Frequently Asked Questions

Who is ready?

The String Academy is designed for students between the ages of 12-18 who have a vital interest in their instruments and are capable of practicing 4 1/2 hours a day. An additional two hours a day are devoted to chamber music. Younger students are occasionally accepted if they are capable of the 6 1/2 hours of playing time, and if their parents live with them off campus. The lower level of the repertoire is comparable to the Haydn G Major Violin Concerto, Telemann Viola Concerto, and the Vivaldi E Minor Cello Sonata. The upper level includes the most advanced violin, viola, and cello repertoire. BACK TO TOP

Important Dates

The priority application deadline is March 6, 2020. At this time a video with two contrasting movements or pieces, a letter of recommendation, application fee, and an application must be received by the String Academy Office. All auditions must be made through Acceptd. Notification of acceptance is March 25, 2020. Verification of Attendence is April 1, 2020. Final payment of fees is April 17, 2020. Arrival at the String Academy is on Saturday, June 20 for registration, dormitory move-in, and important orientation sessions. Registration begins at 1 PM and ends at 4 PM at the Reid Dormitory. Any student who expects to arrive after 4 PM should inform the Summer Programs Office (812-855-6025) of your expected arrival time. Regular food service begins at breakfast on Sunday, June 21st. BACK TO TOP


Most String Academy students will be housed in Read Dormitory. Adult counselors (one for every twelve students) are resident in the dorm. Nightly curfew is 10:30 PM and students are expected to be in their rooms at this time. Girls and boys are housed in separate wings, or in separate dormitories. BACK TO TOP

Students Living With Parents

Younger students (ages 11 and under) must live off campus with parents in privately arranged accommodations. Under-age students are expected to participate fully in String Academy activities. BACK TO TOP

Private Lessons

Students receive two 1 hour private lessons per week. Students may request a specific teacher and every effort will be made to comply with such requests. Assistant teachers are available to help students with practicing. Each student will attend a weekly two-hour master class and will be asked to perform when prepared. Pianists are available for rehearsals, lessons, classes and concerts at no extra fee.  BACK TO TOP

String Academy Faculty

Faculty members have been carefully chosen from around the world for their unique ability to develop musical talent and nurture young people. Each faculty member is an experienced and successful musician dedicated to teaching at the highest levels. They have proven themselves professionally by producing top young performers. BACK TO TOP 

Chamber Music/Chamber Orchestra

Chamber music assignments will be made based on the audition video tape. Students may also choose to audition in person on Sunday, June 21st. Groups will be arranged according to individual playing level. Every effort will be made to arrange compatible groups. Chamber music takes place from 11 and 1 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Younger students will participate in the chamber orchestra on Tuesday and Thursday. Many groups will perform during the last week of concerts. Most likely there are not enough violists for chamber music assignments.  We will ask a few violinists to play viola and the school will provide the instruments.  If you have a viola in addition to your violin, please bring this with you. BACK TO TOP

Master Classes

String Academy faculty give master classes weekly in addition to master classes given by guest artists.  Individual teachers decide who is ready to play for these various classes. All students will have the opportunity to play in a master class when prepared. BACK TO TOP


Students have the opportunity to perform in scheduled recitals with their teacher's approval. Recitals will take place in Recital Hall, Ford Hall and Auer Hall. Concerts take place each Friday and/or Saturday and are scheduled more often during the final week of the String Academy. BACK TO TOP


Rules and regulations are very clearly stated in the general information packets and are explained during the first meeting of students. Rules include prohibition of smoking, drugs, and alcohol, and infraction results in immediate dismissal. Other rules pertain to practice assignments, curfew, and self-conduct, both in the dormitory and on campus. In serious cases, parents are called and students are dismissed from the Academy. BACK TO TOP

Free Time

Every effort is made to provide ample free time for relaxation, organized sports, and recreational activities. During the week, 1 to 3:45 is reserved for lunch and relaxation. A counselor is on duty in the dormitory for younger students. Most evenings are devoted to master classes, concerts, movies, and planned activities. Unplanned (but not unsupervised) time is necessary to allow students the opportunity to unwind from the intensity of String Academy activities.  BACK TO TOP

