator

NC School of Science and Math

Habits of a Successful String Musician is a terrific educational resource and supplemental book for advanced middle and high school string students. I found the tuning canons and sight-reading to be particularly effective. My students have enjoyed all the exercises, and I have found them very useful in assembling their focus and preparing them to play high level repertoire.

Jonathan Glawe

Director of String Studies - Pioneer High School

Ann Arbor, MI

ASTA National Orchestra Festival Grand Champion

Did You Know...

Each student method book in the HABITS series is available digitally for access on any device of choice!

Learn Online!

Most HABITS student method books are available digitally for $6.95 (a $3 saving compared to the physical edition).

View Habits Digital Books