Fiddledeedee to Adult Fiddle Camp!

Published: 11/29/2016

If you’re like me, you may have an instrument hidden underneath your bed or tucked behind coats in your closet, which you keep thinking you’ll take up again. But, you haven’t. Or maybe you’ve imagined signing up for fiddle camp to learn the tunes your granddaddy played in Pope County, Arkansas. But, you haven’t.

I’ve been holding on to the violin my older sister bought me for a very long time.

At a recent board of directors meeting of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, I was among the five or six people in attendance selected to take a mini violin lesson with Tze-ying Wu, the ASO’s director of the new Sturgis Music Academy.

“I believe if children can succeed in music,” said Wu, “they can succeed in other areas as well.”

The ASO’s new string program now offers private violin and group violin lessons to students ages 5-12.

Between governance and development reports, Wu welcomed us into her world and gave us a glimpse into her style and method of instruction. It’s a proven method for developing confidence, creative thinking and a general work ethic that powers students’ musical and non-musical endeavors. 

Since August, she’s been leading the academy’s outreach efforts to collaborate with Jefferson Elementary School, Forest Park Elementary School and the FirstArts program of First United Methodist Church. Come January, she’ll teach violin to every third grade student at Bale Elementary.

A native of Taiwan, Wu says she enjoys living in Little Rock and nurturing young talent. “I believe deeply in this program’s future as a positive and inspiring environment for the children of Little Rock and its surrounding communities,” Wu enthused.

Serving on the ASO Board has offered me ample opportunity to meet students at Sunday concerts and to promote music education through the Entergy Kids’ Ticket. Meeting Wu inspired me to get new strings and a new bow so that one of her future students could bring new life into my abandoned violin.

If you are curious about what goes on at Sturgis Music Academy, contact director Tze-ying Wu at

Sally Graham