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String Project - California State University, Sacramento

From the Spring 2013 "Soundpost" Magazine -
the official publication of the California Chapter of the American String Teachers Association

The Sacramento String Project continues! We have instituted a semester of observation before a college student is accepted as one of the 10-14 teachers divided into one of our three rooms. We are pleased at how seriously the trainees take the Project and proud that our teachers who apprentice for two years or more have an almost 100% graduation rate and are employed using their music diplomas in some way, often combining playing and teaching. We get regular emails and phone calls from area music directors and principals asking for recommendations for their openings.

Our concert December 10th was a wonderful success. The children played very well to a particularly enthusiastic audience. We were honored to have in the audience Sacramento State’s President - Alexander Gonzales, the Arts and Letters Dean - Edward Inch, and the Music Department Chair - Ernie Hills. Their support for our Project is imperative and greatly appreciated.  Gaye Currier, a longtime ASTA member and regular SP concert attendee, confirmed what we were feeling – each crop of children is playing better and better and the teachers are becoming more and more knowledgeable, skilled and confident.  Next concert: May 20th at 7pm!


From the Spring 2012 "Soundpost" Magazine -
the official publication of the California Chapter of the American String Teachers Association

Director: Andrew Luchansky
Master Teacher: Judy W. Bossuat-Gallic
Assistant Master Teacher: Timothy Stanley

Our exciting news pertains to the presentation by the apprentice teachers at the ASTA National Conference in Atlanta.  Past conference attendees’ descriptions of the benefits of attendance incited more students than ever to take the time and make the financial investment necessary to get to Atlanta. It helped that the conference fell during Sac State’s spring break and conflicts with missed classes was a non-issue.

As part of the National String Project Consortium’s session on “Best Practices”, the students gave a lively presentation about using singing to help students with intonation, pitch, rhythm, articulation, dynamics, interpretation, memorization and home practice. The presentation included demonstrations and the composition of an amusing original piece with lyrics describing the process and reasons for singing (playable by beginning strings!). As usual, Sacramento State’s presentation stood out as exceptional and engaging.

Thanks to Timothy Stanley for the composition, and those in attendance: Graduate Students – violinists: Jennifer Jim, Sandro Ladu; Undergraduate Students - violinists: Cody Alves, Josiah Catalan, Emily Shepard ; violists: Pablo Frias, Paul Sikes; cellist: Elisabeth Kirsten; bassist: Andrew Mearns; and to all the teachers for the brain-storming and ideas, including non-attendees Laura Huey, Joyce Park, Paolo Reyes and Alex Winter.
In addition to the NSPC session, Judy Bossuat-Gallic presented an provocative session on using gentle, non-intrusive touch in just the right place to facilitate correct, balanced positions; and once balanced, the use of body/instrument vibrations and resonance to improve tone and intonation.

The children on the String Project have been divided into three groups for spring semester and will be presenting an inspiring free concert on Monday, May 14th at 7pm in the Capistrano Music Recital Hall. Please join us! In addition, later in the week, they will partner with the Sacramento Symphony for an outreach concert. Exciting!

From the Spring 2010 "Soundpost" Magazine -
the official publication of the California Chapter of the American String Teachers Association

CSU Sacramento String Project – Spring 2010

String Project teachers presented a portion of the National String Project
Consortium’s “Best Practices” session at the Santa Clara National

The Sacramento State presentation, an original poem elaborated by Timothy Stanley and presented by the teachers in a playful rap style, explained the importance of counting rests when playing in an orchestra and the importance of educating the audience about how a stringed instrument functions. That education includes how the instrument’s strings each have a different pitch and the correct placement of the fingers changes the pitch even further, as well as how important the correct balance the weight/speed/contact point of the bow is – making the difference between beautiful sounds and horrible scratches. The humorous presentation culminated with a DVD of the children’s Winter Concert Performance of “Beginner’s Rap” - an original piece by Master Teacher Judy W. Bossuat which demonstrated the children successfully counting rests, with the narrative educating the audience.

The spring 2010 String Project with Director Andrew Luchansky has ten teacher apprentices gaining experience with Master Teacher Judy W. Bossuat: David Ramos-Albertson, Stephen Barbee, Courtney Castaneda, Vijay Chalasani, Ehren Grubel, Shannon Houston, Sydney Lew, Joyce Park, Paolo Reyes, Tim Stanley, and Alex Winter.

For the first time, two cellists have begun studying bass under the tutelage of David Albertson. This was made possible through the loan of instruments by A.T.N.I. from France, makers of the COSI carbon-fiber instruments. This company exhibited at the ASTA Conference. We are excited to add bass to our orchestra.

The CSUS String Project is made possible through the generous support of the University, the Teichert Foundation and String Letter Publishing. We are deeply grateful to Fred Teichert and David Lusterman for their leadership in supporting string education for the children of Sacramento. The results will be shown at our Concert in the Capistrano Concert Hall on Monday May 17 at 7pm. Free. Please come and bring your friends.


PICTURES - taken by Gabrielle Meindl and the university

CSU Sacramento String Project – Spring ‘09- "Soundpost - Spring/Summer 2009 edition"

Three teachers plus Master Teacher Judy Weigert Bossuat and Director Andrew Luchansky will attend the ASTA Conference in Atlanta (March 18-22).

