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ISU String Project offers new class at Western Avenue Community Center

Three images of children performing on stringed instruments, learning from one of the music majors who act as instructors in the String Project program.

Students enrolled in the String Project learn how to play stringed instruments.

The Illinois State University String Project announces the creation of a new class held at the Western Avenue Community Center (WACC) in Bloomington starting January 27.

The Illinois State University String Project has been operating classes on campus since 2001 and has offered outreach classes in Chenoa and Fairbury in the past. Classes are led by Illinois State music majors under the direct supervision of faculty. The Illinois State String Project is a member of the National String Project Consortium, which supports over 40 sites hosted at colleges and universities across the country. The Illinois State program is the only String Project site in Illinois.

Students in the String Project

Students in the String Project learn stringed instruments such as violin, viola, cello, and bass.

The new class at the Western Avenue Community Center targets third and fourth graders who want to begin learning a stringed instrument (violin, viola, cello, and bass). “We are hoping to provide Bloomington families with easier access to our program by holding a class at the community center,” said Program Director Adriana Ransom, associate professor at Illinois State. “We have been lucky to receive grant money from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation and from private donors, which allows us to offer reduced tuition and free instruments for families with financial need. We want all interested families to be able to participate in our program.”

“WACC is very excited to partner with ISU in providing this amazing opportunity to community children,” said WACC Executive Director Amy Cottone. “We hope this is just the beginning of exposing them to and involving them in the music world around them.”

The new class, called Prelude, begins on January 27 with an open house at 10:30 a.m., where families can meet the teachers, try the instruments, and participate in preparatory musical activities. On-site registration for the class and information about scholarships will be available at the open house. The program will continue the following week and throughout the spring semester, concluding with a concert at Illinois State’s Center for Performing Arts on May 5.

Families interested in joining the class can contact Program Director Adriana Ransom by phone at (309) 438-8009 or email.