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No strings attached: UNK String Project teaches elementary students principles of playing a string instrument
Briana Duncan
Antelope Staff
Photo from Internet
The UNK String Project, a music program designed to teach students in grades third through 12th how to play a string instrument, started at UNK in the 2008.

Tiny pink and purple chairs all lined up in a row may sound like a grade school classroom, but in fact, this description fits a classroom on this very campus.

The UNK String Project, a music program designed to teach students in grades third through 12th how to play a string instrument, started at UNK in the 2008 fall semester and continues to be a success.

With the help of faculty and UNK students, the program strives to bring a little something extra to the table. One of only 32 sites throughout the nation, UNK has the only site located here in Nebraska.
The students receive training on instruments including the double bass, viola, violin and the cello.

With the help of a grant this year, the UNK String Project was able to purchase instruments to rent out to students to make the most of their talents.

Dr. Noah Rogoff, the director of the String Project and assistant professor of music, has dedicated his time and energy to improve the knowledge of string instruments among these young musicians. With Rogoff’s knowledge and support, two student teachers are able to gain the experience in a classroom setting as well as share an excitement for the arts.

Jennifer Zumwalt, a freshman music major from Lincoln, expressed her passion for the project. “I enjoy working with all ages of children and watching them have fun learning music.” She assists by helping to tune the instruments and making sure the children are practicing with the right techniques.

At the end of the year, the students have the chance to perform what they have learned in a public recital. “My favorite part of the project is the end of the year concert. It’s awesome to see how proud they are of themselves,” said senior Rachel Weinberg, a music and performing arts major from Kearney.

Weinberg is the head student teacher for the UNK String Project and is always encouraging more students to get involved by playing a string instrument. “I hope to see the project continue to grow and also continue to get more students at UNK involved with student teaching for the project,” Weinberg said.

Most of the participants involved come from elementary schools in Kearney. Groups range from beginner to advanced.

The children involved, with their instruments in hand, come into practice with a positive attitude as well as the passion to play. “The program is to help each student continue to grow,” Zumwalt said. “I love watching them experience the joy of music.”

Video by Holden Armstrong

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