A string program provides evidence of a
school district’s commitment to quality education.

String instruction is available to all students regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, geographic location, school size or ability.
String Instruction Goals –

  • teach individual students to play a stringed instrument (violin, viola or cello) on a level sufficient to perform in concert with other students in one of the ensembles at the All City Music Festival.

  • Create additional performance opportunities for students, as appropriate, in a wide variety of JPS and public venues in the metro area.

Philosophical Principles -
Within a comprehensive school curriculum, String/Orchestra instruction and performance classes offer the students unique and profound educational opportunities because of the aesthetic, skill, cognitive, and social learning experiences which they combine.

  • Aesthetic: string instruction teaches aesthetic non-language perception.

  • Skill: string instrument instruction provides students with unique motor coordination and sequential development skills. These skills transfer to other endeavors.

  • Cognitive: String playing requires simultaneous recognition and understanding of a multitude of stimuli. Students translate the stimuli into specific and complex motor skills.  Cognitive understanding > motor skills > expression = artistry.

  • Social: Students benefit from sharing a specific long-term learning process.

Teaching style/organization/administration -

  • Students are taught in practicum class settings, where 90% of their time is spent playing the instrument.  They have 2 or 3 sessions per week.

  • Teaching is done using professional curriculum and lesson plans.

  • Students are recruited through a “demo” ensemble (three professional musicians) that visits schools.

  • Each MSO teacher reports weekly to the MSO Director of Education regarding lesson plans and any situation that may arise needing discussion.

  • The teaching staff meets at least five times per semester to plan and share experiences.

  • MSO currently employs 8 teachers on an almost full time basis. Supervising and coordinating the program is MSO’s Director of Education.

Ensembles –
Vivaldi - emphasis on both fundamentals of instrument technique (tone production, tuning, hand position, and bowing) and music reading
Mozart -  upper elementary orchestra continuing technical and musical development, skills and understanding through string orchestra repertory at the primary and intermediate levels.
Beethoven - further development and performance of string orchestra literature with emphasis on both technical and musical concepts of increasing complexity.