Electric Strings: FAQ and application instructions
1. How do I apply for a degree in Electric Strings?
To apply for a Bachelor’s degree, please follow the application instructions for undergraduate applicants.
To apply for a Master’s degree, the Artist Diploma, or the Doctorate, please follow the application instructions for graduate applicants.
Be sure to review the electric violin audition requirements or the electric viola audition requirements.
After you apply, email Prof. Rudolf Haken to discuss your goals.
2. Is it possible to schedule a sample lesson / consultation with electric strings faculty?
Yes. Email Prof. Rudolf Haken to set up a meeting in person or over Zoom.
3. What are course numbers for electric strings lessons?
Course numbers for lessons are MUSC 116, 117, 416, 417, 516, 517 and can be found at http://catalog.illinois.edu/courses-of-instruction/musc/ . Electric Strings Ensemble is MUSC 458. Note that “MUSC” courses are for lessons and ensembles, while the “MUS” rubric is for music history, music theory, and other non-performance courses.
4. Are electric guitar and electric bass lessons available?
Yes. For guitar contact Prof. Guido Sánchez-Portuguez firstname.lastname@example.org For bass contact Prof. Larry Gary email@example.com
5. Can non-music majors enroll in private instruction and ensembles?
Yes. Visit Private Lessons and email Prof. Rudolf Haken for enrollment approval & instructions. Fees for non-majors: $400 per semester for 2 credits (half-hour lesson per week); $800 per semester for 4 credits (full-hour lesson per week). Enrollment requires filling out a School of Music Course Override Form. This form will need to be accompanied by a Faculty Approval Letter, which you can request by emailing Prof. Rudolf Haken firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Does the University of Illinois have electric string instruments for student use?
Yes, we have four 5-string violin/violas, one 5-string cello, and one bowed 5-string electric bass, as well as Fishman Loudbox Mini amps. Additionally, we have opportunities to 3D-print electric instruments at minimal cost at the Illinois MakerLab in the Gies College of Business as well as labs in the College of Engineering. Several students have created 3D-printed violins and can guide you in the process. For prototypes of 3D-printed instruments click here. We are also in the process of creating transducers for electric violins and violas, moving closer to fully producing electric instruments on campus.
7. What if I have a scheduling conflict with the weekly studio class (Wednesdays 7:00-8:30 pm) listed in the course catalog?
Attendance at the weekly studio class is recommended but not required, as we have numerous other opportunities to meet, play for each other, and share ideas throughout the week. Students may have unavoidable scheduling conflicts. If you’re enrolled in another course that meets during the official studio class time, the system will block you from enrolling in electric strings lessons. In that case, email Prof. Rudolf Haken, who can write you an Override Approval Letter which you’ll need to attach to the School of Music Course Override Form.
8. Is financial aid available?
Yes. Please review the School of Music financial aid page for more information.
9. What are ensemble requirements for electric strings majors?
Electric Strings majors participate in the Electric Strings Ensemble (MUSC 458 A). The School of Music offers a great variety of ensembles listed here. Additionally, we offer courses on improvisation. You’ll also have the option of playing acoustic violin or viola in the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra or Philharmonia.
10. Does the University of Illinois Electric Strings Ensemble go on tour?
Yes. For example, we will be an ensemble in residence at the Bayreuth Young Artists Festival in Germany August 1-10, 2022. https://www.youngartistsbayreuth.de/en/academy/university-of-illinois-electric-strings-ensemble.html
11. Where can I find detailed information on the curriculum?
Curriculum information for undergraduates can be found here. Graduate students visit Graduate Handbooks.
12. What are recital requirements for electric strings majors?
Undergraduates play a Junior Recital and a Senior Recital in their third and fourth years, respectively. Master’s students play a Graduate Recital in their first year and a Master’s Recital in their second year. Doctoral students play two Solo Recitals as well as a Chamber Music Recital in addition to the performances required specifically for their doctoral project. A “recital” refers to any public performance containing at least 60 minutes of music. (For Junior Recitals this is 45 minutes.) “Chamber Music” refers to music in any style involving eight or fewer musicians, each playing their own part. Performance opportunities beyond required recitals abound and are available for students in all curricula.
13. Where can I connect with electric string players online?
The “Electric String Players (Violin, Viola and Cello)” Facebook group is a good place to start.