Learn More About IC's String Project!

Strings Off And Running is Ithaca College's String Project, a program in string instrument instruction being offered to St. Mary's Elementary School students in nearby Cortland, NY, who would not otherwise have access to string music programming. SOAR is directed by IC music education faculty member Julie Along Carr. With assistance from an IC senior music education major, Julie has taught the SOAR program since 2008. Junior music education majors from Ithaca College are also involved in the instruction process as part of their field experience and string pedagogy classes.

Enrolled students receive a 30-minute small group lesson, with the option for private instruction. Each student is also involved in a small, ability-grouped ensemble focusing on working together as a group and providing additional performance opportunities.

Approximately 70 students in grades pre-K through 6 are enrolled in the string program, comprising orchestras at four different ability levels.  Students made their debut performance at a holiday concert in December, 2008, and also perform in April and May. SOAR Students can participate in the New York State School Music Association’s Solo Festival.

In January 2017, the program was awarded the String Project of the Year Award by the National String Project Consortium.  This honor was received by Julie Carr and IC string students in March at the American String Teachers Association National Conference in Pittsburgh, PA.

SOAR is supported by The National String Project Consortium (NSPC), a coalition of String Project sites based at colleges and universities across the United States. The NSPC is dedicated to increasing the number of children playing stringed instruments, and addressing the critical shortage of string teachers in the US. The NSPC supports the creation and growth of String Projects at universities across the country, as they provide practical hands-on training for undergraduate string education majors during their college years, and give children the opportunity to study a stringed instrument.