Emporia-area children who want to learn to play stringed instruments are doing so with a new string academy from the Department of Music at Emporia State University. Stringfully opened its doors in March, offering group lessons for violin, viola and cello as well as music theory. Every Thursday evening Beach Hall is filled with music and children.
The string academy was founded by Kendra Briggs, violin private teacher and ESU alumni; Irene Diaz, ESU cello faculty; and Ramiro Miranda, violin/viola faculty and director of orchestras at ESU.
“This has been a dream of mine for many years, it just took a pandemic to have the time to plan it!” says Briggs, “I'm so grateful to be working with these teachers and to ESU for helping us make the program possible. I live in a school district where orchestra is not in the schools and so I wanted to start this program so other children who live where strings are not offered would have the opportunity.”
“Starting a program like this during the pandemic meant facing uncertainties. But we’re pleasantly surprised that there was such a positive response from the community,” said Miranda.
Stringfully’s mission is to enhance the quality of life of the children of Emporia and surrounding areas by providing quality music education. In addition, it aims to provide opportunities to ESU music education students to have experience in the classroom.
“The beautiful thing about this program is that it serves the children of Emporia as well as the college students. ESU students get to see firsthand what it entails to teach in a music classroom, and they get teaching opportunities galore!” explains Diaz. “When the time comes to student teach, they will be ready.”
Student teacher Triana Sanderson shares her experience.
“I love being a part of Stringfully because it gives me a chance to share my love of learning and music with others who have the same passions. I am learning so much more about music, teaching, and the importance of building relationships and I am grateful to be a part of this experience!”
Stringfully will end the semester in mid-May with an outdoor concert. Watch for information about a new group in fall 2021 for any children in Grades 1 through 5 who are interested.