Neighborhood Strings is an El-Sistema inspired, community-based program of the Worcester Chamber Music Society (WCMS) that offers free music lessons in violin, viola and cello to youth from Worcester’s Downtown and Main South neighborhoods. The program provides affordable, high-quality arts education, fosters family involvement, and is open and accessible to the neighborhoods. Youth learn to make music together with musicians and friends from the WCMS. In the process, they discover a creative outlet that hones life skills like discipline, cooperation, imagination, and leadership. Teachers work to forge strong relationships with students that strengthen WCMS’s ties to the community. The focus is not just on the child as a musician, but the child as a citizen and a contributing member of society.