Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society - Access & Inspiration Strings Program


Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society (MVCMS) received funding to purchase violins and violas and offer an Artist-in-Residency program for three years to Island youth. This gift increased the numbers of instruments available to young players and will support the public schools string program with visits from professional musicians aiming to inspire the youth of MV. MVCMS has supported Island youth for more than twenty-five years with free, loaned instruments and lesson scholarships. More than forty violins and cellos have been available to families that self identify as needing support. MVCMS also supports about fifteen students each year, receiving private instrument lessons, an important addition to in-school playing. Discontinued for many years, the public school strings program was reactivated with after-school lessons through MVCMS in the eighties. The successful program grew into the current schools program with continued support of MVCMS, promising “no barriers” to any student wishing to play. Today over one hundred sixty players in second through eighth grade participate. For the past four years, there has been a waiting list for students seeking access. This fall, led by the All-Island School Committee, the budget for strings teachers was increased from one and one half positions to two full time positions beginning in fall 2017. Thanks to the generosity of MVYouth, Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society has added twenty violins and violas, to our lending program for budding musicians, all of which are loaned out this fall. We are organizing our first Artist-in-Residency program for April 2017 and the popularity of the Island Strings program has led the MV Public Schools to increase teaching time for the Elementary Strings Program.