Strings Institute

All ages and levels


Does your child want to play violin, viola, or cello? Or are you an adult who has always wanted to play a string instrument? Did you play in your youth, longing to return to the instrument? Are you an advanced player wanting to develop the finer points of musical tone, vibrato, and style? Are you a high school student preparing for your NYSSMA solo?

Our Strings Institute contains group classes and individual lesson opportunities for all stages of a string player’s development. At the Strings Institute, you’ll work with teachers who are not only professional musicians themselves, but are highly skilled in adapting instruction to individual students’ needs and levels. We teach a wide variety of curricula in our classes tailored to students’ needs and levels, from the Suzuki Method to advanced classical training methods and more.  


Section 10   30-minute lessons   $395

Section 11   45-minute lessons   $580

Section 12   60-minute lessons   $770

Smaller lesson packages are available with approval of instructor.

To arrange for individual lessons, please contact laura.doe@sunydutchess.edu at (845) 431-8916. 


VIOLIN Instructors: David Fiedler, Amanda Heaton, Heeja Questad, Anastasia Solberg and Jean Vilkelis 

VIOLA Instructors: David Fiedler, Amanda Heaton and Anastasia Solberg

CELLO Instructors: Amanda Heaton and Jean Vilkelis

DOUBLE BASS: Rusty Boris


  • String instrument sizes fit the student, who should be measured by the teacher or the strings retailer.  

  • For violin or cello rentals, contact Stamell Strings at (845) 337-3030 or Joseph Regh Violins at (845) 297-2521.  

  • Rental allows you to change violin size if the student is a growing child, and rental fees may often be applied to purchase when ready. Some dealers allow trade-ins on purchased instruments as well.  

  • Purchase of some low-cost music textbooks may be needed, depending on the instructor and the class.  



(6 Sessions) This class is for students who have taken at least one prior semester of violin study. More emphasis will be given to individual technique, and playing as an ensemble with harmony. Music notation and reading will also be introduced. It is recommended that students register for a 4/30-minute lesson package in addition to this course. 

Required Materials: "I Can Read Music" Volume 1 by Joanne Martin.

Group Class dates: 6/8, 6/29, 7/13, 7/27, 8/10, 8/24

10 11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. (S) 6/8 - 8/24 DCC A. Heaton $80


(6 Sessions) Drawing a sound from a stringed instrument is a uniquely satisfying experience.  Anyone curious about the violin – whether you studied as a child or are a complete beginner- is welcome to join.  Learn the natural motions that let you produce beautiful sound with ease.  By the end of the class you'll be playing some of your favorite songs!  Materials: “Artistry in Strings, Book 1 (Violin)” by Robert S. Frost and Gerald Fischbach, and “The ABC's of Violin for the Absolute Beginner” by Janice Tucker Rhoda.  For violin rentals, contact Stamell Strings at 845-337-3030 or Joseph Regh Violins at 845-297-2521.   

25 5:30 p.m. - 6:20 p.m. (R) 5/16 - 6/20 SP D. Fiedler $99
26 5:30 p.m. - 6:20 p.m. (R) 7/11 - 8/15 SP D. Fiedler $99


(6 Sessions) This class picks up where the Beginning class leaves off, and is also open to students who have studied violin in the past.  Topics include further training in proper use of the bow and the left hand.  Repertoire will include easy duets (two or more per part), along with beginning scales and selections from suitable method books.

Materials: “Artistry in Strings, Book 1 (Violin)” by Robert S. Frost and Gerald Fischbach.

For violin rentals, contact Stamell Strings at 845-337-3030 or Joseph Regh Violins at 845-297-2521.   

25 7:45 p.m. - 8:35 p.m. (W) 5/15 - 6/19 SP D. Fiedler $99
26 7:45 p.m. - 8:35 p.m. (W) 7/10 - 8/14 SP D. Fiedler $99


(6 Sessions) The Intermediate class is for students who are able to play comfortably in first position, and have a good grasp of note-reading and rhythm. Repertoire will include ensemble pieces chosen by the instructor according to the number and level of the participants. Some examples from previous classes include duets from the Baroque period and those by Bela Bartok (2 or more per part). A brief audition, either in person or by video, is required for those new to the school.

Materials: “Artistry in Strings, Book 1 (Violin)” by Robert S. Frost and Gerald Fischbach, and "Easiest Elementary Method for Violin, Op. 38" by Franz Wohlfahrt.  

25 6:30 p.m. - 7:20 p.m. (R) 5/16 - 6/20 SP D. Fiedler $99
26 6:30 p.m. - 7:20 p.m. (R) 7/11 - 8/15 SP D. Fiedler $99

MUX 630

(8 sessions) What is better than the sound of one cello? The sound of three or more cellos! This course is open to both current and new adult cello students at the advanced beginner/intermediate level. This ensemble is for students with a basic technical foundation, ability to play major and minor scales, and proficiency shifting from 1st through 4th positions. Emphasis will be on developing ensemble skills. An audition is required prior to registering: call Laura Doe, Music School director, to arrange for an audition at (845) 431-8916.

Class dates are: Mondays 5/20. 6/3, 6/17, 7/1, 7/15, 7/29, 8/12

70 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (M) 5/20 - 8/12 Studio J. Vilkelis $170

Chamber Music

Chamber music is a form of classical music written for a small group of instruments usually with one performer to a part. Because of its intimate nature, chamber music has been described as “the music of friends.” Playing chamber music requires special skills which are different from the skills required for playing solo or symphonic works. 

All ages and instruments are welcome.  Bring your own group with a minimum of two people and set your own schedule with one of our professional coaches. Most groups meet for 6 sessions, concluding with an optional performance. Interested new students, please call Laura G. Doe, Music School director, at (845) 431-8916.