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Missouri String Project

Leslie Perna
, Professor of Viola
Director, Missouri String Project
259 Fine Arts Building
Columbia, Missouri 65211-6120
phone: 573-882-2748
fax: 573-884-7444

click here to enroll via online application

For further information about all of the
School of Music’s community programs, please contact Jonathan Kuuskoski, Director of
Entrepreneurship and Community Programs
140 Fine Arts Building
Columbia, MO 65211-6120
phone: 573-882-2605 fax: 573-884-7444

The Missouri String Project has been a part of the Columbia community since 1973. The Project has a two-fold mission – to prepare University music students for their future as public school and private teachers, and to introduce 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students to music by giving them the opportunity to study the violin, viola or cello. MU music education and performance majors serve as teachers, and receive instruction and guidance from MU viola professor Leslie Perna, the Director of the MSP. Young students are provided instruction through group lessons and string chamber orchestra rehearsals, and perform their own concerts each semester. These students benefit from inexpensive yet extensive instruction from excited and energetic teachers, while teachers who participate get invaluable hands-on teaching experience in a supervised atmosphere of learning before they graduate to jobs in the public schools or begin their own private teaching studios. Dozens of teachers from the project have found the experience invaluable as they pursue a career in teaching, as well as in their day to day professional lives. Hundreds of young students have begun their musical lives with the MSP, and many still play today.


Summer Session, June 8-July 3 (for continuing 1st & 2nd year students)

Serving as a natural extension of MSP, this orchestra class continues the fundamentals taught in the MSP - students will simply pick up where they left off, working with their same classmates. They will build on their solid musical foundation by learning new scales and techniques, and performing orchestra and chamber music repertoire.

Classes meet every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5:00-6:00 PM for four weeks and will take place in MU's Fine Arts Building. There will be a final concert on Friday, July 3 at 6:00 PM in Whitmore Recital Hall.

Please register online by us by May 31, 2015. The 4-week session tuition fee is $90, due by the first Friday class.

Please contact us at with any questions!

Summer Private Lesson Information for continuing students

Students who are interested in pursuing private lessons over the summer are encouraged to do so. This does not exclude participating in the MSP Summer Session. Lessons are available from MSP teachers either privately or through the Community Music Program. Lessons are generally given by the 1/2 hour, 3/4 hour or hour. Times are to be arranged by parents and teachers.

Contact the Community Music Program at 573-882-2605 or directly at and ask for your preferred teacher.


Supplies Needed

  1. Your own rented/purchased instrument.  Renting an instrument for use in the MSP is the responsibility of each individual student and parent.  You may rent/buy your instrument and music from whomever you choose.  However, a representative from Instrumental Influence, a local music store, will be at the Open House for your convenience, and will be happy to service your rental/purchase needs at a competitive rate.
  2. Lesson book "Essential Elements Book 1,” available at Open House
  3. Music Stand, available at Open House
  4. Shoulder rest for violinists and violists, which can be purchased from the music store or through MSP.
  5. Lesson notebook and pencil, for teacher assignments and note-taking


The 4-week session tuition fee is $90, due by the first Friday class.

Please make checks payable to MU School of Music and send to:

Attn: Missouri String Project
MU School of Music
140 Fine Arts Building
Columbia, MO 65211

Credit Cards: The MSP is now accepting credit card payments in person at the Community Programs office (140 Fine Arts Building) or over the phone at 573-882-2605

*We keep our costs very low, and are able to offer an outstanding fee.  Students receive 1 group class and 1 orchestra class per week, plus the final concert and possible private lessons for this one low fee.  The Missouri String Project is self-supporting, and this fee pays our hard-working teachers. 

We'd like to hear from you! If you have any questions, please contact us by calling 884-4939 or emailing

Missouri String Project orchestra