Building your special string program

Mary Lou Cruz, Director, leads Tarpon Springs Fundamental String Program

The dream of starting a new String Program, or improving an existing Program helps contribute to society far beyond the first sound of a single note on a violin. You are building a FUTURE for our children. You are creating a special program for children to explore and develop their personal talents. You are instilling a love of music and beauty in the child, and building a child's social skills, leadership skills and self esteem.

The child together with your program can serve your community by presenting programs and bringing happiness to others and contributing to make this a better world.

How to get started

It is best to start by looking at your own personal Goals for the program.

Here is a SAMPLE for you to work from.

GOALS: To provide a quality musical education in String playing, starting with the Violin and later expanding to Viola, Cello and Bass.

To create a performance group fostering development of the child's interest in involvement in the arts, as well as provide a positive social experience which can be shared with the community in the form of concerts.

PROGRAMS to get STARTED: Gather interested parents and promote to others that you are getting this program going.

Create a safe space in which to work, and obtain teachers (if you, yourself, are not teaching). Establish times and days this program will take place.

Naming the program

Think of a Name to call your program, example,

"The Meadowdale String Program",

"Valley Youth Strings Project",

Whatever seems appropriate for your situation. (Ask friends for name ideas, too.)

When you need help

Call Ebaru Publishing to work out a presentation night of the program for the parents. This involves a live violin demonstration, and information on how this system works. Ebaru Publishing will see to it that Books and instruments will be available for the parents to purchase at the meeting.

It is important that you have all parents "aboard" from the beginning. Students need the correct supplies in order to be practicing regularly from the start. Ebaru has State-of-the-art Student Violins at extremely affordable prices. Parents are very happy to contribute towards this small investment when they realize the amount of benefits this program will give their child. This has proven the most cost effective way to get a program started.

To wait to start a program until after you obtain outside "funding" to get violins and supplies is often extremely discouraging, and stops many needed programs from becoming reality. (However, if this is a program for underprivileged children, and funding is a necessity, contact us and we'll work with you to explore ways to find funding that we've found workable.)

PROJECTS: Create enrollment forms and establish other organizational basics you will need, possibly appointing a person who can keep all the paperwork in order.

Eden Vaning-Rosen gives pointers to students during guest appearance at Tarpon Springs Fundamental School String Program

Where to have the children play

Check with the ARTS COUNCIL and local papers to find upcoming events that your group can perform at as it develops. You might start playing at nursing homes, at day care centers, and as you gather momentum, appear at community functions such as festivals, etc. Now is the time to start researching and gathering places and contacts (especially phone numbers to call) for future performances. You must continue to collect this information as your program develops.

Find a small hall to start out with, (a church community meeting room is great), etc. to give a formal concert with your group for parents and friends, and reserve two dates, a winter concert date and a spring concert date.

Promoting the Program

Start making a simple brochure for your group, showing lesson times, purpose of your group and projected concert dates. Be sure to include the address of your program, and a small map, if necessary, and include a phone number where you can be reached.

Work out how many of these brochures you will need after assessing how large you would like your program to be, and work out where you feel the best place to distribute your brochures would be. Include fees for the private or group lessons you offer. If you can take a picture of a child with a violin, this would be perfect to insert in this brochure.

Your first printing of the brochures can be laser or Xeroxed, for low quantity convenience at this point. Or check into a fast printing shop for a limited number of issues.

Stay positive. Children and society need the ARTS, especially in today's society. Gather friends who believe in this project, and share the work load. Soon you will have a program of which everyone will be proud.