Why study strings?
Studies show that children in schools with music programs have a significantly higher graduation rates, score higher on standardized tests and have higher SAT scores than their peers in nonmusic schools. Music students have better verbal and language skills and better memory, which leads to improved IQ scores. Children who learn an instrument also enjoy healthier self-esteem, enhanced creative thinking, problem-solving and communication skills, and are less prone to substance abuse over their lifetime. (Statistics compiled by the Music Educators’ National Conference.)
Which instrument should my child play?
The Texas State String Project offers instruction on the orchestral string instrument of your choice – violin, viola, cello or bass. K-2 students may choose violin or cello, and students in grades 3-5 may choose any of the four.
Since the violin is the most common and easily recognized string instrument, we encourage new students to try the viola (the violin’s larger, more mellow-sounding cousin), cello or bass so that they have more opportunities to shine. We would be happy to discuss your child’s instrument choice with you.
Where do classes take place?
At the Texas State School of Music, near the intersection of Sessom Drive and N. LBJ Drive. Enter the Texas State campus by turning onto N. LBJ from Sessom – the School of Music will be directly to your left. Pass through the guard gate – arrangements are currently being made to accommodate parent parking during classes. Ahead and to your left is a 3-level parking garage, directly across the street from the Music Building.
What supplies does my child need to get started?
Every student will need a complete instrument “outfit” – meaning the instrument itself PLUS a bow, case, cleaning cloth and rosin. Violin and viola students also need a shoulder rest or sponge to help hold the instrument, and cello and bass students also need a “rock stop” to keep the instrument from sliding.
A pencil and 3-ring binder for sheet music and staff paper are also essential tools for rehearsals and lessons. Students are also asked to purchase 2 books: Learning Together and The Suzuki Method, Book 1 for their instrument. Additional sheet music will be provided as needed.
Does the String Project provide instruments and music?
Students are responsible for obtaining their own instruments. We recommend that beginners rent an instrument to start out, and rentals range average about $20 to $25 for a violin - violas, cellos and basses care larger instruments and cost more. It is IMPERATIVE that your child be correctly sized for an instrument. Please consult a professional before purchasing an instrument.
Mazak Music in San Marcos is currently offering affordable string instrument rentals, and they will have representatives and instruments at our Fall Registration meeting to size students and offer rental contracts. However, students are free to rent (or buy) from any string shop that is convenient. Some establishments offering rentals are:
- Duckworth Violin Shop, New Braunfels – (830) 627-1778
- Westbank String Shop, South Austin – (512) 326-4898
- Blackerby Violin Shop, North Austin – (512) 469-9343
- Terra Nova Violins, San Antonio – 1-866-649-4700
Students will also be responsible for purchasing their own music, but these books are generally inexpensive ($12 per book). We recommend that beginning students start by purchasing the Learning Together book for their instrument.
How much does it cost?
The mission of String Projects around the country is to provide low-cost string instruction to ensure a diverse student population and provide opportunities to as many students as possible. To that end, our fees are just $250 for the entire school year for the entire year and include all group classes, private lessons and performances. That’s just over $5 per hour of instruction - including private lessons!
I’d love for my child to participate, but we just can’t afford it. What can we do?
Give us a call. We want every child who in interested to be able to learn a string instruments, and we'll work with you as much as we can. In the past we have worked with parents to develop payment plans and instrument loans. We'll do what we can to help.
Still have a question? Please contact us.