STRINGS ATTACHED is the inspiring, poignant, and powerful story of a remarkable man whose life seemed to conspire against him at every turn and yet who was able to transform his own heartache into triumph for his students.
Jerry Kupchynsky (a/k/a "Mr. K.") never received favorite teacher gifts. He was the sharp-spoken, foot-pounding, never-praising Ukrainian-born despot whose music lessons and orchestra rehearsals reduced students to tears. Despite that, when he passed away, more than 100 students from 30 years of teaching returned to their hometown to play in a memorial concert in his honor.
His unforgettable story--both as a teacher of incomparable skill and persistence and as a child fleeing from the Nazis during WWII--is told in alternating chapters with great passion and love by Melanie Kupchynsky, his daughter and Joanne Lipman, his favorite student. Joanne narrates the experience studying with him: the foot-stomping, never-satisfied man who so inspired her she eventually became principal violist of New Jersey's All-State orchestra. She found something "intoxicating about a teacher who had such absolute confidence--faith, really--in my ability to do better." Melanie tells of a fiercely strict, but loving father who managed to raise two little girls while caring tenderly for her multiple-sclerosis, wheel-chair bound mother. He adored his girls and she never doubted it. She remembers the man who gave heart and soul to his family and students, who loved music and open skies and who believed hard work could result in great beauty.