Frequently Asked Questions
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.)
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.
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.
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. We ask that beginning K-2 students start by purchasing the Learning Together book for their instrument, and beginning students in grade 3 and up purchase the Essential Elements, Book 1 for their instrument. Additional sheet music will be provided as needed.
Students are responsible for obtaining their own instruments. We recommend that beginners rent an instrument to start out, and rentals range average about $25-30/month 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.
Antonio Strad Violin 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 other 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 (about $12 per book). We recommend that beginning K-2 students start by purchasing the Learning Together book for their instrument, and beginning students in grade 3 and up purchase the Essential Elements, Book 1 for their instrument.
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 $300 for the entire school year for the entire year and include all group classes, private lessons and performances. That’s just over $6 per hour of instruction - including private lessons!
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.
Parents are encouraged to stay on campus with your children and observe classes, but unfortunately there is no free parking on the Texas State campus. On-campus parking requires a either commuter parking permit or paid parking per visit.
A "purple hangtag" annual permit is available for $115 for August 2018-August 2019 and allows you to park close to the Music Building after 5:00pm daily and on weekends. Although this seems like a high cost, it averages out to only $2.61 per visit for String Project classes and lessons. Purple hangtags are available for purchase at the Texas State Parking Services office, at 202 Student Center Drive - free parking is available for Parking Services customers in the Mathews Street Garage, which is attached to the building.
In lieu of an annual permit, you may pay $5 per visit via the "pay and display" kiosk in the Pleasant Street Parking Garage.
Still have a question? Please contact us.