Retreat for Violin and Viola Teachers

Academy faculty

Mimi Zweig is Professor of Music in violin at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Director of the Indiana University String Academy. She joined the Jacobs School of Music faculty in 1976. Zweig studied with Louis Krasner, Samuel Kissel, Raphael Bronstein, and Tadeusz Wroński. She has been a member of the Syracuse Symphony, American Symphony under Leopold Stokowski, and Indianapolis Symphony. She has developed pre-college string programs across the United States since 1972. Zweig has given master classes and pedagogy workshops in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Israel, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, and throughout Europe. Her innovative web-based teaching tool, Mimi Zweig, is accessed worldwide. American Public Television released the Emmy-nominated documentary Circling Around —The Violin Virtuosi, featuring IU String Academy students, in Spring 2006. In 2019, Zweig was the recipient of the American String Teachers Association Artist Teacher Award. Her students have won numerous competitions and teach and perform worldwide.

Brenda Brenner

Brenda Brenner is Professor of Music Education and Director of the Jacobs Academy at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She specializes in string music education, teaching applied violin, as well as courses in violin and string pedagogy. Brenner received a BM and BME from Wichita State University and an MM and DMA in violin performance from the Eastman School of Music. In addition to her appointment to the Music Education Department, she serves as co-director of the IU String Academy, a position she has held since 1993. Her String Academy students have been featured in concerts in major venues throughout the United States and have presented tours throughout Europe, Asia, and South America. As director of the Fairview Project – a program in which every first and second grader in a Title I school learns violin as part of the curriculum – Brenner researches the cognitive, academic, and social outcomes of early instrumental music instruction.  An active performer of chamber music throughout the United States, Brenner partners with her husband, organist Christopher Young.  She also teaches and conducts at the IU Summer String Academy and is Assistant Director of the IU Retreat for Professional Violinists and Violists. Brenner is an active international clinician, is a Past President of the American String Teachers Association, and is on the board of the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.

James Przygocki is Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Wyoming. He continues to be active as a teacher, performer, clinician and adjudicator. While on the UW faculty, Przygocki taught viola and violin at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Along with his studio teaching, Professor Przygocki also taught courses in music education, string education and violin and viola pedagogy and conducted the UW Chamber Orchestra. Throughout his career, Przygocki has taught pre-college students from the youngest beginners to advanced students preparing for a career in the profession. With his wife Sherry Sinift, he helped to establish the String Academy of Wyoming. In 2000 they received a grant from the American String Teachers Association to establish the University of Wyoming String Project, a teacher-training and pre-college program that flourished at UW for more than 20 years. Throughout his career, Przygocki has maintained a busy performing life as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. His experience includes performances in Europe, China, Brazil, Canada and around the U.S. His recordings include a CD of music by Louise Talma on the CRI label, and his recording of Camargo Guarnieri’s Viola Sonata is on a CD that accompanies Guarnieri’s biography, published by Indiana University Press. His recording with the Summit Chamber Players of the music of Felix Draeseke and Arnold Krug entitled Homage to Stelzner is on the AK/Coburg label.

Much of Przygocki’s work is inspired by his interest in string pedagogy. This has resulted in numerous articles, publications, residencies, workshops and masterclasses. Highlights have included an 8-week online artist residency for the American Viola Society and masterclasses at the national ASTA conference, Peabody Conservatory, Indiana University, the Shanghai Conservatory, the University of Brasilia, and at universities, schools and programs around the U.S. and internationally.

Sherry Sinift has recently accepted a position as Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee String Academy. Ms. Sinift is a devoted violin and viola teacher and strong advocate for quality string education, as well as an active solo, orchestral, and chamber music performer. As the Founder and Director of the String Academy of Wyoming (1994-2023) and former faculty member of the University of Wyoming Ms. Sinift has taught violin/viola pedagogy at the university level; studio violin at the college level; pre-college violin and viola students at the String Academy of Wyoming as well as serving as a supervising teacher for the University of Wyoming String Project. The University of Wyoming String Project (2000-2022) provided teacher training to UW students, many of whom have graduated and are impacting string education in the state and region. Former String Academy students have gone on to study at major music schools and have integrated music into their lives as professionals or as passionate amateurs. Ms. Sinift has served as a guest teacher and/or lecturer in Utah, Maryland, Indiana, Wisconsin, Paris, London, U.K. and was a member of the IU Summer String Academy for more than twenty-five years. Ms. Sinift holds a B.M. in violin performance from Western Michigan University and an M. M. in violin performance from Indiana University. Her influential teachers include Gerald Fishbach, Mimi Zweig, and Tadeusz Wronski.

Fees and deadlines

Important Note:  We are accepting 30 participants who will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

  • Early Bird Tuition: $850
  • Registration deadline: March 1, 2024
  • Payment deadline: April 1, 2024

  • Tuition:  $920
  • Registration deadline: April 1, 2024
  • Payment deadline: April 15, 2024
  • Retreat check-in: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 9:00 AM

Dormitory Housing

OPTIONAL: Housing and Parking

On-campus housing is available in University Halls of Residence. Included in the cost of housing is a linen package (top and bottom sheet, pillowcase, and two towels) and a complimentary 1-week parking permit.

  • Housing: $309

A 1-week parking pass is recommended for commuters. Dormitory residents will receive a complimentary 1-week permit.

  • Parking:
    • 1-week: $10

How to apply

  1. Enrollment limit: Workshop intended for an audience of students 18-years and older. Accepting 30 participants.
  2. Application process: Applications opening soon
  3. Additional information: For more information including curriculum and scheduling, visit our blog. For questions about the workshop, please contact Brenda Brenner at For information regarding applications, fees, and any other administrative issues, please contact the Office of Jacobs Academy at

 Register for Summer 2024

Once you have completed the previous steps, please submit the Participant Agreement Form

Learn more about the Summer String Retreat

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