Collage of three students playing violin, viola, and cello


The String Department prepares students to achieve technical proficiency on their instruments. A comprehensive curriculum emphasizes balanced posture, tone production, accurate intonation, musicianship skills, and leads students through a sequential body of repertoire.

The Conservatory’s string curriculum for violin, viola, and cello is based on the Talent Education method developed by Shinichi Suzuki. Students follow the Suzuki curriculum, which includes weekly individual lessons of 30, 45, or 60 minutes and a weekly group class. Through the Suzuki method, students may begin instruction as young as age 4.

Our Programs

We offer private lessons as well as group and ensemble classes.

Ages 4 & 5: Mondays at 4:00 pm

Musicianship classes are for our young Suzuki students who are “pre-Twinkle,” which is to say that they are not yet ready for group class on their instruments. In Musicianship class, the teacher will introduce the elements of music: rhythm, melody, harmony, texture, form and expression in a group class, where students actively make music with their peers. Students will have the opportunity to become familiar with and manipulate rhythmic patterns, begin ear training through singing and playing xylophones, play in an ensemble, move expressively to music, and create meaningful connections to both the music in the Suzuki repertoire and great examples of classical and folk music.

*For students currently enrolled in private lessons at PCM

Group classes for violin and viola students meet Monday evenings between 5:00 and 7:30 in 30 minute increments. Group classes for cello students meet Monday evenings at 5:30 and Saturday mornings at 9:30.

Classes led by Megan Shung, Brandon Encinas, Natalie Brejcha, Nick Bertani, and Rowena Hammill.

Instructor: Aimee Kreston

Ensemble for violin students in Book 3 and above, by audition only. Please contact the front office at 626.683.3355 or for more information.

Submit your audition

Visit the Fees page for more information about tuition and registration fees.

Instructor: Natalie Brejcha
Wednesdays | 5:00 – 5:45 pm
July 7 – August 11

A fun filled summer course exploring the genres of fiddle and folk music!

Instructor: Brandon Encinas
Mondays | 5:00 – 5:45 pm
July 5 – August 9

Explore music from popular films and create a recording project for the class.