Collage of three students playing violin, viola, and cello


The Strings 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 between 5:30 and 6:30.

Classes led by Megan Shung, Brandon Encinas, and Natalie Brejcha.

Instructor: Aimee Kreston

Ensemble for violin students in Book 3 and above, by audition only. Apply here.

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

Instructor: Brandon Encinas
Jul 6–Aug 10 (6 weeks)
Monday | 11:00 am–12:00 pm
Tuition: $120 (Maximum 10 students)

PCM invites you to join us for our summer group class sessions, “Twinkle to Fiddle!”

Students grades 1-3 will be exploring new ways to approach music on their instruments, building on skills learned from the Suzuki method, and using them in fun and creative ways to explore different genres of music. While maintaining focus on fine technical skills like posture and tone, students will use ear training techniques to discover fiddle, pop, and more.

Instructor: Brandon Encinas
Jul 6 –Aug 10 (6 weeks)
Monday | 2:00–3:00 pm
Tuition: $120 (Maximum 10 students)

Come and join us for our summer group class sessions at PCM, “From Fiddle to Film!

Calling on all string players grades 4 and up, PCM invites you to experience music through different genres including folk, fiddle, pop, and film. Over six sessions from July through August, students can expect to build skills in reading, playing by ear, and technical excellence with their instrument. Classes will be held once a week and will be one hour in length. Sessions will be broken up into two classes; one for students grades 1-3, and another for grades 4 and up.