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Idaho State University School of Performing Arts begins Preparatory Strings Program

March 16, 2018

POCATELLO – This year the Idaho State University School of Performing Arts started the Preparatory String Program, which offers the opportunity for local community members to take private music lessons taught by ISU string students and to perform in an end-of-semester recital.

Students this year range from age 7 to 45, and are taking lessons in violin, viola, cello and bass. Those participating in the program have already exceeded the organizers’ expectations.

"I had hoped we could start with 20 students, and we have 29," said Eleanor Cox, the director of the Preparatory Strings Program, and ISU lecturer of cello. "In my observations, I am finding that our instructors are articulate, fun and patient – all the things you want to find in a teacher." 

The program was designed to be mutually beneficial for both the instructors and community members. Students of the Preparatory String Program are getting low-cost lessons from enthusiastic instructors dedicated to music. The instructors in the program are getting unique teaching experience while still in college.

“They are new instructors, so for them this is a tremendous opportunity to not only gain experience, but also receive feedback from their major professors,” Cox said. “When they come out of undergrad with this kind of experience, we feel it will be a major advantage in getting positions at community music schools or building their own studios.”

Cox works with Hyeri Choi, professor of music at ISU specializing in violin, to select materials and teachers. They also observe lessons and advise the instructors of the program.

“For students in the program, they are studying their instruments with young, fun, college students who are dedicating their lives to their instruments and who are passionate about music,” Cox said. “They are also receiving input from university professors who have dedicated their lives to the same things.”

For more information on the Preparatory Strings Program, contact Eleanor Cox at coxelea@isu.edu.