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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.

Dear String Academy Friends and Families,
Can you believe that Spring is just around the corner? Although we are not doing our traditional flower sale, our partner of 31 years, Shady Lane Greenhouse, has again offered a good option for those of us who would like to purchase flowers or other plants.
If you go to Shady Lane Greenhouse in person and tell them that your purchase should go to support the String Academy of Wisconsin, they will donate 25% of your purchase price to the String Academy!  (TIP: If you’re there on the weekend, you also might want to bring the kids to see their really neat KFH Legacy Model Train in action! 🚂)
Some details to understand:

  • You must go in person to Shady Lane GreenhouseW172N7388 Shady Ln, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051,  (Simply go west on Good Hope and turn North onto Shady Lane) (262) 251-1660
  • You must tell them your purchase supports the String Academy of Wisconsin
        (they will write up your order on an invoice, instead of the cash register)
  • This program runs from April 1- June 30.  You can go as many times as you wish.  
  • This program only applies to regular priced items. But it does include their vast selection of plants, nursery stock, gardening supplies and merchandise, as well as get personalized advice from our helpful staff. Special orders are welcome too.
  • You may also call in your order for pick-up. (262) 251-1660
    Be sure to tell them the order benefits the String Academy of Wisconsin.

Thank you for your support!

Dona Nobis Pacem

We are happy to share with you this virtual performance of “Dona Nobis Pacem,” recorded in Dec. 2020. We wish everyone a peaceful and healthy 2021! https://youtu.be/WpIkdjcYAJM

Now Enrolling for Spring 2021!

The String Academy of Wisconsin(SAW) is now accepting applications for the Spring 2021 semester.  This year, SAW is providing Individual and Group violin and viola lessons via Zoom. 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, visit: https://www.stringacademyofwisconsin.org/programs/academic-year-program/ 

Seasons’ Greetings from the String Academy of Wisconsin! 🎻❄

While we are not face to face, we are still connected and feel we are still providing an extraordinary music education to our students, showing them how to use music to both elevate and deepen their experience of these unordinary times. Will you please 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? You can make your donation by check (please mail to: String Academy of Wisconsin, P.O. Box 11941, Milwaukee, WI 53211) or by credit card or PayPal by clicking here, or visiting us at https://www.stringacademyofwisconsin.org/donate/

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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!!!