January 20, 2015

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

South Georgia String Project Offers Classes for Ages 8 to Adult

~ 2014-2015 is the Year of the Arts at Valdosta State University ~

VALDOSTA — The South Georgia String Project, a joint venture of the Valdosta State University Department of Music and the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, will kick off its 2015 spring session with a meeting for new students and their parents at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 21, in the Fine Arts Building Choir Room. Families with children age 8 and older who are interested in learning more about this initiative are invited to attend and ask questions.

Led by Lauren Burns Hodges, director and master teacher, the South Georgia String Project offers “an after-school music program where students can easily access low-cost stringed instrument instruction,” while simultaneously providing “a valuable, mentored teaching experience for music students at Valdosta State University.”

The South Georgia String Project offers technique classes, private lessons, and group classes. Performances are held several times a year both on the VSU campus and out in the community.

Private lessons are also available for those who wish to study piano.

Advanced South Georgia String Project students have the opportunity to audition for a seat in the Valdosta Symphony Youth Orchestra.

“Music is such a valuable part of a child’s education,” said Hodges, who was named director of the South Georgia String Project five years ago, “and it is a shame that so many programs are now being eliminated from public schools. Musical training encourages creativity and self-expression, and it develops discipline, teamwork, and analytical thinking skills.

“The South Georgia String Project can provide low-cost music education to families in the community who would not otherwise have access.” 

According to its website at www.valdosta.edu/sgsp, “The South Georgia String Project encourages the enjoyment of music and self-expression through the study of a musical instrument and actively seeks to provide opportunities for student leadership, parental participation, and involvement in the greater community.” It was started in 1993 and originally offered on location at area public schools and taught by VSU professors.

The American String Teacher Association named the South Georgia String Project the 2011 National String Project of the Year.

Contact Lauren Burns Hodges at sgsp@valdosta.edu to learn more about the South Georgia String Project.

On the Web:




Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

Special initiatives like the South Georgia String Project help the university to meet the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.


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