This year is our 10th anniversary!!
Thanks for coming out to our Christmas “Winter Sing.” Students performed holiday songs and standards on guitars, ukuleles, banjo and mandolin. We covered a wide range of song material — traditional folk pieces like “Old Joe Clark” and “Arkansas Traveler.” Gospel songs such as “I’ll Fly Away” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” A big guitar and ukulele mash on the Harry Nilsson song, “Coconut.” Bing Crosby’s “I’m An Old Cowhand From the Rio Grande” and many, many others. If you couldn’t make it, we hope you can next year!
Strings Attached will continue serving youth through individual weekly classes. We also toured 9 branches of the St. Louis County Library system from March through July providing ukulele lessons to teens.
The library system now loans out ukuleles, guitars, banjo’s , electric guitars, keyboards, beat boxes and bongos to patrons, making libraries very musical places to be! You can also check out songbooks and books on the history of music. We’re happy to be a part of the musical library movement that’s shaping up across the country.
Fall 2019 has arrived and we have a new group of young ukulele players, ages 5 to 8, who started with us. We’re having a cool time learning some chords, strumming and singing songs. A couple of our new players are already writing their own songs to sing for the class. What talent and happiness!
Our 2019 summer ensemble worked hard putting together instrumental songs that include harmonized parts on banjitar, ukulele, guitar and mandolin. We culminated the sessions with some recordings or their work before they headed back to school.
Listen to some of the Summer String Ensemble!:
Thanks for joining us on June 21st for Make Music Day Open House at the parish hall, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ferguson. Youth musicians ages 5 to 17 played some songs or jammed with us on 12 bar blues and Wes Montgomery’s “Bumpin”. Moms and dads also participated in playing and singing music with youth as well!
We included an instrument discovery area, where kids could get hands-on tryouts of dulcimers, hammer dulcimer, bells, keyboards, congas and others.
We also had a partnership with Walnut Grove elementary school in Ferguson to help get their music teacher set up with 30 ukuleles to be used in music classes at the school.
Strings Attached hopes to continue this effort in expanding the use of ukuleles with kids in nearby elementary schools and supporting their music teachers however we can!
Looking to create a new collection of student/adult recordings in 2019. We’ve produced 4 CD’s of material to date and if you haven’t heard any of our recordings, check them out at http://www.reverbnation.com/stringsattachedproject or at http://www.soundcloud.com/guitarkestra
Check out a featured article about Strings Attached on Reverb at The Strings Attached Project: Instruments and Music Education for Kids of All Backgrounds | Reverb Gives . At Reverb Gives a portion of every sale of instruments sold on Reverb provides students, teachers, and leaders of music programs across the world with instruments they need.
2019 began with a field trip with our students & parents to the St. Louis Science Center for a special exhibit: “Guitar, the Instrument that Rocked the World.” The exhibit tied together the history, engineering and science behind the guitar & ukulele with examples of instruments, how they are constructed, hands-on exhibits about electro magnetism, waveforms/sound waves, vibration, structural engineering, acoustics and a variety of guitars, banjos, ukuleles forming the history of guitars.
Students were treated to a new storybook on the childhood of guitarist/inventor Les Paul entitled, “Guitar Genius” by Kim Tomsic in exchange for their drawings of the Les Paul persona, “Rhubarb Red” “Rhubarb Red” is the stage name Les Paul used when he began his career as a professional musician here in St. Louis on KMOX radio. We will be collecting interesting artifacts from Rhubarb Red’s career this spring and will celebrate Les Paul’s birthday with slices of rhubarb pie!
Listen to this interview on the “Music History Project” with Les Paul about his early childhood that led to many of his inventions in guitar, recordings and how he overcame the many setbacks in his life: LES PAUL on the MUSIC HISTORY PROJECT
We love to see our current students using their skills acquired at Strings Attached by getting involved with church band or school bands. Recently, one of our guitars students- David – traveled to Memphis with his school jazz band to perform at the Blues City Cafe. He was invited to play with local musicians at the Memphis Riverboat Cruise during his stay! Watch a clip of his performance! This is the kind of experience that is the best teacher and will never be forgotten by a young musician
As we approach our winter break and close out 2018, we’d like to thank so many for all your support! Please visit our partners and supporters page for links to foundations and organizations which helped make Strings Attached possible again in 2018.
Please also explore this page for an overview of what happened with us in 2018.
“Christmas Guitars and Cookies” was an annual success with students entertaining 200 guests with holiday songs and sing-along’s played on guitars and ukuleles. We awarded a couple of more guitars at the show, bringing our total of awarded guitars this year to 12. Strings Attached helps local kids with loaner instruments to begin with and then graduates hard-working students to an instrument to keep as their own, through the generosity of donors to the project.
We started 2018 with full individual weekly classes for youth ages 5 to 17 in Ferguson.
In February, another ukulele training workshop with St. Louis County Librarians as they continue to expand ukulele opportunities for youth through local library branches. This summer we’ll visit and give ukulele classes to young people in a number of library branches throughout the region all summer long as part of “Libraries Rock!” summer reading movement. We’ve also collaborated with the Ukulele Fight Club of St. Louis to help provide funding for new ukuleles, cases and music books to be distributed to the public through the library system so the public can check out ukuleles and learn to play!
