Missouri String Project

The Missouri String Project has been a part of the Columbia community since 1973. The Project has a two-fold mission – to give young students the opportunity to study the violin, viola or cello, and to prepare University music students for their futures as public school and private teachers. 

MU students serve as teachers and receive instruction and guidance from MU viola professor and Director of the MSP, Leslie Perna. 3rd-5th grade students receive instruction through group lessons and string orchestra rehearsals and perform concerts each semester. These students benefit from inexpensive yet extensive instruction from excited and energetic teachers, while teachers get invaluable hands-on teaching experience in a supervised atmosphere before they begin their work in the public schools or their own private teaching studios. Dozens of teachers from MSP have found the experience invaluable as they pursue a career in music and teaching. Hundreds of young students have begun their musical lives with MSP, and many still play today.

The Missouri Youth Orchestra is now being hosted by the Missouri Symphony. For more information, visit: https://themosy.org/conservatory_/

Summer '23

1st and 2nd years: $100 (due on Friday, June, 2023)

Summer 2023 Schedule

Dates: June 5 - June 30, 2023
Meeting days: Monday's, Wednesday's, and Friday's
Time: 5pm-6pm
Location: Fine Arts Building
Concert: June 30 during class time in Sheryl Crow Hall

*The summer '23 session is only open to CURRENT 1st and 2nd year MSP students.

Summer '23 Application

  • The summer '23 session is only open to CURRENT 1st and 2nd year MSP students.
  • Registration and Payment Deadline: June 2, 2023
  • An invoice will be emailed to you within two weeks after filling out the application which will contain the link to pay online.

Top Notch Violins is the MSP rental partner. 

The following link contains more information regarding their rental program including some sizing measurements for all our players: https://topnotchviolins.com/instrument-rentals/

Supplies needed:

  • Your own rented/purchased instrument.  Renting an instrument for use in the MSP is the responsibility of each individual student and parent.  For your convenience, a representative from Top Notch Violins Shop is working with the MSP.  They will be happy to service your rental/purchase needs at a very competitive rate. Their website is: topnotchviolins.com/st-louis-violin-rentals/.  However, you may rent/buy your instrument and music from whomever you choose.    
  • Lesson book "Essential Elements Book 1,” also available through Top Notch Violin Shop. 
  • Music Stand, available from Top Notch 
  • Shoulder rest for violinists and violists, included in your rental. 
  • Lesson notebook and pencil, for teacher assignments and note-taking 

*We keep our costs very low and are able to offer an outstanding fee The Missouri String Project is self-supporting, and this fee pays our hard-working teachers. The MSP enrollment form and your payment will reserve a place for your child in the program – therefore fees are non-refundable.

In the event of inclement weather, the Missouri String Project/Missouri Youth Orchestra follows the Columbia Public Schools. For example, on dates where Columbia Public Schools are closed because of inclement weather the MSP/MYO will not hold rehearsals. All parents will be notified by email of any scheduling changes due to inclement weather. MSP/MYO will still meet on CPS teacher workdays. 

Refund policy: In the event that MSP needs to transition to online classes/rehearsals, no refunds will be offered. The student will have the option to continue with online instruction or continue with MSP once in-person instruction resumes.


Missouri String Project Coordinator

Community Programs Coordinator
Joanna Griffith