Baylor University String Project
WHAT IS A STRING PROJECT?
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 in the community how to read music and play a stringed instrument, such as the violin, viola, cello, or bass. In the process, children develop good work habits and improve their ability to collaborate and cooperate in groups.
The Baylor String Project is supported, in part, through a $25,000 grant from the NAMM Foundation and the National String Project Consortium, of which Baylor University is a member. NAMM is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads, and strengthens the music products industry.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE BAYLOR STRING PROJECT?
The purpose of the School of Music as a whole is to train future musicians and music teachers. Within these purposes, the Baylor University String Project functions as a training ground in which students enrolled in string music education 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 a part of the music teaching profession.
A String Project is a unique program that introduces stringed instrument playing to grade school children. Currently, 24 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 as part of the BME undergraduate curriculum in music education - string emphasis (MUS 3212). After completing MUS 3212, Baylor undergraduates receive work-study stipends to continue teaching in the program. In the process, children develop good work habits and improve their ability to collaborate and cooperate in groups.
Utilizing college students in supervised teaching roles allows Baylor University to offer music lessons at substantially reduced fees, making the program accessible to all families in the community who wish to participate. This is aligned with Imperatives I and IV of the Baylor university-wide 2012 initiative.
The Baylor String project functions as a supplement to the child's school string program (where one exists) and as an introductory experience for those too young for enrollment in their school program. The Project functions as both a preparatory program for young string students and as a teaching laboratory for undergraduate String Music Education students.
WHO ARE THE TEACHERS?
Dr. Michael Alexander serves as Director of the Baylor University String Project. Dr. Alexander taught Orchestra and Strings in Texas for 22 years before joining the faculty at Baylor as Associate Professor of String Music Education. He brings a broad knowledge of string pedagogy to the program based on both his research and his experiences in the classroom.
Undergraduate String Student Teachers from Baylor University will observe Dr. Alexander in the large ensemble classes as well as teach the small group classes. Student Teachers are selected by their interest in teaching, their musical abilities, and their knowledge of String Pedagogy.
WHO CAN ENROLL?
ALL students are required to be a member of their school string program (if one exists at their grade level). Home school students, students too young for their school programs, or students at schools without a string program may also participate. Mininum grade level for participation is the 4th grade.
Bravo Group - Beginning Instruction: Any student in the 4th grade or above who is concurrently enrolled in their school program (where one exists) may enroll. Instruction is open for Violin, Viola, Cello, and Bass.
Encore Group - Advanced Instruction: Any student in the 4th grade or above who has completed at least one semester in the Bravo Group (or comparable experience) may enroll in the Encore Group.
Private Instruction: Any student who has completed at least one semester in both the Encore and Bravo group (or comparable experience) may enroll in Private Lesson Instruction. Lessons are $15 per 1/2 hour. For 12 lessons, cost per semester is $180 per student. Location and times are arranged via the private instructor and parent.
WHEN WILL THE CLASSES MEET?
Bravo and Encore Classes will meet twice weekly on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 4:15-5:00pm. Classes will rotate between large group and small group instruction.
Those enrolled in Private Lessons will meet once each week as arranged via the private instructor and the parent.
Bravo and Encore Classes will be held on the Baylor University Campus in Waco Hall East, Room 129.
Private Lessons will be held on the second floor of the McCrary Music Building.
There will not be a Bravo class offered in Spring 2013. Encore Classes will begin on Tuesday, January 29 (See calendars on menu to the right).
Level III private lessons will be taught at a mutually agreeable location for both student and teacher.
WHAT SIZE INSTRUMENT WILL I NEED?
ALL STUDENTS WILL BE SIZED AT OUR NEW STUDENT / PARENT MEETING. Student model string instruments come in many different sizes. Click on the String Instrument Sizing Chart to help determine the appropriate size Violin, Viola, Cello or Bass for your child.
HOW DO I FIND AN INSTRUMENT?
AFTER SIZE of INSTRUMENT HAS BEEN DETERMINED at the new student / parent meeting, please follow the link below to secure an instrument if you have not rented or purchased one for use in your school program already.
1. Click on Lisle Violin Shop (http://www.violins.com) and click on "rental instruments" in the left hand column. A screen will appear that has a pull down menu in the middle; click on College programs, then "Baylor String Project". Select the appropriate instrument and size based on our conversations at the first meeting.
2. The package will include instrument, bow, case, rosin, method book; all you will need to do is indicate size (4/4, ', ½, etc.), rental amount, and type.
3. Entire all information on the rental agreement and the instrument will be shipped to you. Be sure to write, "Free Orchestra Expressions book" in the Special Instructions box to receive your free student textbook for the String Project.
4. A representative from Lisle will be in Waco twice a month to handle any maintenance / repair issues.
* The BU String Project encourages instrument rental over purchase because students will change instrument size as they grow.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO PARTICIPATE?
The cost for Bravo and Encore Groups (two group classes each week) is only $60 per student each semester. This averages to approx. $2.50 per lesson.
(Instrument rental/purchase ranges from $15 to $30 per month)
Private lessons are $15 per 1/2 hour lesson. For 12 lessons, cost per semester is $180 per student. Location and times are arranged via the private instructor and parent.
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