On Friday, June 1st our 2018 Spring recital was held at St. Stephen’s, 33 North Clay, Ferguson, MO 63135. Along with wonderful student music performances, we awarded a new batch of guitars and ukuleles to students with music GRIT!
Recital numbers included songs by Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, Maybelle Carter, Tom Petty, The Byrds, Mammas and the Pappas, The Beatles and many more.
ALSO THAT NIGHT – we announced the winners of the “LES PAUL INNOVATION CONTEST.” Strings Attached students were invited to submit inventions, innovations in guitar, ukulele and sound recording.
5 winners were selected for prizes ranging from a Les Paul guitar, Les Paul ukulele and music gift bags containing strings, tuners and other goodies! Many of Les Paul’s inventions and innovations had their beginnings in his childhood and teenage years including the solid body electric guitar.
In June and July, 2018 Ukulele group classes resume for kids ages 5 to 8. Little kids love the size of ukulele and it makes a great instrument for kids to gain some experience with music education by strumming, reading chord measures and learning to keep a beat.
Join Strings Attached and Suzuki Harmony StL for an “Instrument Petting Zoo” at the Ferguson Library on Saturday, July 14th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Kids get an opportunity to try out guitars, ukuleles, violins and other assorted instruments. The Ferguson Library is located at 35 N Florissant Rd, Ferguson, Missouri 63135
After the Instrument Petting Zoo, stick around for a free ukulele lesson from 3:15 to 4 p.m. at Ferguson Library and learn the basics of the instrument while learning a song. Experience forming your first chords on ukulele, strumming and chord patterns.
And we’ll be at the Ferguson Library on June 21, 2018 for “Make Music Day” starting at 12 noon. MAKE MUSIC DAY is an annual city-wide celebration of music that takes place on June 21. Anyone and everyone is invited to either join and play music, or host performances. Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music Day is open to anyone who wants to take part. Every kind of musician — young and old, amateur and professional, of every musical persuasion — pours onto streets, parks, plazas, and porches to share their music with friends, neighbors, and strangers. All of it is free and open to the public.
We’ll also be participating Play Music on the Porch Day in August, Little Creek Nature Area’s 50th Anniversary in October and our annual Christmas Guitars concert in December with live performances.
Give StL Day is on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. On that day you can help Strings Attached continue to provide St. Louis youth with affordable music education, loaner instruments and awarded instruments by making your donation! You can also schedule your donation now at our Give StL Day page; www.givestlday.org/stringsattachedproject
Update! The Arts and Education StARTup fundraiser raised over $3200 over the holidays thanks to our generous supporters. Thank you for contributing to 2018’s Award guitars and loaner instrument fund!!
–Our annual “AWARD GUITARS” online fundraiser through the Arts and Education Council will take place during the entire month of December to raise funds for 2018 award guitars/ukuleles and loaner instrument fund. Please donate and let friends know about it by sharing on social media.
This year, every dollar donated will be matched by the Arthur & Helen Baer Foundation with up to $5,000 worth of matching funds. So it’s really a great opportunity to give and double what you and others give! Strings Attached kids are some of the best-outfitted of all music programs with quality instruments due to the generosity of people giving during these efforts.
The Strings Attached project has produced its fourth collection of American roots music this summer at the Native Sound recording studio in the Cherokee Street Arts District with the help of local roots musicians and vocalists. We’ve explored the sounds of rockabilly music classics such as, “Guitar Boogie,” “Honey Don’t,” “Mystery Train,” “Rebel Rouser” and “Sleepwalk.” Have a listen and we hope you enjoy it as much as we had recording it!
The Strings Attached project connects youth, ages 5 to 17, with music education using American roots music. We learn to play instruments such as guitar, ukulele, dobro, banjitar and mandolin. If you would like to learn more about the project, please click on the file symbol above and to the left.
2017 Events coming up and more to come! Stay tuned for location updates and other announcements.
Help Strings Attached get a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to be on the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Team Scoreboard with our video of Strings Attached singing,”Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Vote for Strings Attached project on the Cardinals website from now until June 30,2017 at St. Louis Cardinals Talented Fan Video
Root, root, root for the home team and Strings Attached by voting today and each day until June 30th.
Strings Attached had a community ice cream social at the Whistle Stop Ice Cream Train Depot for the 2nd Annual “Play Music on the Porch Day.”
Throughout history it was common to hear live music on porches, in yards and on street corners. Musicians would regularly surround themselves with friends and family to sing and play music together. This tradition is being lost as more people only experience music as passive entertainment instead of as a participatory celebration of life.
PLAY MUSIC ON THE PORCH DAY invites musicians to revive the tradition of gathering, singing and playing music outside with friends and family.
Join Strings Attached and Ferguson/Florissant School District’s Little Creek Nature Center on Saturday, October 28th for the annual Fall “Homecoming” celebration. Explore Little Creek’s 90 acres of wooded trails, refreshments, hayrides and family activities while Strings attached provides some music! Directions and more information: Little Creek Homecoming 2017
Join Strings Attached students and families at the 2017 “Christmas Guitars Recital” on Friday, December 1st at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall! Help Strings Attached start the Holiday season on December 1st with our annual Christmas guitars program. Kids perform with guitars and ukuleles . The event is FREE. Please bring a plate of cookies to share. Directions and more information:
Contact us about bringing American roots music artists to visit your school:
If you missed our spring 2017 concert check out some video from the event!
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