The Art of

Chamber Music Rehearsal Techniques & Teambuilding

by Dorianne Cotter- Lockard, PhD and Annie Fullard, with the Cavani String Quartet
“This book is a wonderful guide which will be helpful for the next generation of musicians. The perspective of this book also serves as a larger message for the world, which is that music connects us in a beautiful way as human beings.”
Peter Salaff
from Foreword to The Art of Collaboration
The Art of Collaboration

The Art of Collaboration

Our Mission

Playing chamber music is a catalyst for deepening the expressive power of music and connection, and in building the team. The process of living in a chamber music world illuminates the importance of connecting with each other and strengthens our humanity. The focus of this book is to incorporate a team building philosophy for problem solving to bond, rather than divide an ensemble; in other words, the art of collaboration.

We offer these rehearsal techniques as a means to create an empathetic and safe environment for everyone’s voice to be heard and respected. These methods encourage each ensemble member to take a leadership role in their group to ensure that diverse perspectives are valued.

These approaches and techniques can be valuable to music teachers, university and conservatory students, and amateur musicians. Professional musicians and teaching artists who intend to coach chamber music will find this guide useful as they prepare to support their students’ learning process.

We have used these techniques in coaching ensembles with a variety of instruments. The majority of the approaches and techniques in this book can be applied to a variety of instrumental and vocal musicians who participate in ensembles. We include the voices of brass players, pianists, conductors, and percussionists in this book to support the application of these techniques to other instruments.

It is our hope that teaching artists, performers, amateur musicians, and students at all levels will find this book as a resource to enhance their rehearsal process, achieve efficient problem-solving, and experience the joy of true collaboration through music.

About the book

The world of classical chamber music performances and audiences has grown dramatically during the past 25 years, yet the process of learning to rehearse effectively and to work together in an atmosphere which inspires creativity and excellence lacks a consistent model and approach. The Art of Collaboration: Chamber Music rehearsal Techniques & Teambuilding is a comprehensive guide which provides new knowledge, inspiration, practical rehearsal techniques and conflict resolution advice in a systematic way.

The chamber music rehearsal techniques in this book have been lovingly curated by the Cavani String Quartet. These techniques are inspired by the coaching and mentorship we received from our mentors and teachers, the Cleveland,Tokyo, and Juilliard String Quartets, as well as our esteemed colleagues and friends throughout chamber music world. The Cavani Quartet’s track record of training and mentoring an abundance of successful and thriving professional chamber musicians demonstrates the effectiveness of these techniques.

Although the experience of the authors stems from their musical background as string players, the book contains the voices of a wide array of performing artists from different cultural and instrumental backgrounds. The techniques can be applied to a variety of musical ensembles and are accessible to a diverse audience of musicians.

This project is an expansion of Dorianne Cotter-Lockard’s doctoral research, conducted at the which focused on the Cavani String Quartet’s chamber music coaching strategies and rehearsal techniques. The proposed guidebook includes in-depth descriptions of every rehearsal technique. Furthermore, a distinguishing characteristic of this
book is that ensembles of all ages and levels can utilize the approaches and set of techniques, which implies a broader reading audience.

The guidebook will be complemented with video clips on the website, of the Cavani Quartet and our students demonstrating the techniques. See video clip below.

Contents of Book

Foreword – by Peter Salaff






  1. Organize Your Part and Score
  2. Measure Numbers
  3. Ideas for Preparing Your Part
  4. Practice Rhythms
  5. Media as a Resource
  6. Explore the Score (See Chapter 2 Score Study)
  7. An Invitation to Be Curious
  8. What to Bring to Rehearsal (or Coaching Sessions)
  9. Leadership: Your Role in the Ensemble



  1. Find the Melody
  2. Identify Rhythmic Partners: Buddy System
  3. Write in Rhythmic Cues
  4. Circle All Silences
  5. Identify Dynamics
  6. Explore Harmony
  7. Play From the Score
  8. Have Fun with Your Score: An Exercise



  1. Interpret Character and Empower Expression
  2. Explore the Composer’s World
  3. Work with Living Composers
  4. Compose and Improvise: An Exercise



  1. Collaboration Basics: Working Well Together
  2. Conflict Resolution
  3. The Rehearsal Plan
  4. Tuning Routine
  5. Warm-Up Routine
  6. Organization and Follow-Up


Quick Preparation Guide



  1. Synchronize Your Movement: Chamber Music Aerobics
  2. Expressive Counting: Shakespearean Counting
  3. Cueing/ Breathing
  4. The Metronome is Your Friend
  5. Visual Connection: Look Up Once Per Measure
  6. Pass the Melody
  7. Synchronize Rhythmic Subdivisions
  8. Exaggerate the Tempo
  9. Clap Rhythms Together
  10. Left Hands Alone “a la Sasha Schneider”



