Instructors & Coordinators

Susan May – Program Director, Discovery, Beginning & Advanced/Orchestra Instructor (

Susan Nagel – Teacher, Intermediate level, and Co-teacher for Advanced level (

View the SJGS Strings Teacher Bios

Questions: please email Parent Coordinator Kara Kane at


Online registration is now available. Registration deadline is Friday, August 31, 2018.


Saturday, August 18, 9-11am – Visit the strings table at the SJGS Back-to-School Event.

Thursday, September 6, 6:30pm (BMR in church): Mandatory Orientation and Instrument Clean, Care & Tuning Workshop for all parents and students new to the SJGS strings program. Returning families welcome as well!

All Strings Practices begin week of September 11, 2018. Please refer to the 2018-19 strings schedule for dates, times, and locations and all other important dates for the school year.

Class Descriptions & Times:

  • Discovery: Tuesdays 3:00-4:10 in the BMR – This class is for new string students in grades 1 & 2. It will cover basic concepts of music and accompanying skills (pitch, rhythm, beat, etc), pre-reading in preparation for music notation reading, rote playing and opportunities to play with more advanced students in ensemble.
  • Beginning: Thursdays 3:00-4:10 in the BMR – This class is for Discovery level graduates and new strings students in grades 3 & 4. Students will use Book One of Essential Elements, including an introduction to second finger pattern, notes on remaining 2 strings, slurs, rote learning, ear training and ensemble performance.
  • Intermediate Strings: Wednesdays 3:00-4:10 in the BMR – This class is for Beginning graduates and will focus on rapid review and completion of Book One Essential Elements and work in Book Two as far as reasonable, including at least all 4 finger patterns on all 4 strings, “Level Landmarks” ladder system of assessment, ensemble performance pieces from Book Two as well as other published concert material.
  • Advanced/Orchestra: Wednesdays 3:00-4:10 in the Upper Room – This class is for Intermediate graduates and returning advanced stings players in all grades. Students will do rapid review and completion of Book Two Essential Elements, continuation of “Level Landmarks” assessment ladder, provide simple conducting experiences for oldest players, participate in ensemble concerts, strolling strings and be exposed to standard student orchestral concert material. Students 5th grade and above will participate in ISSMA ensembles in January 2019.


Registration Fee

$40 Strings Program Registration Fee – billed through FACTS by the school. The registration fee covers all books, music, binders, and concert events.

Lesson Fees

$45 monthly – not considered a “per lesson” fee. Nine months total for year.

Payment Options

St. Joe Strings is a yearlong program running from September – May. Payment Options:

  • Monthly: Monthly payments of $45 will be billed via FACTS during the nine month school year. Your FACTS statement will reflect charges starting in October.
  • Semester: 5% discount for advance payment for each semester ($193 for 1st payment – billed via FACTS in October; $193 for 2nd payment – billed via FACTS in January).
  • Year: 10% discount for advance payment of two semesters ($365 for 9 months – billed via FACTS in October).

There will be no adjustments or refunds for absences. If your child misses class, make up time can be provided. The program fees cover preparation and instruction time; additional lessons for students who need extra help; programs, as well as preparation time and extra rehearsals for programs. You may speak with instructors directly if you wish for your child to participate in private one-on-one lessons outside of strings classes.


You may rent your child’s instrument from Quinlan & Fabish (130 Edison Rd, Mishawaka, (574-293-6332). Your child needs to be present for rental in order to be fitted correctly for his/her instrument.

The Saint Joseph Strings Program also has a limited number of instruments available to rent. The rental fee is $10/month and will be billed via FACTS. Please contact Kara Kane ( for additional information.