By Isabelle Joy Knowles
The University of Arizona String Project is a program created by Dr. Theodore Buchholz in 2014 to give underserved young students in the community an opportunity to take private lessons and receive one-on-one training. Within the program, students are divided into four group class levels and receive one private lesson from a student teacher every week. This allows the university’s string instrument students to gain teaching experience and help foster a relationship between the music school and the community. Currently, the program has approximately 70 students and 9 teachers and the curriculum is largely being developed by Dr. Kelsey Nussbaum who joined the UA faculty this year.
Dr. Buchholz noted that what he ultimately hopes to see from the program is that young students who started strings through the program would eventually attend UA and become teachers for the string project themselves, then later teach in their communities and schools after graduation. Other goals and hopes are that kids would learn to love playing instruments and making music, and that great teaching would inspire the students to be great at what they are doing.
One of the student teachers, Helena Hadlock, who also runs the String Project’s social media pages, noted that it has helped her improve as a teacher because it allows her to develop her own teaching philosophies and strategies, learn how to improve as a teacher, and empower her students. She finds that teaching has helped her to become a better musician because she can apply the things she is teaching to her own practicing and performance, such as trying different strategies that work better for her particular learning style. The String Project has also affected her plans for the future. She loves getting to know students and being able to help them learn and grow, finds it incredibly rewarding to be a part of their learning process, and now hopes to continue along the path of teaching after graduation from the university.
The String Project greatly benefits university students by giving them hands-on teaching experience and gives young students in the community access to private lessons and group learning. However, programs such as these need funding and generous donors in order to provide scholarships and resources for the students it serves. The Fred Fox School of Music and the University of Arizona is excited to present “Beloved Quartets: A Benefit Concert featuring Theodore Buchholz, Molly Gebrian, Timothy Kantor, Kelsey Nussbaum, and more!”. All proceeds from the concert will go toward supporting the String Project and the young students involved.
One thing that makes this concert unique is that it features students from FFSOM alongside faculty. Another unique feature is that two students who teach in the string program, Delia Robbennolt and Brynne Gallup, planned the entire concert and selected the repertoire. Robbennolt’s hope for the repertoire was to create a program that viewers would be able to recognize and enjoy. They have also interspersed pop arrangements with “standard” repertoire within the mixed quartets to keep the concert fun and lighthearted. The stars aligned for this concert with the perfect combination of instrumentalists to create 3 quartets with each one highlighting different faculty. The end of the concert features the members of the quartets coming together as a string orchestra to play Grieg’s Holberg Suite.
The Concert is being held on Wednesday, March 29th, and 7:00p.m. in Holsclaw Hall with a suggested donation of $25 to benefit the University of Arizona String Project. Information about the concert can be found here: https://music.arizona.edu/events/beloved-quartets-a-benefit-concert-featuring-theodore-buchholz-molly-gebrian-timonthy-kantor-and-more/
More information about the UA String Project, including how to receive lessons, can be found on their website at this link: https://stringproject.music.arizona.edu/