Great Lakes Center for the Arts Dorothy Gerber Strings Program Fall Recruitment

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INTELLECT 01 DISCIPLINE 02 03ATHLETIC I S M HEART 04 COMMUNITY 05 616.828.8321 The Dorothy Gerber Strings Program offers in-school strings classes, individual lessons, and an advanced youth orchestra program. Youth ages four through seniors in high school can learn violin, viola, cello, or bass from accomplished instructors in a fun environment. Cross-Train for Life Study Strings,


Class Locations Why Study Music?

Intellect—Proven Brain Enhancement

"Music reaches parts of the brain that other things can’t, it’s a strong cognitive stimulus that grows the brain in a way that nothing else does, and the evidence that musical training enhances things like working memory and language is very robust."

Discipline—Persistent Investment Yields Results

Mastering an instrument requires mental organization of physical tasks practiced consistently over time, developing the outlook that long term quality effort leads to success.

Athleticism—Amazing Feats of Agility

One study by a neurologist concluded that a piece of music four minutes long would involve 400 to 600 separate motor actions per second. Musicians train their bodies to accomplish mind-boggling feats of efficiency.

Heart—Personal Expression Moves Others

Playing music includes determining the expressive intent of the composer, infusing one’s own emotional expression into the performance and providing an emotional outlet for the listener. For a young student, speaking through music can be one of the most healthy ways to process feelings.

Community—Interdependent Teammates Perform with Precision

Musicians exercise independence by playing their part accurately while others play something entirely different, yet they are interdependent as they mesh their part with those, sometimes even adjusting in mid-performance to what is happening with the other players around them. The resulting impact, whether on one individual or a theater full of hundreds, is powerful.


School Strings Classes

School strings classes are offered free of charge where students learn to play an instrument in a group setting. Classes are held in ten locations during the school year.

Ages: Students in fourth grade or above may participate.

Levels: Beginner, intermediate, middle school orchestra, and high school orchestra levels are offered.

Instrument Rentals

Families are encouraged to rent an instrument rather than buy, especially if the student is not yet ready for a full-sized instrument. The DGSP assists families with renting an instrument, providing families with an instrument of the correct size for their student.

To learn more, contact Greg Binger

Private Lessons


Individual lessons are one of the most efficient ways to develop strings skills by customizing one-on-one lessons to a student’s strengths and areas for growth.


The Suzuki Method specializes in teaching young students with a strong emphasis on parental involvement and learning music by ear.

Ages: Students as young as four years old.

Register & Learn More about the Dorothy Gerber Strings Program by visiting

Dorothy Gerber Youth Orchestra

The Dorothy Gerber Youth Orchestra is a full symphony orchestra made up of advanced students conducted by Dr. Reimer who perform at a variety of events throughout the year and have the opportunity to go on annual tours and work with great musicians from leading ensembles and universities in the region.

Levels: Advanced students who have graduated from the junior orchestra level. Students from around the area are invited to audition for acceptance in the DGYO.

Scholarship Assistance

The mission of the DGSP is to offer strings education to every family who is interested, regardless of financial status. If your family requires assistance to participate in the DGSP, please contact David Reimer at 616.828.8321 or to discuss your options.

Our Teachers

For full faculty, visit

The Cummings Quartet is the professional ensemble representing the Dorothy Gerber Strings Program, mentoring students, and performing throughout the region.

Dr. David Reimer Program Director Doctoral of Musical Arts in Violin Performance Dr. Benjamin Wu Assistant Director Doctor of Music Arts in Viola Performance Elizabeth Bert Private Lesson Instructor Bachelor in Instrumental Music Education Rodrigo Quintana Instructor Master of Music in Violin Performance and Pedagogy Peter Tolias Classroom Instructor Master of Music Greg Binger Instructor Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance Beth Deininger Classroom Instructor Bachelor in Violin Performance and Masters in Music Theory Derek Weller Private Lesson Instructor Master of Music in Bass Performance
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