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String Teacher Workshops


Hello, and welcome to our newly updated website! Whether you are a parent, a student, teacher, alumni, donor, prospective student, or just curious, there is much to find here. So please look around and explore.

Founded in 1990, the String Academy of Wisconsin (SAW) has become one of this country’s model schools, offering students between the ages of 4 and 18 a comprehensive musical education with a focus on the violin and viola.    Highly qualified artist faculty provide musical instruction based on the methods  and philosophies of Mimi Zweig, Shinichi Suzuki, and Paul Rolland.  The special training, experience, and expertise of the SAW faculty in the musical training of young people results in students playing with technical ease and musical sensitivity. SAW’s summer teacher training workshops are attended by string players from across the United States, Canada and Europe.

Now Enrolling for Fall 2020!

Dear Friends,
The String Academy of Wisconsin is embarking on its 31st year. For Fall 2020 we are offering Individual and Group ON-LINE violin and viola lessons! Come join us for excellent instruction, on-line performing opportunities, and music theory/aural skills activities. It’s a Great Opportunity to keep your child motivated and engaged, besides building valuable skills! To learn more or register, click here.

Ode to JOY

During this very unusual semester, String Academy students have been busy preparing this virtual group recording project of Ode to Joy. Please enjoy!

Spring Concert POSTPONED

In lieu of Governor Evers and the CDC pronouncement of curtailing gatherings of people, I am postponing String Academy”s March 14th Spring Concert until further notice. This is disappointing as all have worked so hard these past few months, but we need to heed what medical experts are recommending.

Also- following UWM, we will extend SAW’s Spring Break another week. March 15-29.Individual lessons will commence March 30. However, Saturday GROUP classes are put on hiatus until April 10th when the situation will be reassessed.  

SAW Flower Sale packets were to be distributed this Saturday.  We will send you an electronic flower packet this week and work to get the hard copy as soon as we can. We will keep you informed as much as we can. Please contact us at SAW office or email if you have questions.

Darcy Drexler

POSTPONED: Pi Day Concert (3.14.2020)


The Season of Giving


SAW 2019 Appeal Photomontage_PRINT

December 2019

“I am happy to support SAW! As I get older, I realize more and more the enormous positive
impact that String Academy and music has had on my life.”

~ SAW Alumni Quote

Dear Friend,

The String Academy of Wisconsin is celebrating its 30th year! We are so incredibly proud of three decades of helping young people develop into wonderful musicians and successful citizens. Music can be such a transforming presence in one’s life. Research has emphasized how profound and important comprehensive music study is in developing a child’s cognitive abilities. It produces increased learning capacity, focus, empathy, and the ability to comfortably interact with others. Sadly today fewer schools, especially in low-income areas, can offer this opportunity to students.

Eighty children ages 4-18, from all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, study violin and viola at the String Academy of Wisconsin. SAW’s professional and dedicated artist faculty carefully guide students in a challenging course of study that includes weekly private and group instruction, classes in music theory/ear training, and numerous solo and group performances. Our comprehensive curriculum encourages and develops teamwork, problem solving, and self-confidence that benefits students in their music studies and beyond. By educating the WHOLE child, SAW offers preparation for success in school and life!

The Academy strives to make an excellent music education possible for low-income families through our acclaimed Urban Students in Arts Outreach program which includes two primary strategies for providing high quality music education and instruments to USAO students.

  1. Scholarships and instruments to 20-25 students annually whose families could not otherwise afford music lessons. 
  2. Partnerships with Milwaukee Public Schools where a majority of students are from low-income homes. Our faculty is providing instruction to students with demonstrated potential and a strong desire to learn at Escuela Vieau, an MPS K-8 school. These students (along with other USAO recipients) also come to the Academy for weekly group instruction and performances. We have encreased our Vieau enrollment, but children still remain on the waiting list of this popular program. Providing instruction, instruments, music is costly — a minimum of $2,500 per student.

These programs can only continue with contributions from foundations and generous individuals like you, who understand the profound importance of the arts in a child’s development. Thank you!

Will you make a gift today to help ensure that talented students in Milwaukee continue to grow and develop through music education – no matter their financial circumstances?

Your gift of any amount matters and is greatly appreciated. It is instrumental to our success in educating the whole child.


Darcy Drexler, SAW Director

Julilly W. Kohler, SAW Board Chair

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The String Academy of Wisconsin

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You’re Invited: Halloween Concert @ MAM, Nov. 2, 11AM

Happy Halloween!  Don’t let the cold weather stop you from coming to hear our students perform our Halloween Concert THIS Saturday, Nov. 2nd, 11AM at the Milwaukee Art Museum. See the costumes, hear the music, take in the spectacular views of the lake! Admission is FREE (though not to the museum galleries) Hope to see you Saturday!!!


Now Enrolling for Fall ’19!

The String Academy of Wisconsin is now enrolling new violin and viola students for the 2019 Fall Semester. Register here!



2019 Scholarship Benefit Concert


Scholarship Benefit Concert

featuring String Academy Students

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.  

Peck School of the Arts Recital Hall
Reception to follow
$35 per person • Please call for advance tickets
Phone (414) 963 4729

Continue reading 2019 Scholarship Benefit Concert

Summer is for Beginners!

violin_cello_beginner_program_website_2019.2SUMMER BEGINNER PROGRAM

June 10-July 18, 2019

for ages 4 to 8

Summer is an ideal time to get your budding violinist or cellist off to a great start with special instruction developed for children who have never played a string instrument.

To get a jump-start with their new instruments, students will have one week of daily group lessons (see schedule below). For each of the other five weeks, students will receive a half-hour individual lesson and an hour group lesson.

June 10 – 14: Daily group lessons will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

June 17 – July 19: Half-hour individual lesson at a time to be arranged with the instructor and a group lesson once a week on Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 18: Final Concert

Register online: www.stringacademyofwisconsin.org/beginner



Jeremy Kimm 2019 String Academy of WI Violin Competition Winner with SAW Ensemble