StringWizards’ (SW) primary function is to support non-profit programming that specifically provides underserved populations with high quality music education on a daily basis and in an orchestra setting.  The city has a very few organizations operating at this level and with this format.    

We address bowed instrument sound, appearance and playability, which is a very expensive budget item and sadly one of the first items trimmed in times of budget shortfalls.   

 The SW model at St. Ignatius is dual function violin repair school and non-profit management trainer for volunteering students.  It functions much like a grad school cohort with independent study but a common area of focus.  



String Wizards is a, collegiate level, inter-discipline, social entrepreneurship experience edited for a secondary school setting.  There are three course outcomes:  

  • to learn violin repair, and
  • to manage the business side of a music and arts service organization dedicated exclusively to inner city chamber and symphony orchestras, and
  • to publicize shop output, and create for themselves an opportunity to practice and simultaneously acquire résumé writing skills and college essay collateral.    

Shop time is divided between violin repair and creating promotional material for a digital word.  Sample grant inquiries and guest speaker invitations are sent to major Chicago arts foundations and others requesting mentorship--not funding.    Responses have been positive and more are planned.