Trott, Josephine

Image of Trott

Josephine Trott was born on December of 1874 in Illinois, USA. She was a highly regarded teacher of young students, and, In a 1922 article in the ‘Musical Courier’ was noted to have gone to Paris mainly as an effort to expand educational opportunities for her studio, including a student known as Riccarda Forrest (It appears Riccarda was the adopted daughter of Ms.Trott)1. This was not the first time the paper had known of this important composer and teacher, as she had visited their office in 1900. Among some of her medals, Miss Forrest was the winner of a gold medal at the Denver Musical Society. This victory was also announced in a paper called ‘Music News’ in an article titled ‘Music in Denver and Colorado’. The young violinist also appeared the Musical Courier in 1920, when she was mentioned to have performed some chamber music in her ensemble ‘the C Sharp violin quartet’. The article mentions the seasonal meeting in September, when Ms. Trott opened her new studio in Humboldt Street, Denver. On that day she was discussing Paganini, and violinist Winifred Cizek (likely her student) performed the Carnival of Venice in A (Or in Bb if the indicated tuning is observed), op.10 (Il carnevale di Venezia). In Colorado, Josephine Trott held committee positions and was a highly regarded musician. Ms. Trott had a great mind for teaching young children. She had written for an October, 1908 article in ‘The Violinist’ titled ‘Teaching Violin to Small Children’.

She proposed that children require a great deal of imagery to help them remember information such as the names of strings. She offers the following imagery: G string – the ‘Papa-string’, D – the ‘Mama-string’, A – sister, E – the baby. Ultimately they can call out which family member the string sounded like and recall them as ‘Papa, Mama, Sister, or Baby’. Such creativity, in her experience, produces immense results when used avidly in all areas of instrumental teaching. She also stresses that in practicing finger strengthening, one should not allow the hand to strain.

Her shift studies are available here:

(To supplement, try Yost shifting etudes with play-along)

Not widely available for free are her daily scale studies for the violin:

and ‘Two tuneful sketches’ / The town clock:

Finally, ‘In a Spanish Garden’ also for violin and piano:


1) Who's who in Colorado: A Biographical Record of Colorado's Leaders in Business, Professional, and Public Life. United States, Extension division, University of Colorado, 1938. P.391