Grad student String Project to be housed in upcoming music space

Victoria Pagan

A project designed to give teaching opportunities to graduate students and music experience to pre-college-aged students inspired the recent approval of a new academy of music on campus.

After Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music administrators identified a need for more space for its String Project program, they decided to build the new 60,000-square-foot academy, said Butler School Program Coordinator Nathan Russell.

“The suggested square footage is based on the kinds of programs we were hoping to run,” Russell said. “It’s based on the amount of square footage the String Project currently uses and how we need to expand that to meet our goal.”

The String Project lets graduate students teach classes to pre-college students with faculty supervision, Russell said.

“The String Project is run by the graduate students to hone their pedagogical skills,” Russell said. “They teach group string classes and ensembles, musicianship classes and private instruction, all under faculty supervision.”

The new academy of music will expand the String Project and similar projects offered at the Butler School of Music, as well as offer new programs for post-college adults and young children, said Glen Chandler, director at the Butler School of Music.

“Some of these will be opportunities for adults that maybe played an instrument in high school and now have a job to come here and get their hands back on an instrument,” Chandler said. “It also includes some expansion on music for early childhood.”

Private funds, donations and fees for the classes will fund the academy, so it will not require any state or tuition funding, Chandler said.

“It’s important for people to understand that everything that we do in the String Project is self-funded,” Chandler said.

The project is also a great opportunity for graduate students because they receive school funding through the classes that they teach, Chandler said.

“This is exciting because of three major things,” Chandler said. “Pedagogical training, financial aid for students involved in it and a cultural opportunity for our community to take advantage of.”