Voices of Minnesota

Wayzata Elementary String Program Oral History Project

29 INTERVIEWS

DATE: 2001-2002

INTERVIEWER: Lynne Weber

Interviews documenting the history of the Wayzata Elementary String Program, offered in the elementary schools of Independent School District 284, Wayzata Public Schools, Wayzata, Minnesota, from 1963 through May 2001. Begun using traditional methods and involving mainly only fifth and sixth grade students, by 1967 the Suzuki approach was being used and students in grades one through six were included. At its height, more than 500 children were involved, roughly fifteen percent of the elementary population in grades kindergarten through five. Support was given by the Wayzata String Boosters. The program was eliminated in May 2001 due to budget constraints.

The narrators are program teachers, administrators, participants, or parents of participants; the interviews record their impressions, anecdotes and memories of their involvement with the program.

The interviewer, Lynne Weber, was a Wayzata Public Schools cello and bass teacher who worked with the program during the 1998-1999 school year.

Included with the transcripts are an introduction to the program, with general description and background, and an outline of the program's structure; a history of the Suzuki teaching method; and a description of the reason for and method used in the oral history program.

LENGTH OF INTERVIEWS: 19 hours

TRANSCRIPTS: 502 pages