A Major Program Function is provides eligible St. Ignatius students with violin repair and maintenance skills sufficient to service the inventories of tuition-free music programs serving low-income families. Here is why this is so valuable to the music arts world.
When a child in a middle class family takes up violin lessons he or she rents a violin. When the strings or bow become worn, or the instrument is damaged, the child's private violin teacher and the parents interact to correct the situation. By comparison, the child of a low income family receives only group lessons. While those lesson and the access to an instrument are free of charge, the child's teacher is in a group setting, most often a third party gigging performer and not expected to assess instrument playability. That is the task of the non-profit music school.
Chicago is home to some first-class non-profit music schools working in lower income neighborhoods. The focus of StringWizards is to be of service to these music schools that are not by majority public sector financed. They are private charities just like StringWizards. They are small. Delaying repair costs are too often first strategy employed when the budget is tight.
Further, most of these schools lack any formalized inspection regiments, nor can staff teachers sacrifice group time to fix stuck pegs or other tone or pitch issues. Neglect of issues like this put everything at risk from orchestral sound to individual student progress and satisfaction. A child can assess a deflated soccer ball, but not a deficient violin, and will blame herself as deficient. That is a tragedy that we routinely prevent.
Remember. The gigging artists hired is not trained or equipped to address repairs. Most undergrad music performance majors rent the most expensive instrument they can afford and the repair is included. The StringWizards' provides both maintenance and occasional procurement of instruments for eligible music schools.
A Second Major Function is to teach non-profit management skills in the hopes to inspire the next generation social entrepreneurs. We excel in providing a working social entrepreneurship exposure, and we have the prestigious music edu national awards to prove it. Come and see for yourself. Deconstructed further, participants can expect to
Learn violin repair,
Manage the business side of a service organization
Gain exposure to all needed outreach from business letters to the internet.
In Matthew 25 there is the story of a master giving each of three servants some “talents” to invest in his absence. When the topic of service arises in your home room, please consider using the imagine of a broken violin and one of your students fixing it. Discernment is best taught by example.
Visitors are always welcome.