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Orchestration for Strings

Arrange and compose your own original pieces for the string section of an orchestra.

Gifting options available at checkout.
We're not your average online course.
Find out about our mentorship approach.

Starts September 4

Six Week Mentor-Guided Course

Money‑Back Guarantee

Creating a string arrangement is the most powerful way to make a piece of music soar. Whether adding an epic string part to your latest pop song or composing for a classical quartet, there's so much you can do with these dynamic instruments. 

This course is all about helping you compose and arrange for violin, viola, cello, and bass. We'll look at the individual instruments of the bowed string family and explore a specific textural framework for creating better arrangements. Along the way, you'll get personalized feedback on your work from an expert Soundfly Mentor. By the end, you'll understand how to create monophonic, polyphonic, chordal, and homophonic textures, and have a portfolio of original works ready to unveil at your next performance. 

Ian davis 04

Ian Davis

Composer, Arranger, Art Rocker

Ian is a composer/arranger/teacher living in Brooklyn, NY. He's written orchestral arrangements for such indie luminaries as Feist, Daniel Rossen, My Brightest Diamond, Landlady, and others. He plays and tours with Landlady and Relatives. He is an associate teaching artist with the New York Philharmonic's Very Young Composer's program. His music can be heard at www.ianmclellandavis.com

More About Ian
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2 Weeks Left to Join the Next Session

Payment plans available. to find out more.

  • Unlimited access to interactive and video content
  • Weekly feedback and support from an expert Soundfly Mentor
  • Downloadable course pack with extra resources

Price $499

Write better arrangements for string instruments

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to confidently write original music or arrangements for the string section of an orchestra or a quartet.

Study particulars of each instrument

Study the Particulars of Each Instrument

We start by exploring the specific sounds, ranges, and dynamics of each individual string instrument.
Master a textured based approach to arranging

Master a Texture-Based Approach to Arranging

We practice and explore four important textures to facilitate composing and arranging.
Create your own portfolio of works

Create Your Own Portfolio of Works

We include multiple writing prompts to get you composing and building your portfolio right away.
Practice writing various bowing techniques

Practice Writing Various Bowing Techniques

We look at how bowing techniques can inject dynamism into a performance and practice writing them.
Are you an educator? If so, you can access educator discounts. !


Our expert mentors do whatever it takes to ensure that you achieve your musical goals for the course and leap forward in your learning.

Ian 06

Ian Temple

Composer & Pianist
  • Composer marrying piano, strings, & electronics
  • Multiple video soundtracks, including award-winning film
  • Has had works performed at major venues across three continents
Mahea 06

Mahea Lee

Multi-Genre Composer
  • Contemporary Writing & Production grad from Berklee College of Music
  • Classically-trained pianist with 25 years experience
  • Composition experience in classical, jazz, pop, & contemporary genres


Course Outline

  1. Start
    Section 1


  2. Start
    Section 2

    The String Section

  3. Start
    Section 3

    The Violin

  4. Start
    Section 4

    The Viola

  5. Start
    Section 5

    The Cello

  6. Start
    Section 6

    The Contrabass

  7. Start
    Section 7


  8. Start
    Section 8


  9. Start
    Section 9


  10. Start
    Section 10


  11. Start
    Section 11


  12. Start
    Section 12



What will I learn in this course? 

You'll learn about the quirks of the individual instruments of the string section, the violin, viola, cello, and contrabass, and how to compose for all of them, individually and all together. By the end of this course, you'll have your own portfolio of original works ready to show off. 

Is there a money-back guarantee? 

YES. If you sign up and the course isn't what you expected, we will give you a full refund as long as you tell us before the start of the second week. The reason that the second week of the course is a cut-off for our guarantee is simply because if we go past that deadline, our mentors will have likely put in a lot of time, energy, and effort already. 

We're also happy to move you to a subsequent session, if you end up not having as much time as you expected. Once again, let us know as soon as possible! 

Are there any pre-reqs?

The expectation is that you already know how to read and write music notation. If you don't, you can always check out our free course for a quick refresher. No prior knowledge of the string section or orchestra is necessary.

What do I get as a Mainstage student? 

Mainstage courses are for students really committed to taking their art to the next level. You'll receive access to the online material, plus an in-depth weekly check-in with a personal advisor who has extensive experience in the subject. This Soundfly Mentor will help you stay accountable to your goals and offer detailed weekly feedback on your work. 

What does it mean that the course starts on a specific date?

As soon as you purchase a course, you can begin exploring the course material immediately. On the start date, the session begins, which means you'll begin a guided experience that includes weekly activities, feedback from Soundfly Mentors, and much more. This is intended to help you stay accountable and get the feedback you need to succeed. 

Will there be future sessions of the course?

Yes! Check back shortly for firm dates, or sign up for a Soundfly account to receive email updates about course dates and new course launches.

How do I give the course as a gift?

Soundfly courses make great gifts for the music lover in your life. To purchase a course as a gift, first sign into your Soundfly account, or create a new account for you (the purchaser). Then, pick the course you'd like to purchase, fill in your information, check the box below the credit card form saying you're buying the course as a gift, and click to pay. You'll shortly receive an email gift certificate that you can give to a friend.

How do I sign up for a course using a gift certificate?

Create your own Soundfly account, navigate to the course you've been gifted, and click to "buy now." On the check out page at the bottom of the form, you'll see a field where you can enter the code on your gift certificate. Enter the code, no credit card info needed, click "Apply," and enjoy the course!