Courtney Castaneda, Holly Harrison and Vijay Chalasani will present our project's “Best Practice” for recruiting during a session by the National String Project Consortium. An article elaborating last year's conference presentation on teaching rhythm will appear in “Strings” magazine in June.  

KVIE public television recorded the String Project in November and aired the selection numerous times in December. Check our website for a link to view the short program. The children thoroughly enjoyed having the camera wandering through the classes and the idea of being on TV. They each have received a DVD copy of the television show.

The Spring 2009 String Project continues with eleven teacher apprentices gaining experience with Professor Bossuat: Courtney Castaneda, Vijay Chalasani, Holly Harrison, Sarena Hsu, Alexie Kodash, Elisa Lazzarino, Chayong Lee, Paolo Reyes, Laura Rubinstein-Salzedo, Tim Stanley, and Alex Winter. Please check out the website “Project Teachers” page to see their pictures and read their short biographies. This is an exciting group of talented musicians and the children are benefiting from their guidance.

 In addition to the String Project activities, the students have an ASTA Student Chapter with Professor Bossuat as their advisor and Vijay Chalasani as Chapter President. On Saturday April 18, they will host the introductory Suzuki Method training course “Every Child Can.” This 6 hour course is open to all interested teachers and parents. Email for more information.

The CSUS String Project is made possible through the generous support of the University, the Teichert Foundation and String Letter Publishing . We are deeply grateful to Fred Teichert and David Lusterman for their leadership in supporting string education for the children of Sacramento .

In addition to the heterogeneous groups and orchestra, individual and small group lessons are available. In this way, the teachers gain group and individual teacher mentoring, and the children make even better progress. The results will be shown at our Spring Concert in the Capistrano Concert Hall on Monday May 18 th at 7pm. Free. Please come and bring your friends.

Registration lists for fall 2009 are being made now. Tell your friends in the area with children in the 3-9 th grades. This is a wonderful low-cost opportunity for them to learn a string instrument. Email us at and check out our website for more information.


"SOUNDPOST" article about the CSU Sacramento String Project
Fall 2008

The CSUS String Project enters it eighth year healthy and thriving.

The String Project is a “win – win” situation. Children from the community learn stringed instruments at a nominal cost and the university string majors gain valuable supervised teaching experience that will serve them for the rest of their lives. This teaching opportunity is a wonderful complement to the undergraduate and master degree students' major instrument study with Sacramento State 's outstanding faculty.

  The Project is in full swing with Judy Weigert Bossuat continuing this year as the master teacher. Group classes and the optional extra individual or small group lessons have begun. The orchestra appears stronger than last year, and the new crop of beginners is very enthusiastically learning the basics of good string posture, intonation, tone production and music reading.   Many of our university student teachers from last year have returned, six of them fortified by extra Suzuki Method pedagogical study over the summer. The teachers include cellists Courtney Castaneda, Tim Stanley and Alex Winter; violists Vijay Chalasani and Holly Harrison, violinists Sarena Hsu, Elisa Lazzarino, Chayong Lee, Paolo Reyes, and Laura Rubinstein-Salzedo. Miss Hsu and Miss Castaneda are efficiently sharing the secretarial responsibilities.   Last year many of the CSUS String Project teachers attended the ASTA Conference in Albuquerque . The benefit and growth from such an experience is wonderful and irreplaceable. Because of the increased travel distance this year's conference in Atlanta is more of a financial stretch, but the students have done grant applications and are hoping for positive outcomes.   We are continuing our partnership with the Robla School district . In May, SP teachers went to Taylor School and gave numerous sessions integrating math and science lessons with stringed instruments using the ASTA program “Discovering Strings.”   Mark your calendars: Free concert - December 15, 2008 at 7pm in the CSUS Concert Recital Hall.   Check out our website!

Judy W. Bossuat
Master Teacher, CSUS String Project

Andrew Luchansky
Professor of Cello and Chamber Music
Founder /Director CSUS String Project


May 19, 2008 update:

Congratulations on a wonderful concert! Mr Teichert was very pleased to see everyone playing so nicely. Thank you to everyone for bringing snacks for the reception. See you in September! Keep practicing over the summer. Turn in your registration forms ASAP if you have not done so already.

May 12 , 2008 update:

Students have been give registration forms for the Fall. Please return them as soon as possible.

If you have friends who might be interested in the String Project for the fall, have them check the information on the website . They should also send in their registration forms ASAP. Forms will be accepted until class rosters are complete.

For the Concert:

Students have been given invitation cards that they can personalize and give to family and friends. We are hoping for a full house. There will be free parking passes in the lobby of the music building.

Please be sure that the students have organized their music folders in the concert order. Concert arrival on May 19th is at 6:20 - dressed and ready with music stands, music, instruments and your contribution to the reception. Violinists should bring sweet or salty edibles and cellists bring drinks. You are welcome to bring extras so we are sure to have enough!


January 14, 2008 UPDATE:

The December 17th concert was wonderful! The students sounded great, the apprentice teachers played their quartets beautifully and the audience was enthusiastic. Congratulations!

