A 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 is supported, in part, through 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. For the 2015-2016 year, the String Project has received additional funding for its expanding program from the South Dakota Arts Council.
The mission of the SDSU Department of Music is shaped by the university’s Land Grant status. Within that context, it is the mission of the Department to musically 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.
The String Project in its fourth year will again enroll 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.
For a nominal fee, the 24-week program will consist of two lessons per week: a 30-minute individual 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 Wednesdays (beginners) and Thursdays (more advanced).
ALL STUDENTS SHOULD BE SIZED FOR AN INSTRUMENT BY A STRING PROJECT DIRECTOR PRIOR TO THE FIRST LESSON.
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.
$95.00 is inclusive for two 12-week semesters (total of 24 individual lessons and 24 group lessons).
The Parent/Guardian is responsible for supplying and maintaining the chosen sized instrument, shoulder rest, 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 enroll, 3rd-7th graders.
Individual lessons begin the week of September 8, 2015.
The Master Teacher of the SDSU String Project is Laura Engelmann.
The SDSU String Project Director is John Brawand.