  1. Intonation and Warm-up Routine
  2. Find Your Tonal Color Palette
  3. Produce Colors: Right Hand (String Instruments)
  4. Produce Colors: Left Hand (String Instruments)
  5. Achieving a Blended and Resonant Sound



  1. Sing
  2. Scat Singing (content to be added)
  3. Stand and Play
  4. Stand and Walk
  5. Play to the Center
  6. Play by Memory



  1. Shine the Light
  2. The Listening Game
  3. Switch Seats
  4. Play with Backs to Each Other


  1. Theatre Mirroring Exercise
  2. LBAD (Live, Breathe, and Die)
  3. Connective Leadership and Centered Performance
Dorianne Cotter-Lockard

Dorianne Cotter-Lockard

Dr. Cotter-Lockard served as an executive of a Fortune 100 company, where she was a key member of the “C-level” leadership team, making divisional decisions for a billion-dollar subsidiary with 9,000 employees. In her prior career, she was a professional violinist, performing classical music concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Aspen Music Festival, and Norfolk Music Festival.

Dr. Cotter-Lockard earned a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University and an MBA in Finance from New York University, Stern School of Business. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree at the Eastman School of Music and attended graduate school at the Mannes School of Music and Yale School of Music and Art. She studied with such notable violin teachers as Zvi Zeitlin, Felix Galimir, Donald Weilerstein, and Charles Castleman, in addition to members of the Cleveland, Tokyo, and American String Quartets. She is an avid amateur chamber musician, member of the Amateur Chamber Music Players and Chamber Music America, and she participates in amateur chamber music seminars in the U.S. and Europe.

Dr. Cotter-Lockard is the editor of a volume in a series on Leadership titled Authentic Leadership and Followership: International Perspectives (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Other recent publications include a chapter in The Guidebook of Personal and Organizational Transformation titled, “Collective Virtuosity: Lessons in personal and small group transformation from classical chamber musicians” (2018), an article in Schutzian Research (2018) titled, “Schutz’s Mutual Tuning-In Relationship: Forming a ‘We Presence’ in Music Performance,” and a chapter for the book, Phenomenology at Fielding: The Emergence of a Research Style, titled “Studying the Intimate Process of Collaboration Among Chamber Musicians: Phenomenological Influences and Inspirations” (2017). She co-authored an article that was published in the Journal of Executive Education, and she was a regular columnist for Unity Leaders Journal (2015-2016).

She has presented papers and facilitated symposia at several international academic conferences, including the Academy of Management, American Psychological Association, the Integral European Conference in Budapest, Hungary, the Society for Phenomenology and Human Sciences, and the World Congress on Creativity and Spirituality in Management in Barcelona, Spain and Lourdes, France.

Dr. Cotter-Lockard is the President of Collective Virtuosity OÜ and DCL Associates Inc., a management consulting firm focused on developing leaders and helping them to transform their organizations. Dr. Cotter-Lockard teaches mindful leadership at Saybrook University, is a fellow of the Integral Scholar Consortium, and is a fellow at the Institute for Social Innovation at Fielding Graduate University, where she conducts research in the areas of team collaboration, leadership, coaching, chamber music, and spirituality in the workplace.

Dorianne lives in Lyon, France with her husband, Jim Lockard, where she plays in several orchestras as well as performs in chamber music ensembles.

