Terry Miles doesn’t teach violin, he teaches kids how to maintain violins.
The String Wizards is a violin repair training program designed for very small classes of two or three music students who train/apprentice once or twice per week as luthiers (or master craftsmen) to their home orchestras. They learn the art of violin construction and maintenance as they restore and repair violins, violas, cellos, and basses that fellow students are learning to play. The program is dedicated to helping students experience and celebrate personal achievement as they discover first-hand how care and planning makes a real difference in their lives and in the quality of the music they help their orchestras create.
For example, Terry teaches students at MUSIC Inc. how to keep their instruments in good shape by sharing methods on re-stringing and making minor setup corrections. Even though the kids may have been given old and worn violins, by knowing how to make these repairs, they can still have good sounding and functioning instruments.
For the past four years, Terry has been running The String Wizards by himself, with some help from elementary school-aged students as his helpers. This year, he is moving to St. Ignatius College Prep, in hopes of getting assistance from high school-aged students to help make the program more self-sustaining by having seniors mentor incoming freshman volunteers.
With the help of the program’s new volunteers, Terry plans to work on instruments from inner city, minority-served string programs. Additionally, they will actively seek tuition-free schools to serve as well.
Interested in joining The String Wizards volunteer team? Check out their brochure here.
To learn more about this program, visit their website at thestringswizards.org.