Competition Repertoire  

Violin:  Winter from the “Four Seasons” of Vivaldi (Entire)

Viola: Telemann Concerto in G Major (Movements I and II)

Cello: Vivaldi Concerto in D Major Op.3 #10 (Cello Version)


Transportation from Indianapolis Airport

For students flying into the Indianapolis Airport, Classic Touch Limousine service is available directly from the airport to the dormitory.  Please see the forms tab for a packet of information on the IUSSA. (812) 339-7269 or 1-800-319-0082  BACK TO TOP

How soon will we know if our child has been accepted?

E mails should arrive by March 25, 2020.  BACK TO TOP

Is the dorm air-conditioned?

The individual rooms are air-conditioned. Should bring a sweater or warm sweat shirt. BACK TO TOP

Do I need to send bedding etc. for my child?

Sheets, towels and pillows may either be brought by students or they can be purchased (via the online registration form) from the residence halls for $60.00 The blankets are available upon request at the center desk. BACK TO TOP

What has to be included in my audition submission?

1. An audition video of two contrasting pieces or contrasting movements from the same piece.

2.  A letter of recommendation from your instructor.  BACK TO TOP

What is meant by contrasting pieces?

Slow and Fast.  BACK TO TOP

How do I submit my audition?

All auditions should be submitted through Acceptd. No other forms of submission will be considered. Acceptd can be accessed through the "How To Apply" page.

Acceptd is easy to use, just make sure you scroll down to the "Summer String Academy" option when asked for Program Type.


What format does Acceptd accept?

Please make sure that the required media has been attached to your Acceptd profile before it is submitted. 

The following is a list of acceptable media types.


Acceptd works on all browsers but works best on Google Chrome.

Letters of Recommendation must also be sent through the Acceptd screening program.


What do the kids do all day?

Check the schedule on the website.  BACK TO TOP

Are students supervised at all times?

Yes.  Counselors and/or teachers available at all times.  For the younger students, university students help with practicing.  BACK TO TOP

Who picks the counselors?

The Director of the String Academy.  BACK TO TOP

Can my child have a single room?

Most likely, everyone will have a roommate.  BACK TO TOP

What kind of clothes should my child bring?

Summer clothes, informal, since Bloomington is very warm/hot.  A sweater is a good idea since the School of Music and dorm can be chilly with active air conditioning.  Concert attire for girls is nice dresses, and for boys is nice pants with a nice shirt and tie (optional).  BACK TO TOP

Will there be close supervision of my child's medications?

Yes, counselors will supervise medications if necessary.  BACK TO TOP

Are students allowed off-campus unsupervised?

No, students are required to stay on campus.  Trips to the Mall or places off campus will be supervised by the counselors.  BACK TO TOP

How do I get in touch with my child in case of an emergency?

Either by telephoning the child's room, by telephoning the String Academy Office at: 812-855-1523 or IUPD at: 812-855-4111,  by e-mail to: or by contacting the child's counselor. In today's world, most students have cell phones. BACK TO TOP

Can my child be brought to religious services?


If I can't get there during the listed registration time, whom should I contact?

You may contact Christina Runnacles at  BACK TO TOP

Do I get the application fee back if my child is not accepted?

The application fee is non-refundable.   BACK TO TOP

Is the application fee included in the price listed for the Academy?


Cell Phones

Students can bring cell phones in order to speak with parents. Cell phones can be used to record lessons and can be used at the dorm after planned activities. If these regulations are not adhered to, the student's cell phone will be taken away for the week. Cell phones are collected before all concerts and classes. BACK TO TOP

In Closing

The String Academy offers students from all over the United States and many different countries in the world the opportunity to come together and study in a supportive and intense environment. Students who feel isolated in their own communities find that there are other young people with similar aspirations and ambitions. They also learn that they can (or cannot) practice 4 1/2 hours a day. What they learn on their instruments in the four weeks of the String Academy inspires them for many months that follow. The friendships that they make will last a lifetime.  BACK TO TOP