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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2007 / 07 

Virginia Tech String Project reaches out to elementary students with affordable string instruction

July 26, 2007

The Department of Music at Virginia Tech announces Virginia Tech String Project--a initiative to provide affordable quality string instruction to public and private school students while training future string music educators.

The Virginia Tech String Project, sponsored by the National String Project Consortium, NAMM the International Music Products Association, and the Department of Music, is modeled after several successful projects formerly sponsored by the American String Teachers Association and the National School Orchestra Association. These projects on campuses including the universities of Texas, Arizona, and South Carolina have developed highly successful string and orchestra programs, provided affordable string music lessons to public school students, and increased the number of string educators in their respective regions.

Virginia Tech String Project teachers will visit area public and community elementary school programs August 20 – 31 to demonstrate instruments and recruit students for classes at Virginia Tech beginning Tuesday, Sept. 4. Classes will be offered for third and fourth grade students in the Virginia Tech Department of Music on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

A parent information meeting will be held Tuesday, August 28 at 7 p.m. in the Squires Student Center Recital Salon on the Virginia Tech campus.

Jeff Midkiff, will serve as the Master Teacher for the string project. Midkiff attended Cave Spring High School and Virginia Tech where he majored in music education. He has taught string programs in northern Virginia, Florida, and Illinois. He has also served as the conductor of the Prince William County Youth Orchestra and the McHenry County Youth Orchestra (Il).

Midkiff performs professionally on mandolin, fiddle, and clarinet. He has toured the United States and Europe as a blue grass mandolin player and he began his blue grass career in the New River Valley with the McPeak Brothers and the Lonesome River Band. His debut CD, “Partners in Time,” has received many positive reviews from the blue grass media.

Midkiff is also an active composer, recently performing music arranged from his CD with the Lake Shore Symphony Orchestra from Chicago and touring with the Concordia Chicago Wind Symphony in performances of his Rhapsody for mandolin and wind symphony.

Call the Department of Music at (540) 231-5685.