COVID 19 UPDATE
For the most up to date information go here.
Why join StringWizards?
First and foremost because it's fun. Ask around, or come by for yourself. .
What is the Commitment?
After school activities are a big part of high school. Addressing your needs first, we ask for a 30% slice of your after-school options on the days or weeks that you choose.
We met twice per week for 90 minutes after school, with an extended Christmas break to mid January, and other pauses, like the week before exams.
Can I get service hours credit for StringWizards?
Yes, with your StringWizards attendance commitments met, and the personal approval from both Mr. Miles and from Mission and Formation. SW is a recognized service organization.
Is violin repair a recognized trade?
Most emphatically yes. Minnesota State offers a two semester repair program for about $8000 with $1200 in additonal fees and equipment purchases. StringWizards is currently tuition free.
StringWizards is not designed to provide career violin repair training. We are a violin repair and non profit management survey course. Our intent is to show you one example of how the arts world and the non-profit sector address the glaring inequality of access to music education.
What is Non Profit Management?
The StringWizards' structure closely resembles a night school MBA program for working adults. Any business entity has an imperative to operate with quality and within a budget. StringWizards uses the engaged leaning pedagogy as practiced at the Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University Chicago.
Along with your shop floor responsibilities, you will also:
manage your own training records,
maintain repair logs and prepare invoices
maintain shop inventories, and
manage a portion of normal business correspondence.
Additional music student opportunities
If you play a violin, viola, cello, or bass, this is an exceptional learning opportunity
Greatly improved ability to judge construction quality
Identify flaws at a glance, and anticipate repair cost
Move a sound post with confidence, understand its proper placement
Clean, restring and adjust a any bowed orchestra instrument on you own.
Learn more on career expenses of a musician. (Takes you off site).
The shop has the necessary tools and supplies to engage in rehair operations, but we are not presently doing re-hairs.
Are there student fees?
There is no tuition and there are no fees.
Shop safety (Non Covid)
Shop tasks include exposure to consumer grade cleaners and degreasers like Simple Green and solvents like denatured alcohol or xylene and various mastics and epoxies. We all will wear vinyl gloves and cloth aprons around chemicals and leather gloves and leather aprons when working with professional grade luthier hand tools that are honed in the shop to a razor sharp edge.
Why is music education important?
Educators have discovered that music lessons and discerned-listening have a profound impact on brain development, especially regards poverty population children. Sound discernment activity advances brain function. Dr. Nina Kraus, who heads the neuroscience research lab at Northwestern Med School explains her findings in this brief video lecture.
Why do orchestras cut corners on maintenance?
A basic student recorder costs $5. The cost for an entry-level violin with case and bow is minimum $300. Unlike a plastic recorder, it is fragile and needs periodic adjustment for learning goals to be met. After approximately two years, both the strings and the bow hair will need replacing for a minimum of $75.
If these costs are deferred there will be a gradual degradation to sound and playability which then impacts student achievement. With your help, a North Lawndale youth orchestra cannot sound and perform just like one from Hyde Park.