What is the Cadillac String Association?
The Cadillac String Association (CSA) is a non-profit group that offers young people and the general public opportunities for music education and culture. CSA helps local string musicians develop their skills and technique for a high level of performance and provides a variety of enrichment and performance opportunities to as many people as possible.
We offer lessons in violin, viola, cello and beginning bass. Currently, we have five instructors in the program. Fees are collected from families to cover private lessons and group lessons.
Group lessons are taught typically on Monday evenings at Mackinaw Trail Middle School. Group ensembles are made up of either students of similar skill level on the same instrument or a mixed ensemble of instruments, such as a string quartet. Scheduling of group lessons depends upon the schedule of the instructor. At times, group lessons are held on a different evening if Mondays are not available.
Private lessons are scheduled at varied times throughout the week and typically are held either in a school building or in a teacher’s home, depending upon the time of the lesson. Lessons are typically offered in the afternoon/evening on Mondays through Thursdays. If students are able to be excused from class during the school day, some lessons are held during the school day. Again, this is dependent upon the teachers’ schedules.
At the registration meeting in the spring, parents will be asked for a preferred time and day for private lessons. Teachers will make every effort to accommodate this request.
What is the cost of participating in the program?
Fees for weekly group lessons are set at $30 per 11-week term. If a family is eligible for financial assistance, the group rate is $15 per term.
In addition, a $20.00 per family per term administrative fee is charged for billings, fee collection, financial reporting, grant application fees, and other program costs.
On occasion, the program has offered “extra” classes such as fiddling or intermediate orchestra. These “extra” classes are held if sufficient interest is shown and the fees are $15.00 per term for the entire 11-week term.
How old do you have to be to participate in the program?
Children as young as 3 can join CSA. Our program utilizes the Suzuki method of instruction. Very young children have been extremely successful at learning to play music using this method.
What are the benefits of joining CSA?
One of the obvious benefits is knowing that your child will be taught by a skilled instructor. Our teachers have the education and training necessary to ensure quality instruction. In addition, CSA offers concerts to residents of local assisted-living centers and provides other community outreach opportunities for students throughout the year.
Are group lessons for younger children necessary? Why can’t I just take private lessons without group lessons?
The CSA policy is that if there is an appropriate group class for your child to participate in, you will be billed for that class and your child’s participation is expected, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Group classes enhance the private lessons offered on an individual basis. Performance opportunities in a group setting are valuable learning tools. And it is beneficial for students to watch the progression of peers in a safe setting. The structure of the program is based on the Suzuki method, which does include a repertoire or group lesson for all students.
Are lessons held in the summer?
Summer lessons are offered by teachers on varying schedules. However, the CSA does not offer lessons in the summer. If a teacher is available to teach lessons, fees are the responsibility of each family and must be paid directly to the teachers.
When does the term start? How long is a term? When is the year over?
Typically, the fall term starts around the first or second week of September. CSA has three 11-week terms throughout the school year. No lessons are offered during Thanksgiving, Winter Break or Spring Break. The last week of spring term is typically around the last week of May.
How is the Cadillac Area Youth Orchestra (CAYO) connected to the CSA?
CAYO was started several years ago as a pilot program to provide a symphonic orchestral training opportunity to student musicians in the greater Cadillac area. This component of CSA has been very successful in attracting young student musicians from the four-county area and has also provided enjoyable performances to the community. Currently, CAYO students are charged a fee for participation. The yearly fee is $135.00 for two terms. CSA is investigating opportunities to find sponsors for the program to reduce or eliminate this fee to enable participation by all interested musicians. Some students travel long distances to participate in CAYO. Rising gas prices preclude many from joining due to the added cost on top of the fee. It is envisioned that at some point in the future this program will be accessible to all.