The School for Strings was started in 1970 by Louise Behrend and was called, simply at its initiation, The Suzuki Program.
By the summer of 1970, Miss Behrend was well established as one of the few teachers in the United States working with Dr. Suzuki’s Ideas. During that summer, she was approached by twenty families seeking Suzuki instruction for their children, and three professional violinists who wanted training as Suzuki teachers. This interest set the stage for an experimental Suzuki teacher-training program in which the apprentice teachers would work under her supervision with the children.
This experimental program proved to be so successful that by its second year it had grown to fifty students and six teacher apprentices. By its third year it had outgrown its original space at the Day School of the Church of the Heavenly Rest, presently the Trevor Day School, and moved into rented space at 1974 Broadway opposite from Lincoln Center.
In 1973, the name of the program was changed to The School for Strings and in 1987 the School moved into its current home, a renovated carriage house at 419 West 54th Street.
Since 1970, The School for Strings has been New York’s premiere Suzuki-based music school, providing outstanding instrumental instruction to thousands of children, and Suzuki teacher training to hundreds of graduates from the world’s finest conservatories. In agreement with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki’s ideas, the School’s philosophy is that through the study of music, all children can achieve beyond their expectations. By fostering close collaboration between parents, teachers, and students, the School aims to build the love of music, self-confidence, discipline, good work habits, and outstanding achievement in every student.