Duke University String School

Duke University String School

Education - Kids/Family - Music - Nonprofit

Website: http://stringschool.duke.edu/

 9 Brodie Gym Drive, Box 90665, Durham, NC 27708

In residence on Duke’s beautiful campus, the Duke University String School is a string education program for students aged 5-18 who commit to their instrument through practice, weekly lessons, and ensemble instruction.  Dedicated to excellence, we provide students with clear goals for advancement while fostering a love for music and opportunities for lasting friendships.

Since its founding in 1967 by Mrs. Dorothy Kitchen and Mrs. Arlene DiCecco, DUSS has a 50-year tradition of facilitating access to music education for any child.  The Duke University String School is committed to being accessible to any student, regardless of financial status, who is passionate about music and interested in a program fostering excellence in a supportive atmosphere.

Alongside our emphasis on excellence and access, DUSS fosters inspiration in musicianship.  Students are exposed to a wide range of musical styles, from Baroque to Romantic, from Fiddle to Pop–and they receive a solid technical and theoretical foundation so that they have the tools to interpret, create, and compose across this range of musical styles. Master classes and workshops with world-renowned performers connect DUSS students to sources of inspiration in our community and beyond.

Our Mission

To train young musicians of diverse backgrounds in the region’s premier string education program.

What Sets Us Apart

The Duke University String School is the only program in the region that offers private lessons, group study, chamber music, and an orchestral training experience. You can get private lessons elsewhere. You can get group study and an orchestra experience in some programs. You can only get it all–a comprehensive string education with excellent teaching artists–at the Duke University String School.

How We Accomplish Our Mission

Our work includes three focus areas: excellence, access, and inspiration.


To foster excellence in DUSS students, we

  • Hire teachers who are both experienced educators and professional musicians
  • Help students look for excellence in their own playing within a non-judgmental atmosphere. (Mistakes are not negative, but simply information.)
  • Uphold high standard for student participation in practice and attendance.


To make DUSS available to all children, we

  • Offer comparatively low tuition cost
  • Provide scholarships for families in need
  • Encourage students studying privately outside of DUSS to join our orchestral ensembles.


To inspire DUSS students, we

  • Expose students to a wide range of repertoire from Baroque to Romantic, from Fiddle to Pop
  • Teach foundational technical and music theory skills to give students the tools to interpret, create, and compose
  • Present regular master classes and workshops with world-renowned performers.