About the String Project

string-project-logo.pngApproximately 125 students enroll in Marywood's String Project each year. Marywood is one of several universities across the U.S. participating in the National String Project Consortium (NSPC).

The NSPC is dedicated to increasing the number of children playing stringed instruments, and addressing the critical shortage of string teachers in the U.S.

Marywood's String Project is an after-school, pre-collegiate string program for students ages 7-18. Participants take small-group lessons in violin, viola, cello, and double bass; participate in orchestra; and perform in concerts. String Project participants are divided into three levels; beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Students are assigned to a group based on experience.

Participants may enter the program at any level. Marywood faculty teach the classes and ensembles alongside Marywood String Majors pursuing degrees in Music Education, Music Therapy and Performance. In this way, String Project follows the mission of the National String Project Consortium.


Andante — This is our beginner class. Students quickly acquire foundational skills for playing and reading, in addition to learning basic orchestra etiquette.

Allegro — This is our intermediate group and spans the widest range of skill levels from second year players with emerging note reading skills to those ready to advance to our Presto group. Classes are designed to address the specific needs of these players and orchestra repertoire is selected to challenge each group appropriately.

Presto — This is our most advanced group. Classes perform works from the standard literature playing concertos, short pieces, duets and trios. The most advanced members of Presto are invited to join the Marywood String Ensemble.

Marywood’s string project has a student teaching team made up of Undergraduate String Majors pursuing degrees in Music Education, Therapy and Performance. Marywood’s String Project follows the mission of the National String Project Consortium:

  • Providing an opportunity for children who live in school districts where string programs do not exist to learn to play a stringed instrument.
  • Preparing children in the lower grades for placement in existing public school string and orchestra programs.
  • Creating programs that give undergraduate and graduate music students hands-on, supervised experience in teaching, administration, and leadership as they pursue their degrees.
  • Providing experienced entry-level teachers for string programs.
  • Facilitating the growth and development of string and orchestra programs in the public schools.
  • Providing a safe environment for children and teachers involved in string education.
  • Supporting music-making opportunities in an effort to combat school string program attrition and foster program growth.
  • Providing by example a model for string program development on local, state, and national levels.

Holiday Gala 2022

Concert: Monday, December 5th at 6.30pm
Dress Rehearsal: Sunday, December 4th from 3-6pm. Exact times TBA

Spring Gala 2023

Concert: Monday, May 8th at 6.30pm
Dress Rehearsal: Sunday, May 3rd from 3-6pm. Exact times TBA

All concerts are at 6:30pm in the Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts.

Admission is free.

All members of the public are welcome.


Allegro, Presto, white shirts (unless announced otherwise), black pants/skirts, black shoes.

Wednesday students/beginners please wear Sunday best, any color you like!


Is there financial aid?

Aid is available at the discretion of the administrators. We ask that before requesting aid, parents consider that String Project is made possible by donations, subsidies, and grants that enable us to keep tuition as low as possible. String Project is committed to granting all children access to a string education and will help every child who expresses a wish to learn. On this basis, parents are asked to consider that the program is run on a minimal budget in order to benefit as many children as possible when making a request for financial aid.

How do we know about changes in the schedule?

These are almost always in accordance with the University’s changes, so any closures or holidays will be according to the Marywood University website and calendar, www.marywood.edu.

Where are classes held?

All classes take place in the Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts on the Marywood University Campus. A campus map is available at marywood.edu.

How do you communicate with parents during the year?

We will communicate entirely through email during the year. If for some reason you suspect you are not receiving these please contact Sophie Till at sophietill@marywood.edu or 570 592-8237.

Are there instruments to borrow?

Yes, but not for everyone! We only lend instruments if a student would otherwise not be able to attend due to the cost of purchasing an instrument or rental. We have a few instruments to lend, and are happy to do so at no cost. There is an instrument contract to sign whereby the parents agree to return the instrument in the same condition as it was received. If this means there is a repair necessary, then that will be the responsibility of the parent in order that the next child can receive the instrument in top condition and receive the same benefits.

Can I pay in installments?

Yes, we do allow parents to organize payments in installments by agreement with the Director. After the agreement has been made, please make a note on the student's application form of when payments will be submitted.

Marywood String Project Registration is Now Open! REGISTER NOW

Conductors & Contacts

Sophie E. Till
Christiane Appenheimer-Vaida
Diogo Salmeron Carvalho