Aspen Music Festival And School

Beginning Strings

After-school violin, viola, cello, and double bass instruction for beginning students, grades 2+

Schools  |  Cost and Scholarship  |  Instruments


We are now on a waitlist for new beginner students at AES, BES, CRES, and GSES.

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Program Overview

Would you like to learn a string instrument? If so, Beginning Strings is for you! 

This program is for students who wish to study violin, viola, cello, or double bass in a supportive and engaging musical environment. Curriculum includes weekly group classes at six after-school locations throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, performance opportunities, and private or small-group lessons. Our team of teaching artists inspire students to develop a love for music through string education, performance, and music literacy in a social environment. Many students engage in the program for multiple years and develop a strong foundation of both musical and interpersonal skills.

Open to students in grades 2-5 and through middle school for those with past Beginning Strings experience. Instrument and tuition scholarships are available. Students are expected to commit to classes for the duration of the program, from mid-October through early May.


Schools:  2023-2024 School Year

The Beginning Strings program will run as an after-school program at six schools this year. All Roaring Fork Valley students are welcome to participate in Beginning Strings at any participating school.

Meet Your AfterWorks Teachers!

Aspen Elementary School

  • Mondays, 3:10-4:40 pm
  • Class starts October 16
    • We are now on a waitlist for new beginner students!
  • View your class schedule HERE!
  • Required parent meeting: October 16th 4:40-5:10 pm


Basalt Elementary School

  • Wednesdays, 2:05-3:35 pm
  • Class starts October 18
    • We are now on a waitlist for new beginner students!
  • View your class schedule HERE!
  • Required parent meeting: October 18th 3:35-4:05 pm


Crystal River Elementary School

  • Thursdays, 3:20-4:50 pm
  • Class starts October 19
    • We are now on a waitlist for new beginner students!
  • View your class schedule HERE!
  • Required parent meeting: October 19th 4:50-5:20 pm


Glenwood Springs Elementary School

  • Thursdays, 3:35-5:05 pm
  • Class starts October 19
    • We are now on a waitlist for new beginner students!
  • View your class schedule HERE!
  • Required parent meeting: October 19th 5:05-5:35 pm


Riverview School

  • Wednesdays, 2:05-3:35 pm
  • Class starts October 18
  • View your class schedule HERE!
  • Required parent meeting: October 18th 3:35-4:05 pm


Sopris Elementary School

  • Tuesdays, 3:35-5:05 pm
  • Class starts October 17
  • View your class schedule HERE!
  • Required parent meeting: October 17th 5:05-5:35 pm


Have a scheduling conflict with the Beginning Strings day at your school this fall? We can help... Reach out to us for options at!


After-School Program Cost: $275

Cost includes: 

  • 19+ weeks of 90-minute classes 

  • starter supply pack (rosin, shoulder rest or rock stop, finger tapes, method book, music stand) 

  • a series of private or small group lessons (lessons alone are valued at $120!) 

  • at least one performance on the Harris Concert Hall stage 

  • snacks during classes 

Students are responsible for the cost of an instrument (rented or purchased). Some AMFS-owned scholarship instruments are available.

The cost of this program is heavily subsidized by AMFS donors. Without their generous support, the actual cost per student would be closer to $700. Thank you, donors!

Scholarships & Payment Plans

A limited number of tuition scholarships are available to students who demonstrate significant financial need. Tuition payment plans are also available and can be requested during the acceptance process. A limited number of instrument scholarships are available to students who are unable to afford purchasing or renting an instrument. Instrument scholarships permit the use of an AMFS-owned instrument while enrolled in Beginning Strings.

AfterWorks Refund Policy

Once a student has registered for an AfterWorks program (Beginning Strings, Chamber Music Lab, Lead Guitar, or Maroon Bel Canto Choirs), the following policy will apply to tuition refunds if that student chooses to leave the program:

  • Before first class/rehearsal: full tuition refund
  • Between first and third class/rehearsal: half tuition refund
  • After third class/rehearsal: no refund



Students can select to learn violin, viola, cello, or double bass through the Beginning Strings program. Follow these links to see each instrument demonstrated by our friends at The Harmony Project: violin, viola & cello.

All students should have an instrument ready for the first day of Beginning Strings class. Students will receive detailed information about securing an instrument when they have been accepted to the Beginning Strings program.

Determine what size instrument your student needs with these helpful videos: violin, viola & cello.


Advanced Opportunities

Blue Square & Black Diamond Level Students

Were you involved in Beginning Strings in the past? If you have achieved placement in the Blue Square (intermediate) or Black Diamond (advanced) level of the Beginning Strings program, you will be placed in your own class during the already scheduled class times. All students will be assessed during the first week of class and placed into the appropriate class division.

AMFS CHAMBER MUSIC LAB - For Double Black Diamond Level Students & Beyond

If you have reached the Double Black Diamond Level in Beginning Strings and/or moved past the regular curriculum and would like to continue, AMFS Chamber Music Lab is for you! In this chamber music program, you will be placed in a small ensemble to develop ensemble skills, learn extended techniques, and expand your independent musicianship with a dedicated ensemble coach.

Interested students will be formed into chamber music groups according to age/grade level and experience/ability level. Small ensemble groups will meet regularly at locations and times based on student and coach availability. Learn more here!

For large ensemble opportunities beyond Beginning Strings, we recommend continuing your musical experience with our friends at the Roaring Fork Youth Orchestra!


2023-2024 Performance Opportunities

  • Friday, February 23, 2024 - AfterWorks Solo & Ensemble Recital | Harris Concert Hall at 5:30pm 
    • Select students invited to participate based on work in private lessons
  • Friday, May 3, 2024 - Beginning Strings & Chamber Music Lab Showcase Concert | Harris Concert Hall at 5:30pm
    • Beginning Strings classes end after the Showcase Concert


How to Register


Registration opens September 1 and closes October 6. Late registrations may be accepted if space is available, but will incur a $25 late registration fee to cover delayed application processing.

To learn more, please contact:

Lindsay Bobyak, Manager of Education and Community Programs
Email | 970 205 5055

Significant underwriting of the AfterWorks program is provided through generous contributions from:

Leelee and Bill Harriman
The Meinig Family Foundation

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO