Last fall I wrote a blog on the importance of students (and experienced musicians for that matter) learning to write music, and not just learning to read notes. The act of putting pencil to paper in the musical arena is one of great importance - and in a quite simple and straightforward sense. Yes, one of the most powerful gestures a person can make is to create, and creating music is by and large one of the pinacles of human artistic acheivement. However, there is more to creating music than composing. If simply leaving your mark in this world through a written masterpiece of divine inspiration was the only need to ever pick up a pencil as a musician, most of us probably would never have done so. Yet, we are all familiar with the role of the pencil in string player's arsenal, because the traditional tools for composing masterpieces have also always had a much more practical role in making music - notes and markings.