After School on Campus Alternative String Groups (ASG) , Clinics & Residencies

On Campus Alternative String Groups

String Project LA is an after school enrichment program for young violinists, violists, cellists, and bassists that meet on campus. In order to participate, students need a minimum amount of instrumental instruction, but no previous knowledge of other musical styles is necessary.

Our Instructors

It takes a special kind of instructor to teach an SPLA class. Each instructor has years of training in our curriculum and has the unique skill set needed to teach outside of the classical genre. SPLA teachers are also accomplished multi style performers who have worked with the biggest names in the world of pop, hip hop, jazz and country music. Over the years as SPLA has grown, we have carefully and lovingly hand selected and trained each instructor for their musicianship, passion for teaching and talent for communicating.

Our Story

In January 2004, co founders Robert Anderson and Jacob Szekely set out to create the type of music program that they were looking for as young string players. The result was the first school in America solely dedicated to creative string education and we’ve been at the forefront of the movement ever since.


Westside Neighborhood School –  Begins Sept 21 2015, Mondays 3-4:30p. Visit WNS for more details and to enroll. Currently open only to WNS students.


“SPLA gives passionate musicians the rare opportunity to break past the preconceived stereotypes associated with their instruments.” – SPLA student

Clinics & Residencies

SPLA offers on-site alternative string groups clinics, residencies,and workshops, for schools seeking to enrich their music offerings throughout the USA.

Jacob Szekely, Artistic Director

2014-04-18 10.40.38SPLA offers on-site alternative string groups clinics, residencies,and workshops, for schools seeking to enrich their music offerings throughout the USA.



Please note that each of these programs are ones that have already been designed and presented by SPLA. These classes and their accompanying materials are flexible enough to accommodate a diverse range of participants; we work with all our host/sponsors to customize each event to fit their unique needs.

Bach the Improviser

This workshop will help students begin to make connections between the music of Bach and the popular styles of today. Students often lose sight of the fact that Bach was a great improviser; indeed, many of his compositions could be considered written-out improvisations! The workshop will teach the student ways to apply Bach’s compositional techniques creatively.

Participants will improvise a solo based on chord structure and voice leading principles in the style of J.S. Bach. Understanding Bach’s music from an improvisational perspective will strengthen memorization skills while allowing the student to make more informed choices in their own interpretations!

Studio Musicianship

In this seminar, we’ll explore what makes session playing such a specialized art form. Topics covered include sight reading tips, playing to a click, intonation, and more. Experience what a typical day in the studio might be like.

Hip-Hop & Strings

Learn about some of the history and musical elements of hip-hop music. What’s it like to jam with a DJ? Participants will create samples, work on their groove, and learn techniques for creating their own hip hop songs.


We’re often asked by colleagues and students about the best ways to go electric. It takes discipline and experience to achieve a pleasing electric tone that sounds good with a band. Learn about the basic options available to amplify your instrument. Get hands-on experience with preamps, e.q., and effects.

Musical Form and Structure

You don’t have to be Mozart to compose a sonata! An understanding of musical form and structure is not only helpful for improvisation, it is also important for interpretation of the classical repertoire. Students will expand their ability to memorize music and deepen their understanding of any composition. Groove with us while learning about musical form in an exciting new way!!

Led Zepplin & Strings

Explore the music of Rock’s greatest band. Study rock guitar techniques, blues vocabulary, and analysis of Jimmy Page’s guitar solos. Gain valuable tools and insight into the expression and music of these great artists. The seminar also touches on amplification techniques and introduces the effects that helped shape the hard rock sound of the 1970s. The class culminates with a student performance of the band’s classic single Heartbreaker.

Jimi Hendrix & Strings

Jimi Hendrix and his music continue to inspire and touch people everywhere and we don’t just mean guitar players. Explore ways to apply the blues/rock language to bowed stringed instruments. In addition to an exploration of Hendrix’s musical voice, the workshop is an opportunity for string players to learn about and try the electronic effects that he used in a beautifully expressive way.

Miles Davis & Strings

Focus on the modal jazz made famous on Davis’s legendary jazz album Kind of Blue. Discuss accompaniment techniques, improvisation, and phrasing in this style, which continues to be influential in popular music from hip- hop to electronica. Develop a creative voice improvising a jazz solo. Topics of discussion will include: 1) Developing a swing feel 2) Voice leading and modal harmony 3) Song form 4) Improvisation over chord changes using note choices and simple motivic development.

Introduction to Latin Jazz

The workshop, based around bossa nova composition Little Sunflower by jazz great Freddy Hubbard, exposes students to many of the characteristics of Latin jazz performance. We discuss accompaniment techniques, improvisation, and phrasing. Every student has several chances to improvise a jazz solo. Topics of discussion include: 1) Rhythmic characteristics of Bossa Nova music (including clave rhythms) 2) Creative ways to create these rhythms on string instruments 3) Song form 4) Improvisation over chord changes using appropriate note choices and simple motivic development.

Violin Hero

Violin Hero is an introduction to some of the greatest rock licks of all time. The class features hand picked riffs from some of the greatest guitar songs of all time, Learn to play excerpts from Chuck Berry, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC, Guns N Roses, Jimi Hendrix and others.

The class also features a substantive learning component with each riff worksheet discussing the theoretical and stylistic foundation of the piece. Students have a great time while gaining insights into the music and building their improvisational skills.


Email or call to connect with us about presenting at your school! 310-822-7752 or