The South Georgia String Project, led by Director and Master Teacher Lauren Burns Hodges, is a joint venture of the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra and the Department of Music at Valdosta State University. The South Georgia String Project serves a dual purpose: first to provide an after-school music program where children can easily access low-cost stringed instrument instruction, and second to provide valuable, mentored teaching experience for music students at Valdosta State University.
We offer carefully structured techniques classes, private lessons, and four levels of group classes. Exemplary music students from the university, supervised by experienced teachers, assist in instruction at all levels. Our beginning students use a modified Suzuki approach incorporating the Essential Elements for Strings method book. The Concert Strings and Allegro Strings group classes offer opportunities for intermediate levels. Our most advanced level is the Valdosta Symphony Youth Orchestra, a full orchestra that includes musicians from the community as well as Valdosta State University music students.
The South Georgia String Project encourages the enjoyment of music and self-expression through the study of a musical instrument, and actively seeks to provide opportunities for student leadership, parental participation, and involvement with the greater community. We give several performances each year, including two end-of-semester concerts, outreach performances at local schools and libraries, and the annual Tunes for Tots event with the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra.
- Providing public school-age children opportunities to learn to play stringed instruments
- Supporting music-making opportunities for string students and teachers in order to facilitate the growth of area public school string and orchestra programs
- Offering undergraduate and graduate music students vital teaching, administrative, and leadership positions in a supervised environment as they continue with their professional training