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String Teacher Workshops

Urban Outreach

Urban Students in Arts Outreach Program (USAO)

Academic Year


Students from Urban Outreach Program

The Urban Students in Arts Outreach Program (USAO), which provides violin instruction, was developed by the String Academy of Wisconsin to help meet the needs of musically talented low-income and minority students who are deserving of professional instruction. The program creates a positive educational experience for disadvantaged students, and helps develop discipline, self-confidence, self-esteem, aesthetic awareness and cultural appreciation in students whose lives can be altered with serious music study.

The mission of the String Academy of Wisconsin is to train string players between the ages of 4 and 18 to reach their fullest musical and personal potential, and to make this training available to talented, hard-working children regardless of their financial circumstances. The purpose of the USAO program is to seek out, enroll, and retain at-risk children from Milwaukee’s central city area and to integrate them into the professional environment of the String Academy.

Since the String Academy’s inception in 1990, the USAO program has funded approximately 20 to 40 students annually. Outreach programs at an inner city elementary school. (Escuela Vieau K-8)  bring music training directly to the children.

Music study is a valuable and expensive part of a child’s education. Violin instruction is best accomplished through a one-to-one relationship between the student and the teacher over a period of many years. Students need music, concert tickets, quality instruments and instrument repairs, and the opportunity to attend summer music camps and other enrichment activities. For a student taking part in weekly private lessons, master classes, theory and ear training classes, and group classes for two seventeen-week semesters, instrument rental and music, the cost can be $5,500 per year.  Summer study would incur additional costs.

The cost of operating the USAO program is over $73,000 a year. This includes the costs of instruction, instrumental purchases, rental and maintenance, attending concerts, purchasing of music, administration costs and transportation expenses.

The USAO program is supported in part by a grant from the Milwaukee Arts Board and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the state of Wisconsin. We also receive support from a wide variety of foundations and corporations, and from hundreds of generous individuals.

special thanks to: