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SDSU String Project

About the Project

The String Project is a unique program that introduces stringed instrument playing to grade school children. Under the guidance of a Master Teacher, undergraduate students teach children how to read music and play a stringed instrument such as the violin, viola, cello, or bass. Subsequently, children develop good work habits and improve their ability to collaborate and cooperate in groups. The South Dakota State University String Project started in 2012 with a $24,650 grant from The NAMM Foundation and the National String Project Consortium, of which SDSU is a member. NAMM is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads, and strengthens the music products industry. The South Dakota Arts Council and the Brookings Optimist Club currently co-sponsor the SDSU String Project.

Purpose of the South Dakota State String Project

The mission of the SDSU School of Performing Arts is shaped by the University’s Land Grant status. Within that context, it is the mission of the Music Program to serve the University, state, and region through teaching/advising, research/creative activity, and outreach/general service. In turn, the SDSU String Project functions as a training ground in which students enrolled in string classes have the opportunity to teach beginning string students in the community. The practical teaching experience gained in this program has a powerful effect on their preparation to become music teachers.

Currently, over 25 universities and colleges nationwide participate in the National String Project Consortium. Under the guidance of a "Master Teacher," undergraduate students teach children in the community how to read music and play a stringed instrument, such as the violin, viola, cello or bass. Utilizing college students in supervised teaching roles allows SDSU to offer music lessons at substantially reduced fees, making the program accessible to all families in the community who wish to participate.

The String Project is intended to function as a primer and supporter of the school string program, not as a substitute. It provides introductory experiences for those too young for enrollment in their school program.

Who may Enroll?

The String Project will again enroll up to 30 new 2nd through 4th graders at the beginning level of instruction. (Other age levels will be accepted as room allows.) Last year’s String Project students are encouraged to enroll again for an intermediate course of study, with individual and group lessons. All students are required to be a member of their school string program if they are qualified to do so. Home-schooled students or students from schools without a string program may also participate.

When Will the Class Meet?

For a nominal fee, the 24-week program will consist of two lessons per week: a 30-minute individual/small group lesson and a 45-minute group lesson. All lessons will be conducted after school Monday through Thursday, and the group lessons will take place on Tuesdays (beginners), Wednesdays (intermediate), and Thursdays (advanced).

What Size Instrument Will I Need?

All students should be sized for an instrument by a string project director prior to the first lesson.

Are the Instruments Provided?

Instruments are not provided. There are several vendors in the area that can provide rentals. Rentals are encouraged because students will change instruments as they grow.

What Does it Cost to Participate?

$140.00 is inclusive for two 12-week semesters (total of 24 large group and 24 small group lessons per semester).

The parent/guardian is responsible for supplying and maintaining the chosen sized instrument, shoulder rest or endpin anchor, CD and Suzuki book. New Enrollment is limited to 30 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders. First enrolled, first served. All Continuing Enrollment students are encouraged to reapply, 3rd-10th graders.

To enroll, complete and pay via the String Project Registration Form below, due 9/3/19.

Individual lessons begin the week of September 9, 2019.

Registration Form