3 Ways to Play This Summer

The more students play, the more likely they are to keep playing! Teachers know that students who stay committed to their instrument over the summer months are more likely to stick with it into the following fall and beyond. Regular playing experiences, whether in private lessons, orchestra rehearsals, or just practicing at home, keep students motivated to continue.

How to keep them at it?

While simply holding onto the instrument and setting up a summer practice routine is a good start, having friends to play with and/or a performance to prepare for will keep practice interesting. And students who are interested in practicing are more likely to stick to a routine on their own, allowing parents to sit back, relax, and enjoy the music!


1. Private lessons


  • One-on-one format allows teachers to focus on students’ individual needs, streamlining progress and helping to avoid technical setbacks.
  • Weekly lessons function as mini solo performances, motivating students to progress from week to week.
  • Private teachers act as musical mentors and models, encouraging students to see themselves as future musicians and facilitating long-term goal-setting.

Best for:

Everyone! Especially students who have begun to plateau and aren’t sure how to progress.

Things to keep in mind:

For any enthusiastic string player, private lessons can make a big difference. However, some students are particularly motivated by group-playing experiences, and for these students its a good idea to look into small-group lessons or to supplement private lessons with participation in an orchestra or small ensemble. (Check out our current Friend’s Lesson Special, which might be just the right fit!)

Local teachers: contact us for a teacher referral or to schedule a lesson!

2. Summer orchestra programs


  • Allows students to build friendships with other young players at similar ability levels.
  • Gives students a performance to prepare for
  • Weekly rehearsals give students the ability to check their own progress and make weekly goals.

Best for: 

  • Students who are most motivated by playing with others.
  • Those who started learning with a private teacher and have not yet had an opportunity to play in an ensemble.

Things to Keep in Mind: 

Playing in an orchestra is much different than playing alone or even in unison with others. In an orchestra, different groups of instruments play at different times and students have to learn to keep track of the music in order to play the right notes at the right time. Prepare your student to expect a challenge at his or her first rehearsal, and encourage him or her not to give up if he/she feels lost at first – things get easier quickly and he/she’ll soon find him/herself having a lot of fun.

Local programs:

South Kingstown Summer Strings

Thursdays, 6-7:30pm @ Broad Rock School, June 29th – August 17th

Fee: $72 SK residents, $82 non-residents

Applications available at the shop!

3. Strings camp 


  • Summer camps provide students with a big boost in motivation and ability that can carry them through the rest of the season.
  • A rewarding summer camp experience is one students will look forward to year after year – keeping them playing so they can keep going back.

Best for:

  • Enthusiastic students looking for an immersive musical experience
  • Students in need of a little inspiration

Things to keep in mind:

As when picking a private teacher, look for a camp that fits your students interests, ability level and learning style. If your student already has a private teacher, he or she can provide valuable advice on what programs to look into.

Local Camps:

URI Strings Week, July 10th – 15th

More info available at the Strings Week website!