The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

December 11, 2012

String Students: 3rd-graders learn violin basics

By Edd Davis

— Chances are most of the third-graders at Athens Elementary School never touched a violin before this year.

Today, hand them a violin and bow and they can show you how to hold it, play it and describe all its parts and their roles in making music.

Thanks to The Symphony School of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, all third-graders at AES were able to participate in basic violin lessons at no cost to them or their families. The program is currently offered in six school districts in North Alabama.

During 10 50-minute lessons, using what is called the modified Suzuki approach, the students learned to play under the tutelage of Symphony School instructor Kristi Coughlin.

The students capped their musical adventure with performances at the school for parents and other family members, and with a feeling of musical accomplishment beyond their years.