The first function is to provide selected Ignatius students with those violin repair skills sufficient to address violin maintenance and playability adjustment services for tuition-free music programs serving low-income families just fouir miles from the school.
By comparison, when a child in a middle class family is given or rents a violin, then should the strings or bow become worn, the violin teacher and the parents interact to correct the situation. After a series of lessons the child auditions for membership in an orchestra. Orchestras do not provide individual instruction, and they are largely concert performance focused. $250 to $300 would be at the low estimate for monthly expenses in this scenario.
By comparison, the low income family scenario is nothing like this. Music lessons and instrument rental are tuition free. There are only group lessons and of necessity they are incorporated into the orchestra practice time. Chicago is home to some first class non-profit foundations who fund or who operate these music schools. The focus of StringWizards is to be of service to these music schools and the families in their programs.
These programs are not public sector financed, they are private charities just like StringWizards. Were you the Ex Dir of one of those music schools, it should come as no surprise that repair expenses would be the first to be chopped when the budget gets tight.
Further, most schools lack any formalized inspection regiments, nor can you have your staff teachers sacrificing group time to fix stuck pegs or squeaky strings. The neglect of systemic 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.
Here's more. The gigging artists you have hired as staff are not trained or equipped to address repairs. Most undergrad music performance majors rent the most expensive instrument they can afford and repair is included. The StringWizards' provides both maintenance and occasional procurement of instruments for music schools in this circumstance.
A second major function of StringWizards' is to teach non-profit management skills, in the hopes to inspire the next generation social entrepreneurs. It is boasting, I know, but we offer a working, collegiate level, multi-discipline, social entrepreneurship exposure and with 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 imagine a broken violin and one of your students fixing it. Discernment can be taught by example. That's how I got it.
Visitors are always welcome.