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 cello students meet Monday evenings between 5:30 and 7:30 in 30-minute increments.

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

Apply for an audition

String Ensemble is a chamber music experience under the PCM Suzuki department, aimed towards students whose intention is to build and develop the skills necessary to work in a high level string ensemble program. Students are required to attend weekly coachings/rehearsals, and will be challenged on their sight reading skills, musical interpretation, team work, soloistic abilities, etc. This program is currently reserved for those with recommendation from their private lesson teacher, and at the sole discretion of the Suzuki program coordinator.** Those eligible for String Ensemble are:

  • Students in Suzuki books level 4 and above who are under the age of 13, with the recommendation from their private lesson teacher.
  • Students ages 10 and above, who are below Suzuki Book level 4, with the recommendation from their private lesson teacher.

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