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Santa Barbara (SB) Strings’ Early Strings Training Program (ESTP) offers families of young aspiring string players a ‘one-stop-shop’ to get started.  Participation in ESTP introduces families and students to the elements and logistics of string instruments to include rental/purchase/size decisions, and private one-on-one and monthly group lesson instructions.  SB Strings is excited to share the extensive expertise and knowledge of its faculty and educators with the community. 


In addition to private one-on-one and monthly group lesson instructions, SB Strings’ ESTP students are invited to observe weekly rehearsals of the advanced SB Strings string orchestras and attend all concerts/masterclasses associated with SB Strings. Furthermore, ESTP students will have access to complimentary tickets offered to our SB Strings families via the Music Academy of the West, CAMA, and UCSB Arts and Lectures. The program is designed to be inclusive of all income levels with a need-based scholarship program available upon request. ESTP is currently set-up for 8-10 students choosing from the violin, viola, or cello.


In practice, the program functions as follows:

  • Incoming students chose their string instrument and are matched with one of our string faculty members for 3 weekly 30 minute lessons a month throughout the season from September through May (9 months).

  • Students participate in 1 monthly ESTP group lesson throughout the 9-month season which occurs at the location of Santa Barbara Strings Sunday rehearsal site (El Montecito Presbyterian Church) with rotation of our string faculty leading each class.

  • 2 Informal Recitals will take place at the end of the winter and spring semesters if inclusion in SB Strings concerts is not possible.

  • The intention is to awaken students’ passion for string music and get them ready to participate in SB Strings’ entry-level ‘Toccata’ orchestra.  Graduation from ESTP and readiness for Toccata is determined by both the private instructor and Director of ESTP. 

  • The fee for the ESTP program (one-on-one instructions, group lesson, and access to SB Strings resources including concerts, masterclasses and more) starts at $990* for the season and depends on the student’s instructor.  Instrument rentals can range between $25 and $50 per month.  

  • Upon request SB Strings offers need-based scholarships at the beginning of the season on a first come first serve basis.  In the past SB Strings has extended scholarships on a scale of up to 100% to ESTP students based on demonstrated need. 


*Total does not reflect possible scholarship assistance. Range takes into account individual rates of our faculty for one-on-one instruction.

If interested, contact

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