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NGU, Kroc Center Partner to Offer Children Affordable Music Lessons

North Greenville University (NGU) and Greenville’s Kroc Center will partner this fall to offer a unique string program for grade school children. The project will not only introduce stringed instrument playing to children, but also afford NGU music major undergraduates’ opportunities for hands-on classroom teaching experiences, and address the nationwide string teacher shortage.

Under the guidance of Master Teacher Dr. Anne Mathews, a seasoned and experienced public school strings teacher, NGU undergraduate string students will 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.

Through hands-on teaching experiences with children in the community who enroll in the program, NGU’s undergraduate students will become better skilled in managing a classroom and teaching small children. At the same time, parents within the community benefit from an affordable opportunity to provide high-caliber music lessons to their children. 

Tuition for grade school students will be $10 or less per week, based on their school lunch status. Classes will begin meeting after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting September 4 at the Kroc Center on 424 Westfield Street.

Currently, forty universities and colleges nationwide participate in the National String Project Consortium. NGU/Kroc and the University of South Carolina in Columbia are the only two programs in South Carolina. The program is designed to help alleviate the long-term shortage of string instrument teachers in the United States by encouraging undergraduate music majors to become public school music teachers upon graduation while expanding the availability and accessibility of music education to young children.

Katelynn Lowe, orchestra and choral director for Blue Ridge Middle School and a graduate of USC’s String Project states, “Having a String Project in the Upstate is important to our community, because it provides an enriching opportunity for children who may not be able to afford traditional music lessons to get involved with the music community, and learn to play an instrument and perform on stage for their family and friends. I taught at a String Project for four years with fellow music education majors and saw how kids come into the program as complete beginners with an interest and joy about music, and grow from year-to-year into confident string musicians.”

Utilizing college students in supervised teaching roles allows NGU to offer music lessons at substantially reduced fees, making the program accessible to all families in the community who wish to participate.  The application for student participants is available online at www.ngu.edu/string project, from the Kroc Center, or by contacting the String Project Director Dr. Michael Weaver.  Enrollment applications will be accepted through August 30.

The goals and objectives for the NGU/Kroc String Project are to provide opportunity for all Upstate South Carolina elementary school-aged children to study string instruments, reach out to the underserved community in Greenville to ensure that all students have equal opportunity to grow their natural gifts and talents in strings, help strengthen existing and stimulate the growth of new public school orchestra programs in the Upstate, encourage Upstate string players to become string teachers, help American String Teachers Association (ASTA) alleviate the nationwide string teacher shortage, especially in the Upstate, and to offer supervised teaching experience for NGU string education majors.

To learn more about the NGU/Kroc String Project, its upcoming events, classes, and concerts, or the enrollment deadline, visit www.ngu.edu/stringproject, or contact Weaver at michael.weaver@ngu.edu, or (864) 977-7994.

            

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