Generously funded by the support of the Cummings Family, the DGSP offers opportunities for students from four years old through seniors in high school, including in-school strings classes, individual lessons, and a growing youth orchestra program. Dr. David Reimer, DGSP Music Director, leads a team of highly qualified instructors who are passionate about passing on their knowledge of music to new generations of students.
Renting Versus Buying
Families are encouraged to rent an instrument rather than buy, especially if the student is not yet ready for a full-sized instrument. Rental companies have a very reasonable rate and provide many services, including repairs, size increases (for when your student grows!), and accessories. If a family is interested in purchasing an instrument, we strongly recommend speaking with Dr. Reimer. Good instruments are expensive investments that are best purchased with professional assistance as there are many cheap options that turn out to be headaches for those who buy them (DANGER: do not buy an instrument online!). One purchasing option is to buy an inexpensive instrument from a former rental company, Northern Music Services. You can contact them at email@example.com.
The DGSP is not an instrument rental company. We keep a small collection of instruments for a variety of purposes, but families should arrange for a rental through a rental company. If a family has difficulty navigating the rental process, please contact Dr. Reimer for assistance. The preferred rental company for the DGSP is Guarneri House, which has a satellite store in Petoskey (438 E. Lake Street). Marshall Music offers strings rentals out of Traverse City and SHAR is a well-known instrument provider in Ann Arbor.
Instrument and size:
Students are welcome to choose any of the four-stringed instruments - the violin, viola, cello, or bass. Families should consider the logistical challenges and added rental cost of the bigger instruments (cello, bass) before making a final decision. If a student has a strong desire to play one of the bigger instruments but the cost is prohibitive, scholarship assistance is available. There are many sizes of instruments to fit many sizes of students – the family should check with a DGSP teacher to determine which size is appropriate for the student at this time. If the family already owns an instrument, please show it to the DGSP teacher to determine if it is the appropriate size and if it is in suitable condition to be used for the class.
Instrument safety and care: Stringed instruments are valuable and fragile. Students will learn about good instrument care as part of their classes. Parents also need to assist the student in taking good care of the instrument at home and when it is being transported. Stringed instruments are extremely sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and humidity, so they should not be kept in a cold or hot car, near a heating unit or drafty room in the house, or any other place that may cause the instrument to go out of tune or break. Instruments are easy to break, so it is important that they be put away in their cases when not being played. Instruments in a soft case (canvas) need to be kept out of home traffic routes and carefully moved so they do not bang into doorways or other obstacles. If an instrument is damaged, the parent should immediately contact the teacher and/or the rental company to determine how to fix it – a parent should never attempt to fix the instrument themselves.