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String Teacher Workshops

The Season of Giving



2017_appeal_kidsDecember 2017

“I don’t think you realize how much the String Academy meant to me. Studying at SAW all those years, I consider you all family.”

~ Melita Tyler, SAW Alum and Doctoral Student

Dear Friend,

One of the most rewarding gifts a teacher receives is the heartfelt messages from former students. Music transforms lives in so many ways. Scientists have found that music lessons can produce profound and lasting changes which enhance a child’s ability to learn and focus —not to mention increased empathy and ability to interact with others. Sadly, fewer schools, especially in low-income areas, are providing this opportunity to their students today.

Each year, 115+ children ages 4-18, from all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, study violin, viola and cello at the String Academy of Wisconsin. SAW’s professional faculty carefully guide students in a challenging course of study that includes weekly private and group instruction, plus classes in music theory and ear training. Our comprehensive teaching with its teamwork and many performing opportunities offers much more than music education. By educating the whole child, it offers preparation for success in school and life!

The Academy strives to make an excellent music education affordable for all through our acclaimed Urban Students in Arts Education program which includes two primary strategies for providing high quality music education and instruments to children and youth whose families cannot afford it:

  1.  Scholarships and instruments to nearly 30 students annually whose families could not otherwise afford music lessons.

    Partnerships with Milwaukee Public Schools where a majority of students are from low-income homes. This year, our professional artist faculty members are providing instruction to students with demonstrated potential and a strong desire to learn at two MPS elementary schools: Escuela Vieau and Cass Street. These students also come to the Academy for weekly group instruction and performances.

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 for that.

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 fi nancial 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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You’re Invited: Florestan Duo, December 3 @ 3:00pm


The Florestan Duo, comprised of String Academy and UWM faculty member Stefan Kartman (cello) and Jeannie Yu (piano), present a recital of Chamber Music with friends.

Bach/Siloti Adagio
Samuel Barber Cello Sonata
Richard Strauss Cello Sonata
Tchaikovsky “Pezzo Capriccioso” 

The Florestan Duo have been in residence in Milwaukee, giving performances together and as part of the regional chamber music scene in groups like Mosaics (Milwaukee) and The Rembrandt Chamber Players (Chicago) among many others. Stefan and Jeannie perform locally, nationally, and internationally with concerts at home, in chamber music festivals like the Midsummers Music in Door County, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival and Point Counterpoint in Vermont, as well as abroad for Chinese State institutions like the China Conservatory of Music.



Date:  Sunday, December 3
Time:   3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location:  Music Recital HallMusic Recital Hall, Room 175 | 2400 E. Kenwood Blvd. Milwaukee, WI 53211 United States+ Google Map

2017 Fall Concert

The leaves are falling, the temperatures are finally dropping, and the students of the String Academy are busy preparing for our Fall Concert.  We hope you can join us for an inspiring concert showcasing our talented young string players.

When: Saturday, November 18th, 2017, 10:30 AM
Where: Peck School of the Arts Recital Hall.
Admission: Free and open to the public.

Hope to see you there!



Faculty Performance: Jichen Li with the Sheboygan Symphony

Mozart and Tchaikovsky

Jichen Li with Sheboygan Symphony


When: Oct 07, 2017
Time: 7:30 pm

The first concert of the 99th Season: “Celebrating 99 Years of Community Enrichment”

Guest Soloist: Jichen Li, Violoncello


Mozart | Symphony No 36 “Linz”

Tchaikovsky | Variations on a Rococo Theme – Jichen Li, Violoncello

Tchaikovsky | Symphony No. 2 “Ukrainian”

Tickets may be purchased by:

Downloading Ticket Order Form
In person at 826 N 8th St or phone at (920) 208-3243 or online at weillcenter.com.
Ticket Office hours are 12:00 pm to 5:30 pm weekdays. The ticket office will also be open 2 hours prior to the start of show.

2017 Scholarship Benefit Concert


Scholarship Benefit Concert

featuring String Academy Students
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
Peck School of the Arts Recital Hall
Reception to follow
$30 per person • Please call for advance tickets
Phone (414) 963 4729

Violin Beginner Week

for ages 4 to 8

June 12-July 21, 2017

Get your budding violinist off to a great start with instruction especially for youngsters 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 12 – 16: Daily group lessons will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

June 12 – July 21: A half-hour individual lesson at a time to be arranged with the instructor and a group lesson once a week on Thursdays from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Register now!

Violin and Cello Beginner Week

No lessons on Campus April 10, 11, 2017

Attention SAW Students and families:

Due to a fire on the UWM campus, the Music Building building will be closed this Monday and Tuesday.

Students who have individual lessons on Monday and Tuesday will receive lesson information from their teacher.



You’re invited: 2017 Spring Concert


Concert: Wauwatosa Presbyterian Concert Series

The String Academy will be presenting a concert this coming Sunday, February 26th at 3:00 pm as part of the Wauwatosa Presbyterian Concert Series (2366 North 80th Street, Wauwatosa, WI).  We hope you can join us!

2017 Violin Competition Winners

Isabella Thiel
(Infant Paganini)

Grace Woo

Congratulations to all contestants on their performance!

Thank you to graduate pedagogy students Kira Makeever, Heidi Barker, and Allan Russell for judging the competition.

Also, thank you to pianists Stephanie Lippert and Steve Ayers for accompanying all ten contestants.