The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

98° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA project has world on a string


In a room full of young musicians, Darian Douglas teaches children how to properly hold a string instrument, which sometimes look bigger than the student.

This is the one of the first classes that Douglas, a music education senior, is teaching this semester. This is the first week of practice for the UA String Project.

The UA String Project is an outreach program started by the UA’s School of Music more than 12 years ago. It is designed to provide music education experience to undergraduate and graduate students by allowing them to teach young musicians in a classroom setting.

“It has been the best way to get experience in a classroom before I student teach,” said Douglas, who has been a member of the project for the last four years.

The program is also used to help engage children’s interest in learning a string instrument by providing group and private lessons for the violin, viola, cello and double bass.

The youngest member to participate in the program this year is 3 years old, and the project accepts applicants up to the age of 14.
“It’s great to see the little kids come in so excited to go to violin class because they are doing something completely new,” said UA String Director Jeannine Sturm. “The older kids love it as well because they are learning challenging pieces that they may or may not get to learn in class or at school.”

This year, the program has 66 students. More than 30 are less than 6 years old.

“Our string project is geared a lot towards the very young,” said Don Hamann, the founder of the project and a faculty member in the School of Music for the last 20 years. “It’s not so much being able to play the instrument, but more about training the student’s kinetic abilities to understand music and the mind as an art form.”

Throughout the semester, students will learn rhythm, how to read music and how to hold an instrument. At the end of the term, the project holds a recital every Reading Day for the UA to showcase its students. This year the recital will take place on Dec. 8.

The project allows an opportunity for UA teaching students to get involved as well. It is not just open to string-playing musicians, but also to others seeking experience in the classroom.

Hillary Engel, a music education senior and percussionist, said she is interning for the UA String Project as a way to understand teaching a multitude of instruments.

“It’s something I have to know if I want to teach in the future,” Engel said.

The program also allows students to find what age group they are comfortable teaching by providing them the opportunity to work with all ages.

“I used to be scared about teaching younger children, but after this, I have come to realize they tend to just love you, said Terra Stockellburg, a music education senior. “I like teaching that age group.”

More to Discover
Activate Search