“Ghoulash”-String Riffs Volume One: “This is a great piece for beginners! We used it as our combined level finale piece for our concert last spring. It was straight forward enough that the beginners (3rd graders) could play it with confidence, while the returning players of varying levels of experience (4-6th graders) found the “special effects” fun and engaging. Extra bonus- it went together smoothly with our very limited combined rehearsal time.” By Rebecca Carle, Viola and beginning Violin Instructor at Manchester Community Music School

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“Thank you for sharing Ghoulash with us. Our three levels of string groups (grades 3-6) used it as the combined finale for our part of a concert. It was straightforward enough that the first-year students could learn it in three weeks, but interesting enough with all the fun sounds to hold the interest of our most experienced players.

This is the third piece of yours that I’ve used, and my students have learned to connect your name on the music with a fun piece even before we try playing it. Well done!”

— Rebecca Blom Carle – Manchester Community Music School & Bishop Guertin High School; NH
“My kids love your pieces. One day someone asked, ‘Why are we always playing pieces by this Karen Koger lady?’ I responded, ‘Until last year she used to be an orchestra teacher in Mesa, and I think that’s cool. Plus, you all seem to love the music!’ And they’re all like, ‘Yeah, it’s always fun!'”

— Megan Bender – Director of Orchestras and Guitar, Rhodes Junior High School; Mesa, AZ
“My kids love this piece (Gila Monster Mash-Up from String Riffs Volume Three) — they really enjoy performing it.

We’ll be performing Gila Monster Mash-Up at our concert, and we’ll also record Mingo the Dingo. Thank you!”

— Christine Dompier – Mesquite Junior High; Gilbert, AZ

“Your Veterans Day Celebration was performed at the Val Vista Lakes Elementary School Veterans Day Assembly. Thanks for the great arrangement!”

— Dana White – 5th- & 6th-grade strings, Val Vista Lakes Elementary School; Gilbert, AZ

“We had our first Rhodes Orchestra concert last night, and we played a few of your String Riffs pieces. The kids really liked working on them and performing them!”

— Megan Bender – Director of Orchestra and Guitar, Rhodes Junior High School; Mesa, AZ

“It’s hard to find music that my beginner group can play for a concert in December, but I think we might be able to learn one of yours — I really like the flexibility of everything, with printing and with parts…you’ve done a great job.”

— Janei Evans – string teacher; Tucson, AZ

Enchi-chilada was a hit at both my elementary schools (two assemblies and an evening concert each). Over 1700 people — kids, parents and teachers — got to hear it!”

— Laura Hunt Parker – Orchestra Director, Virginia Beach City Public Schools; Virginia Beach, VA

“For all my music teacher friends: this is some REALLY fun music for your kids. Check it out!

I was privileged to work on the graphics for this amazingly talented composer and my kids have all had so much fun playing her music in their schools. I’ve watched their interest and enjoyment in their instruments increase tenfold as they’ve experienced her musical talents playing her compositions. I hope you’ll take a minute to check out her work.”

— Jennifer Allen – Polestar Graphics (String Riffs graphic design artist); AZ

“Before a Mesa Public Schools feeder concert at Mountain View High School I was tuning instruments, and a student asked if I was Karen…? I said, ‘I’m Karen Koger.’ He responded, ‘The one who writes the music? I love your music!’

When I asked him which was his favorite, he answered, ‘Goblins Galore!’

This is too fun! Thank you, Dr. Jaime Johnson, for teaching Goblins Galore, for instilling a love of music in this child, and for making the learning of String Riffs fun.”

— composer-teacher Karen Koger – String Riffs and Mesa Public School; AZ & OH

These comments came from the 5th-grade students at Highland Arts Elementary in Mesa, AZ:

Goblins Galore is amazing! It’s cool at the end when we play AAA GGG FGFE…I love your work!” 

“I think it’s an amazing song but kinda creepy. I like the high-pitched D.” 

“I like Goblins Galore because it sounds like horror and Christmas mixed together.”

“I hope you make more creepy, cool, amazing and awesome songs!”

And from teacher Hayne Lee:

“Thank you, Karen, for sharing your amazing work with us!”

— Hayne Lee – Mesa Public Schools; AZ
“Hi, Karen —
As you know, I’m retired from public school teaching, but three of my 5th- and 6th-grade students performed Goblins Galore together with piano accompaniment on the Arcadia Music Academy recital. Students and audience alike enjoyed it. Thanks so much for sharing!”

— Roberta Chorlton – retired string teacher; Phoenix, AZ

“[At] the first annual fall Washington-ASTA Orchestra and Studio Teacher Symposium in Seattle everyone LOVED String Riffs. Thanks, Karen — you’ve done so much work!”

— Dr. Jennifer Lyne – North Thurston School District; Lacey, WA
“Just finished presenting Goblins Galore with harmonic lesson and glissando lesson to Field’s 6th-grade class. It was the second lesson and we put it all together. The kids were super excited. One kid said, ‘I can’t believe how fun this song is,’ and another one said, ‘I’m going to practice the heck out of my viola.’ Thanks again, Karen!”

— Jaime Johnson – Field Elementary School and Wilson Elementary School, Mesa Public Schools; AZ

“I just heard from Gail Rolland that Tree Celli Mon for cello trio and Click Beetle Boogie for cello quartet received rave reviews at the Paul Rolland Workshop at George Mason University/Potomac Academy. These are both available in Celebration Performance Set 1 along with Heart Strings.”

— composer-teacher Karen Koger – String Riffs and Mesa Public Schools; AZ & OH

“I’m using String Riffs: Volume One with my beginners right now, and it’s fabulous. Just thought I’d put in my two cents — it works in the private studio.”

— Vickie Thai – professional violinist, Allegro Quartet partner, private studio teacher, freelance musician; Phoenix, AZ

“Thanks for making it interesting — bass parts are appropriate. I have enough melody to keep me happy.”

— Nina Witt – orchestra teacher; Mesa Public Schools, AZ

“The distribution of melody amongst parts is equitable…harmonic structure is not too basic.”

— Sidney Williams – strings teacher; The Mesa Academy, AZ

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