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USC String Project

The University of South Carolina String Project provides instruction in violin, viola, cello and bass through group classes and orchestras. 

The String Project offers group beginning classes (beginners start in fall only), group second year classes, three orchestras and private lessons. Students with at least a year of experience may join for classes and lessons when space is available.

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An important aspect of the program is an affordable fee to make the program available to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn a string instrument. A limited number of scholarships are available based on financial need.

All classes take place in the beautiful String Project Building adjacent to the School of Music Building at 851 Park Street and parking is convenient in the Discovery Parking Garage. See direction details here.

All String Project students (2nd year and above) are required to be in one of the associated orchestras: Silver Strings 2, Concertino, Capriccio or Intermezzo. 

Please note: Students in the String Project must enroll in their school orchestra program if one exists and when they reach the appropriate age for membership.

Tuesday at 5:30-6:30. 

Adults who pay for both orchestra and lessons may participate in the continuing class without an additional fee. They understand the focus of the class is on the 2nd year adult student. 

Tuition: $120 per semester 

Wednesday 5:30–6:30 p.m. 

Tuition: $120 per semester 

Beginning in the 3rd year of study, adults may select private lessons and rehearse with the Silver Strings,  Concertino, Capriccio or Intermezzo Orchestras. 

Tuition: $100 per semester for orchestra; 10 half-hour lessons = $165 or 10 hour lessons = $330.  

Adults who select this option can participate in adult continuing class for no extra charge.

Beginning classes for children take place twice a week (Beginning in the fall and continuing into the spring). The 12-week semester follows the university’s academic calendar. Students must provide their own instruments or rent them from a local music store. Our staff will measure each student and recommend the appropriate instrument size at our beginning class orientation (see sidebar with calendar). 


The beginning students in the String Project are 3rd, 4th graders or 5th graders and meet twice a week in a large group class. During their first year, students learn the basics of string playing in a class of 25 students taught by a lead teachers and two assistants. Beginning class students do not need to be able to read music; we will teach them during the year. 

Tuition: $100 per semester. 

Tuesday and Thursday - 4:30 – 5:20 p.m.
Wednesday and Friday - 5:30 – 6:20 p.m.
Tuesday and Friday - 5:30 – 6:20 p.m. 
We only start beginners in the fall. Students will continue with Silver Strings 1 during Spring semester. 

Students are organized in small groups, meet once a week and also participate in the Silver Strings Orchestra. 

Tuition: $100 

Students participate in one class (Tuesday or Wednesday) and Thursday night orchestra (5:30-6:30).

Tuesday - 4:30 – 5:20 p.m.
Tuesday - 5:30 – 6:20 p.m.
Wednesday - 5:30 – 6:20 p.m.
Thursday - orchestra rehearsal - 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. 

Students begin private instruction. Families select the available lesson time that fits their schedule. 

Concertino  : One private half-hour lesson per week and rehearsal with their orchestra from 5:45 – 6:45 p.m. on Thursday evenings. 
Tuition: $120 per semester 
Students have mastered the skills from a first year method book. These include consistently well-shaped left and right hand, the ability to play simple melodies with good intonation and characteristic tone. Students are able to keep a steady beat and understand note values appropriate for level. Students demonstrate well-disciplined personal demeanor during rehearsals and performances. 

Capriccio (generally 4th year and beyond)
: One private half-hour lesson per week and rehearsal with their orchestra from 6:15 – 7:15 p.m. on Thursday evenings. 
Tuition: $120 per semester
Students have mastered entry level skills for Concertino PLUS can play slurs and string crossings with a good tone. Students enter with an understanding of flats, sharps and can play the appropriate finger patterns for keys common to literature for the level. Students are able to match pulse and rhythm and demonstrate well-disciplined personal demeanor during rehearsals and performances. 

Intermezzo: One private half-hour lesson per week and rehearsal with their orchestra at 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays.
Tuition: $180 per semester 
Students demonstrate intermediate level aural skills. Left and right hand position are well-formed, yet relaxed. All players should have a basic understanding of shifting to 3rd and or 4th position. Students understand the subdivision necessary for less predictable rhythms and the altered finger patterns for both major and minor keys. Students should be able to master the technical demands of the music early in the rehearsal process so they can follow the conductor and be a contributing member of the ensemble. 

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USC String Project FAQ  |  Community Music School Policies

Contact the USC String Project at 803-777-9568 or

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Your philanthropy makes the USC String Project possible. Donor support enables USC to provide undergraduate music students a modest stipend for their work to encourage participation. Learn how you can help.

Contact the USC String Project at 803-777-9568 or

Maymester: May 7-June 13—$120 for six 45 minute lessons

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