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Isaac Stern Takes on New Students

May 11, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ Isaac Stern, who has coached budding violinists for decades, took on a new group of students _ school administrators.

The 43 administrators, many of them touching violins for the first time, played the role of students Wednesday at Carnegie Hall.

``Just put the violin on the shoulder, voomp!″ Stern said, lifting his own instrument to the proper position.

By the end of the squawky half-hour lesson, the superintendents had participated in several rounds of ``Ach, du Lieber Augustin,″ a German folk song. Stern played most of it, with the superintendents joining in on the last two notes of each line.

Interim Schools Chancellor Harold O. Levy persuaded Stern, 79, to give the superintendents a lesson in hopes they would place a higher priority on music instruction for students.

Stern said he was thrilled to participate and called music ``the biggest key I know to a truly educated life.″

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