Annie Fullard
Annie Fullard

Annie Fullard

Violinist, Annie Fullard, joyfully celebrates a life devoted to the performance of chamber music and to the collaborative bonds with students and colleagues developed in more than 30 years as first violinist of the Cavani String Quartet. A leader in the field of chamber music advocacy and education, Ms. Fullard recognizes the empathy and connectivity of chamber music as a metaphor for the kind of communication that we should strive for between cultures and nations. Currently serving as Distinguished Artist and Yates Chair of Chamber Music at The Mc Duffie Center for Strings at Mercer University, Program Director for Encore Chamber Music String Quartet Intensive and Artist-Faculty at Hartt School of Music’s Chamber Music Accord Summer Program, Ms Fullard and her Cavani colleagues served as faculty Quartet- in- Residence at The Cleveland Institute of Music from 1988-2018. Currently The Cavani Quartet is proud to be serving in The Ambassador Residency and directing Chamber Music Intensive Program at The Music Settlement, Cleveland, Ohio. A founding member of the quartet, Ms. Fullard and her colleagues are recipients of The Naumburg Chamber Music Award, as well as prize winners at The Fischoff, Coleman and Carmel Chamber Music competitions and two time recipients of The Guarneri Quartet Award for Artistic Excellence from Chamber Music America. Additional quartet accolades include The Cleveland Quartet Award at the Eastman School, The Ohio Governors Award for The Arts as well as Musical America Magazine’s Young Artists of the Year. Lauded for her “gleaming artistry, bravura and sensitivity” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) Ms. Fullard has toured extensively throughout the United States, to all fifty states, and abroad, including a Mozart Anniversary Tour of Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague. Other appearances include Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Corcoran Gallery and Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Ambassador Series in Los Angeles, Honolulu Chamber Music Society, Pro Quartet Festival L’Epau in France, and the Ijsbreker Series in Amsterdam. Ms. Fullard has had the honor of collaborating with distinguished artists such as Alisa Weilerstein, Kim Kashkashian, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Itzhak Perlman, Stephanie Blythe, Sergei Babayan as well as members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Takàcs, Ying, Emerson, Borodin, Ehnes, Amadeus, St. Lawrence String Quartets. She has been a featured artist on NPR programs Performance Today and “Says You” as well as NBC, ABC, and CBS, television. Ms. Fullard had the honor of performing as part of the Violins of Hope Exhibition, and with the Cavani Quartet colleagues, is a Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Grant recipient, performing their multi- discipline program, COLLAGE: Music and Poetry with Mwatabu Okantah, Professor of Pan African Studies at Kent State University in communities and neighborhoods throughout the United States. A passionate advocate for chamber music performance and education, Ms. Fullard has served as faculty for the 2018 Juilliard Summer Arts Program in Shanghai, and given master classes at the world’s top conservatories including The New England Conservatory of Music and Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and The University of North Texas. Ms Fullard has been honored to perform and teach at leading music festivals, including New World Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, Interlochen Center for the Arts, The Perlman Music Program, Banff Center, for the Arts, Kneisel Hall, Norfolk Summer School of Music, Chautauqua Festival, PhoenixPhest, Chamber Music Connection, Midwest Young Artists and The Academy at the Music Institute of Chicago, Encore Chamber Music and ArCoNet Arts, The Kennedy Center, and ArcoNet Community Network, in Philadelphia. She has served as a juror for The Fischoff National and Midwest Young Artist Discovery Chamber Music Competitions. During her tenure at The Cleveland Institute of Music, Ms. Fullard served as Artistic Advisor for Community Engagement, Conductor of Youth String Camerata, Director of The String and Piano Chamber Music Seminar at Case Western Reserve University and Director of the Young Artist Chamber Music Program and Performance and Analysis Seminar. Recognizing the natural ability of chamber music playing to inspire cognitive and emotional development in children through empathy and interaction, she founded the Friday Night Chamber Music at CIM program for pre college students in 2016. In collaboration with her colleagues in the quartet, at CIM, she developed the Apprentice Quartet Program, Intensive Quartet Seminar, New Quartet Project and M.A.P. (Music, Art & Poetry) PROJECT. Former students who have been mentored by Ms. Fullard and her Cavani colleagues, include members of the Jupiter, Aeolus, Azuri, Daedalus, Catalyst, Miro, Afiara, Verona, Maia, Biava, Harlem, Omer, Telegraph, Ehnes and Linden String Quartets, as well as members of the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Chicago Symphony, ECCO, A Far Cry, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, KINETIC and DeCoda.

Ms Fullard and her Cavani colleagues have given communication and coaching strategy seminars at universities and conservatories around the country including, MBA and EMBA classes at The Weatherhead School of Management at CWRU and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville School of Business, presenting their program: Coaching Strategies and Techniques: Building Empowered and Collaborative Teams by Applying Principles of Chamber Music Pedagogy. On the horizon, is a much anticipated book project- The Art of Collaboration: Chamber Music Rehearsal Techniques & Teambuilding with writing partner, Dr. Dorianne Cotter-Lockard, PhD. Ms. Fullard and her colleagues are former Artists-in-Residence at the University of California, Riverside, University of Texas, Austin, as well as visiting-artist at the University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Ms. Fullard pursued additional studies at Yale University, Indiana University and Ohio State University. Teachers and mentors include Donald Weilerstein, Josef Gingold, Franco Gulli, Earl Carlyss and Peter Salaff. Ms. Fullard lives in Shaker Heights with her husband Jim, two cats, and enjoys reading, downhill skiing, movies, and never tires of listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Beethoven. For more information please visit

