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Our West Side Strings Program provides young musicians with a wide range of group classes and ensembles of different sizes and levels to participate in. It caters to students from kindergarten beginners embarking on their musical path to intermediate and advanced musicians who love making music with other like-minded musicians. All group classes and ensembles perform at least two concerts throughout the year.

We create a holistic and nurturing environment, where students develop and enhance their ensemble skills through a rigorous study of ensemble literatures and improve their overall musicianship through engaging workshops and activities. Throughout the year we welcome guest instructors and teaching artists who share their expertise for a particular skill set.

In the West Side Strings Program, we intentionally keep our class size small. This allows us to provide a close-knit community, where young musicians receive individual attention, foster strong relationships and networking with faculty members and fellow musicians, as well as provided with more opportunities for immersive learning.

We believe that students of all levels should enjoy making music with their peers. Playing in a musical ensemble, much like participating in a sports team, allows young musicians to foster the ability to work and collaborate with others as well as to build social skills, including verbal and non-verbal communication. They not only hone an awareness of blend and balance in terms of intonations, styles, phrasing, and character, but are also introduced to how to work towards a common goal with others based on connection and trust.

The West Side Strings Program provides our young students a comprehensive and rewarding ensemble experience—including the opportunity to perform a diverse range of musical pieces based on pedagogical importance with special emphasis on the development of chamber music performance skills.

West Side Strings Group Classes and Ensembles on Fridays

Green Spruce Class—for students in kindergarten and 1st grade from 4:00 pm – 4:50 pm. Students need to study privately through CCM and parent participation is also required.

Blue Spruce Class—for students in grades 2 and 3 from 4:50 pm – 5:40 pm. Students need to study privately through CCM.

Green and Blue Spruce Group Classes—Tailored for novice violin players who have studied the violin less than a year or who may be embarking on their musical journey without prior violin experience, these classes aim to develop ensemble skills for group performances, offer solo performance opportunities in a masterclass format, monitor and reinforce techniques from private lessons, and introduce music reading, theory, and ear training concepts.

Cedar Ensemble—an engaging introduction to multipart group playing for beginner/ intermediate string players (bass, cello, viola, and violin) from 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm.

Ensemble members develop sight-reading and rhythm-keeping skills through group counting and time-keeping exercises. They learn to listen carefully and balance individual sound with group sound through creative improvisation and ‘groove building’ exercises.

Cedar Ensemble masters 4 to 6 new pieces each semester. Repertoire ranges from Mozart to Newfoundland Fiddling, and members are encouraged to bring in repertoire requests and/ or their own compositions. Through group playing, Cedar Ensemble members develop accountability to themselves and the group and learn the value of cooperation.

Please note: New beginner violin and viola students enrolling at CCM are required to participate in a Spruce Group Class, which includes each semester (fall/winter – spring) 17 30-minute private lessons and the 15 group classes. The semester tuition for this program is $1,422.

For more information and to register, please call (978) 369-0010 or email us.

  • Age Group(s): 5-8, 9-12
  • Ages: 5 - 10
  • Instructor: Long Okada, Emma Gies
  • Semester: Fall and Winter/Spring
  • Duration: 50 minutes, 15 weeks/semester; Ceder Ensemble, 60 minutes, 14 weeks/semester
  • Day/Time: Fridays
  • Cost: $480 for Group