The ever-widening gap between the quality of playing by young Israeli violinists in comparison to their predecessors and also to their peers around the word, is of great concern to music educators in Israel, to the directors of leading music schools and naturally, to the people at Keshet Eilon. The number of pupils who choose to play a string instrument continually declines, perhaps because it is a demanding instrument or perhaps due to a shortage of high quality teachers. No less disturbing is the fact that many talented young musicians who have reached a high level, migrate to music centers in Europa and the US.
In the effort to contend with this reality, in 2002 Keshet Eilon initiated a program to advance string instrumentalism in Israel in general and violin playing specifically. The idea was turned into practice by establishing two annual seminars for Israeli string players and their teachers. The center gives the participants the opportunity to benefit from the rich experience and professionalism of its senior faculty.
These seminars take place twice a year, attended by 60-80 violinists and violists who have been recommended by their teachers and have at least 4 years of playing behind them. They come from all corners of the country and from diverse communities, including the Arab sector, for three days of intensive study. Each pupil receives three private tutoring sessions with teachers from leading music academies in Israel and abroad. In addition, the participants practice playing in ensembles, and enjoy enrichment activities such as listening to concerts, sports and others. An expert violin-maker examines the instrument of each student and advises him or her how best to maintain it. At the final concert, the students perform as soloists and in ensembles.
The Keshet Eilon Music Center affords the young players every opportunity to practice and perform in order to prepare themselves for the demands and requirements of the seminars. The center also makes available to both students and teachers the library, with its rich collection of music scores and audio and visual materials.
Keshet Eilon makes the maximum effort to assist students in need of financial support by means of scholarships funded by donors. The number of players who are thus able to participate in the seminars rises from year to year.
Since 2016 the seminars have been operating in collaboration with the Polyphony Foundation in Nazereth.