String Preparatory Academy

The String Preparatory Academy at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance is designed to provide the highest quality of string training to pre-college musicians available to students in elementary school through high school. All String Preparatory Academy students will participate in private weekly lessons, recitals, and outreach performances, as well as monthly masterclasses, lectures, and group classes, presented by renowned U-M string faculty, guests, and graduate students. All lessons and classes take place on the University of Michigan North Campus.

Interim Faculty DirectorDanielle Belen, Associate Professor, University of Michigan

Program features:

  • Weekly private lessons September – April
  • Masterclasses with world-renowned guests (pianist provided)
  • Faculty lectures
  • Recitals (pianist provided)
  • Group studio classes
  • Community performance preparation (students are encouraged to perform in the community if opportunities are available)
  • Discounts and opportunities to attend U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance performances and recitals, as well as University Musical Society performances

Danielle Belen, Associate Professor of Violin, University of Michigan
Sunmi Chang
Janet Lyu
Mallory Tabb, SPA Junior Division Coordinator
Kristina Zlatareva

Pia Eva Greiner-Davis
Caroline Kim

Roots Music Improvisation (available as additional study):
Grant Flick
Brad Phillips

Academy Pianists:
Cole Anderson
Hyejin Cho
Lyndon Ji

Mi-Eun Kim
Minji Kim

Siyuan Li

The String Preparatory Academy is an audition-only program for string students. Participation all year is required. Space is limited and instructor placement will be determined via audition results. The String Preparatory Academy does accept beginning students dependent upon teacher availability. Beginning students do not need to submit an audition video.


Priority Application Deadline: August 10, 2018

Notifications will be emailed by August 24, 2018 for those that apply by the priority deadline.

For priority consideration and notification, all application and audition materials must be received by the priority deadline. Applications may be accepted after the priority deadline for programs and/or instruments in which openings remain. Review, admission, and notification for late applications will be on a rolling basis. Space is limited.

To apply to the String Preparatory Academy you must complete the following three steps. Your application will not be considered complete until all three of the below requirements have been received by the Office of Youth & Adult Programs. Returning students need not submit an audition video, but must reapply.

    1. Register: Complete the Online Application
    2. Application Fee: $45 non-refundable fee
    3. Audition: Please send a 3-5 minute long recording of one or more pieces, with or without accompaniment to Please place “SPA Audition Video” as your email subject line. Please follow these upload requirements. Also attach a current repertoire list, and resume (if applicable) to your email. Beginner students need not upload a video, but must send an email stating that they are in fact a beginner for our records.

Application Fee (non-refundable): $45
Annual Tuition: Tuition includes private lessons, masterclasses, group classes, faculty lectures, performance opportunities, and performance pianists. Tuition must be paid in advance of lessons, and may be made in monthly installments September 2018 – April 2019. All Tuition is due in full by April 19, 2019. Annual tuition for hourly lessons is based on instructor type (faculty, guest, or graduate student).

  • Tuition w/faculty: $3,725 (60 min. lessons)
  • Tuition w/faculty and guest or graduate student: $3,500 (60 min. lessons)
  • Tuition w/guest or graduate student: $3,150 (60 min. lessons)

A limited number of need-based awards are available. To apply for financial assistance, please complete the online financial aid form with your application materials. Additional documentation will be requested such as proof of unemployment, an AFDC medical card, or a statement of need from a high school counselor.