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String Project FAQs

What is The String Project?

  • The String Project is a national educational initiative founded by the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) to help communities start string programs in areas where none or little exist.
  • String Projects are usually administered through some type of larger organization and funding comes from a variety of donations and grant. Student fees also cover a portion of the expenses, but these fees are kept low.

What ages may sign up for the classes?

  • The String Project is open to students in grades 3-12, from new beginner to advanced musician.
  • Students in grades 3-6 take small group classes in their specific instrument groups and also take a large group class with all 3-6 students.
  • Students in grades 7-8 have the option of taking an advanced small group class and joining our large ensemble that meets their level.
  • Students in grades 9-12 may also enroll for small, chamber, and large ensemble.

When and where do the classes meet?

  • The classes meet on select Monday afternoons each school year semester in the Bryan Fine Arts Building, at 1150 Dixie Avenue, on the campus of Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville.
  • The classes times vary depending on the level of the student. 
  •  Students have the opportunity to learn in both a small group lesson each week and a large group.
  • Classes will meet Mondays 3:45 - 7:30. Our beginner orchestra will be meeting from 3:45-5:30, and our advanced orchestra will be meeting from 5:30 - 7:30

How many students are in each small group?

  • Every attempt will be made to keep the small groups small. This is the class where students will learn the majority of the technique needed to play his/her individual instrument. Small group classes will mimic private lesson instruction, but in a small group format to keep costs low.

Who are the teachers and what are their qualifications?

The master teacher of the project is Mia Hagarty. Learn more about her here.

The small group classes will be led by Tennessee Tech music department string majors under the supervision of the master teacher. These teachers are in the process of completing their degrees at Tech and are enthusiastic about learning how to teach and the development of their teaching. The master teacher provides guidelines and feedback on their teaching and occasionally teaches with them in their small group setting.

What is the cost of the program?

  • Small and Large Group: $180 per year
  • Large Group Only: $140 per year

Are scholarships available?

  • As fees for the program are already greatly subsidized by the School of Music, scholarships are on a case by case basis and are only issued to students and families who can demonstrate extreme need.
  • Questions about String Project scholarships should be directed to: Professor Daniel Allcott, dallcott@tntech.edu or Mia Hagarty, mhagarty@tntech.edu, director of the String Project.

How do I get an instrument?

  • Instruments are available for rental (starting at just $20 per month) from Williams Violins in Nashville: williamsfineviolins.com or call 1-615-429-2927.
  • The String Project may have an instrument a student can borrow, if there is extreme need, but our inventory is very limited. 
  • We recommend not buying a used instrument off of Craig’s list or Ebay. Often these instruments are poor quality and the improper size.
  • There are a number of very reputable online string instrument shops that our faculty can direct you to!

How do I sign my child up for the project?

  • Online Registration for 2021-2022 will open July 26, 2021.
  • Information will be sent to the email address provided on the registration form. Any other questions can be directed to Mia Hagarty, mhagarty@tntech.edu.

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