About the program
Sturgis Music Academy
The mission of the Sturgis Music Academy is to provide an opportunity for excellence in the pursuit of high-quality musical education with a focus on violin and cello, based on methods and philosophies of Shinichi Suzuki, Mimi Zweig, and Paul Rolland. This is a proven method for developing confidence, creative thinking, and a general work ethic that will assist students' musical and non-musical endeavors.
Introductory Violin in Your School
Ms. Katherine Williamson, Director of the Sturgis Music Academy, has designed a one-year curriculum for the elementary schools or after-school programs in the Little Rock area named “Introductory Violin in Your School.” This program provides violin beginners a chance to build a strong foundation for technique as well as an introduction to music theory in a group class setting. Interested organizations are able to apply for the program in the Spring semester of 2020 for the following academic year. Due to limited availability, this is a first come, first serve offer. The schools or programs that have previous engagements with the Sturgis Music Academy will be given priority. To apply, please fill out and submit the application form to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
Director - Katherine Williamson
Ms. Katherine Williamson, Director of the Sturgis Music Academy at the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, recieved her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University under the tutelage of Professor Mark Kaplan. Ms. Williamson started her tenure as a full-time member of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in 2013 as an Arts Partner with the Rockefeller String Quartet and has served as Assistant Concertmaster of the Orchestra since 2019. With the quartet, Ms. Williamson was able to work throughout the state of Arkansas, performing classical music for countless school children, playing in the oncology ward of the Arkansas Children's Hospital, and presenting numerous recitals to a variety of audiences across the state. She studied violin pedagogy with Dr. Brenda Brenner at Indiana University and with Ms. Chirstie Felsing at the Suzuki Institute at Ithaca College. Ms. Williamson is a registered Suzuki instructor, has maintained a successful private studio for the past seven years and taught for the Sturgis Music Academy under the direction of Dr. Tze-Ying Wu since 2017. Dr. Wu brought violin programs to Bale Elementary, Forest Park Elementary, Jeferson Elementary, Fulbright Elementary as well as the Songbird After-School Program, among others.
Named "Classical Innovator" by the Arkansas Times in 2018, Williamson is particularly dedicated to continuing and expanding the work of the Sturgis Music Academy to every corner of Little Rock.
- Lesson format: Group class with approximately 8-12 students in the class
- This program requires a one-year commitment
- Program length by semester: 12-14 weeks
- Class length: 1 hour including classroom set up
- Students are required to obtain their own instruments. The director will size the students in the beginning of the semester
- Performance opportunity:
- Fall semester: a group performance in the school perhaps combined with the school’s holiday celebration event
- Spring semester: a group performance and a solo recital in the middle and at the end of the semester
- Classroom requirement: small carpets and keyboard (can be either electronic keyboard or piano)
- ASO charges $130 per class
- Tuition in full should be received by ASO no later than one month after the class starts. The director will send an invoice to the school or PTA as a reminder.
- ASO provides the program but is not responsible for recruiting the students nor collecting the tuition from the parents (if the school decides to charge the parent for the tuition).
- The school should have a parent representative as a liaison to be in charge of the matters as mentioned above.
- The school or the parent representative should provide the list of students to Katherine at least one week before classes begin.
- The parent representative should be responsible for discharging the students at the end of each class, or arranging a method for the students to be released.
- Submit by mail:
- Arkansas Symphony Orchestra ATTN: Katherine Williamson, P.O. Box 7328, Little Rock, AR 72217
- Submit by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact Katherine with any questions:
- Phone number: (501) 666-1761, ext. 109