Cavani String Quartet 

Cavani String Quartet

The quartet’s musical career maintains an energetic balance between performing masterpieces by composers such as Mozart, Beethoven and Bartok; collaborating with living composers including Joan Tower and Margaret Brouwer; and creating new programming that joins multiple disciplines, such as visual art, poetry, and dance.The quartet’s motivation to interact with all audiences enhances their approach to performing, teaching and mentoring. The Cavani Quartet is thrilled to shape the musical lives of the next generation through seminars that feature audience engagement and a “team -work” approach to rehearsal techniques. The empathy and connectivity of chamber music is recognized by the Cavani Quartet as a metaphor for the kind of communication that we should strive for between cultures and nations. Formed in 1984, the Cavani Quartet has toured throughout all fifty states, performing at some of the worlds most prestigious festivals, and series including The Aspen Music Festival, The New World Symphony, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Kniesel Hall, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Madeline Island Music Festival, The Chautauqua Festival, Encore Chamber Music and The Perlman Music Program. The Quartet has been featured on National Public Radio’s Performance Today and St Paul Sunday Morning, as well as syndicated quiz show “Says You”. The Cavani Quartet’s discography includes works by Ravel, Bartók, Dvořák, Schumann, Brahms, Shostakovich, Erb, Chausson, Brouwer and Primosch. The quartet’s impressive thirty year legacy has garnered significant recognition including the Ohio Governors Award for the Arts, Musical America Magazine’s Young Artists of the Year, Naumburg Chamber Music Award, The Cleveland Quartet Award at The Eastman School, and the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. The Cavani Quartet has commissioned, premiered and performed the music of more than thirty living composers, including Joan Tower, Donald Erb and Margaret Brouwer, and collaborated with some of the greatest artists of our time including Alisa Weilerstein, Itzhak Perlman, Sergei Babayan, Jaime Laredo, Joseph Kalichstein, Sharon Robinson, Kim Kashkashian as well as members of the Cleveland,Takacs, Juilliard, Tokyo, Ying, Emerson, Cleveland, Amadeus and Guarneri Quartets. Nationally recognized for their compassionate and superlative teaching, they have received a number of Chamber Music America Residency Partnership Awards, and in recognition of their performance, have twice won the Guarneri String Quartet Award for Artistic Excellence. For more than 30 years, the Cavani String Quartet served as faculty and Artists- in -Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music where they developed and curated nationally acclaimed programs for student ensembles devoted to the serious study of chamber music. These include The Intensive Quartet Seminar, The Apprentice Quartet Program, The Art of Collaboration : Rehearsal Techniques Seminar, and The Art of Engagement: Careers and Leadership in Music.The Cavani Quartet is proud and privileged to have mentored and taught members of many distinguished ensembles who have participated in these programs including the Jupiter, Miro, Dali, Verona, Daedalus, Catalyst, Omer, Fry Street, Biava,Telegraph, Ehnes, Verona, Maia, Linden, Harlem, Kasa and Afiara String Quartets, as well as members of the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, St Paul Chamber Orchestra, ECCO, A Far Cry and The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The Cavani Quartet frequently performs their electrifying multi discipline program COLLAGE: Music & Poetry, with Poet and Professor of Pan African Studies, Mwatabu Okantah at universities and communities through the country. Other innovative programs include CONFLUENCE: New Music by Female Composers, The Art of Listening: Music and Color, as well as inspiring K-12 school workshop, MAP : Music, Art and Poetry, and for igniting instrumental music programs for elementary school children, TEAM UP WITH MUSIC©. The Cavani Quartet’s unique approach to chamber music rehearsal techniques and mentorship skills have garnered national acclaim, and in collaboration with Dr. Dorianne Cotter Lockard, will be publishing a book: The Art of Collaboration:Rehearsal Techniques for Musical Team Building. The Quartet regularly provides their team management workshop, Coaching Strategies and Techniques: Building Empowered and Collaborative Teams by Applying Principles of Chamber Music Pedagogy for business schools and Executive MBA classes around the country including The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. The Quartet has served as Visiting Artists at The University of Texas, Austin, The University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale, The University of California, Riverside, The Mc Duffie Center for Strings, and The University of Iowa String Quartet Residency Program. The Quartet has been on the Advisory Board of Amateur Chamber Music Players and currently serves on the Honorary Board of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and is honored to participate in The Violins of Hope Project For more information: please visit


"The Cavani Quartet’s rehearsal techniques have defined chamber music for generations of artists. What an incredible legacy!”
Amy Schwartz Moretti
Director of The McDuffie Center for Strings, and Concert Violinist