Registration forms should have been received by the office by now, but if you have forgotten to send yours in, please do not despair! We are continuing to accept registrations in preparation for our January 30th first class of the semester. Please mail yours in or email to let us know it is on the way so we can plan classes. See you on Wednesday January 30th at 4:30.

Professor Bossuat

September 2007

News Flash!

Judy Weigert Bossuat, CSUS String Project Master Teacher from 2002-2005 has returned to the Sacramento area as Master Teacher. Nicole Cleveland has replaced Kelsey Yates as project secretary.

A warm “Thank You” goes to Mrs. Vigil, former Master Teacher, for her work with the students and teacher apprentices for the past two years and to Kelsey for her many hours of organizational work.

Fall 2007 brings many teacher apprentices to the project. Returning teachers with previous teaching experience on the Project include: Nicole Cleveland, Holly Harrison, Hans Hoffer, Tim Stanley, and Emily Wolfram. Joining them will be Courtney Castenada, Vijay Chalasani, Rei Luu, Paolo Reyes, and Laura Rubinstein-Salzedo.

Please check out the website “Project Teachers” page to click on their pictures and read their short biographies. This is an exciting group of talented musicians and the children will benefit from their guidance.

An exciting new addition to the String Project curriculum this year is the option of additional classes during the 5:30-6:30 hour. Individual, small group and music theory lessons will be offered on a first come- first serve basis for an additional fee. The information about these classes can be found on the “Registration” page. There is an additional registration form downloadable for these lessons.

Currently the apprentice teachers are working with Professor Bossuat on teaching steps, organizing classes, creating materials and recruitment. Parents come for meetings on September 12 and classes begin on September 17. Late registrations may be accepted until classes are full.

Everyone is looking forward to an exciting year at the Project.


New articles about the project

Information printed in the “Soundpost” Magazine Spring 2005. The “Soundpost” is the official publication of the California Chapter of the American String Teacher's Association with NSOA

MARCH 2005
CSU, Sacramento

While project director Andrew Luchansky spent time in meetings about the national restructuring of the String Projects during the “Strings Alive in 2005” Reno Conference, the apprentice teachers Katharina Becker, Andrew
Bushnell, Nicole Cleveland, Rachael Klier, Hans Hoffer, Liliya Taryanik, Timothy Stanley, Emily Wolfram, Kelsey Yates and alumni Maria Berenice Hoyos and Shane Kalbach were joined by Master Teacher Judy Weigert Bossuat to present a portion of the String Project Session : “Innovative String Project Ideas.”

Everyone returned from the conference enthusiastic and with many ideas for improving both their teaching and playing. With so many teachers in attendance, there were representatives at many of the different sessions each
hour so the teachers are writing summaries of the important points from the sessions they attended. They will present their reviews in the project meetings in April.

The children on the project continue to progress. On April 20th they will play an outreach concert at the Taylor School in the Robla District. The Robla District facilitates attendance for about 30 children in the CSUS String Project by providing transportation and in many cases paying tuition and providing instruments. This concert is scheduled at 6 pm, right before the district’s School Board Meeting and is open to the public.

The final concert this semester will be held on Monday May 16 at 7pm at the Recital Hall in Capistrano Hall at CSUS. This free concert will include many new orchestra pieces as well as some of the children’s favorite selections
that remain in their repertoire. These pieces are modifi ed to help teach new techniques such as work in higher positions. These modifications are stimulating to the advanced students as well as nurturing the enthusiasm of the newer students. We hope to see you on May 16th!

Judy Weigert Bossuat
President California American String Teachers Association - email


Information printed in the “Soundpost” Magazine Fall 2004. The “Soundpost” is the official publication of the California Chapter of the American String Teacher's Association with NSOA

CSU, Sacramento -


Andrew Luchansky - Director

Judy Weigert Bossuat - Master Teacher

The fourth year of the project is underway with the help of a grant form the Clarence E. Heller Foundation. Eight skilled college musicians are mentoring the eager children. Returning students Katharina Becker, Hans Hoffer, Maria Berenice Hoyos, and Kelsey Yates have been joined by Andrew Bushnell, Nicole Cleveland, Rachael Klier and Tim Stanley.

Last spring's String Project presentation at the CMEA Conference helped both the children and teachers gain purpose and independence. The fruits of those efforts are being felt early this semester. Confidence is high and students are benefiting!

Because of bussing schedules, about 35 of the children attend not only their regular class, but participate in the class a level right above or below their own. This double instruction time on Monday and Wednesday afternoons is increasing their enthusiasm as well as their technique.

The incredible payback of the String Project concept is clear. Many children are getting good instruction on stringed instruments at a very low cost and the college students are gaining supervised teaching experience. Children who began their instruction in the Project are participating in their school orchestras as they change to middle school, junior high or high school and that possibility becomes available.

If you have any friends in the Sacramento area, direct them to our website for information on enrolling their children in the project. The String Project is a wonderful, low cost opportunity for children grades 3-8. We may begin a new class of beginners in January, so have your friends give us a call at 916-278-6558. Visit our website at .