Featured Resources

4 Free Assessments for String Teachers   
Choose from:
Baseline: I Can Play with Correct Position
Developing:Tonal Development Rubric
Proficient: Perform or Improvise Simple and Complex Rhythm Patterns
Advanced: Advanced Bowing Checklist - Practice and Assessment
Online Musical Collaboration    
I often wish my students were more motivated to collaborate musically. Social collaboration is never a problem! They love to talk and share stories. But motivating them to contribute to musical decisions in the large ensemble, play chamber music, or improvise in small groups can be challenging.
Teaching Improvisation for Greater Musical Expression    
How often do you hear your students comment on the richness of their musical experiences? Does it seem as if there’s a constant struggle to get your students to focus on and achieve their artistic and personal goals regarding musical expression?
Collaboration Between Studio and Orchestra Teachers    
One of my favorite things about being in the teaching profession is my colleagues’ willingness to share ideas. There is very little of the competitiveness that sometimes exists in commercial and industrial fields where secrets of the trade can be guarded closely.
Teaching Tuning to the String Orchestra    
Teaching string students to tune their instruments can be an arduous and slow task. Nevertheless, the ability to tune accurately can provide a foundation for all future skill development on the instrument. Intonation cannot be tasted, felt, or smelled...
How to Practice While Recovering from an Injury   
As with athletes, musicians, by the very nature of what they do, live with a high risk of injury. Sometimes it is just minor muscle pain, but other times it is more debilitating, such as carpal tunnel or tendonitis...
Fourth Finger First?    
The order of finger introduction matters in beginning string instruction. Eventual mastery of any musical instrument depends heavily on the quality of early instruction on that instrument. The mental concepts and physical habits formed...
Increasing Access to Strings Guide   
This step-by-step guide was developed by ASTA based on successful programs from around the country. Available as a brochure or flyer...
Overcoming Performance Anxiety   
Virtually all performers are affected to some degree by musical performance anxiety, and we could all benefit by learning how to decrease it. We would also like to help our students overcome their anxiety...
A Sequential Approach for Intermediate Cellists    
Effective teachers must have a well-organized pedagogical system that works, including good materials and clear sequencing. They have to balance the right amount of technique and repertoire, as well as the big picture and the small picture...
Exercises for Developing the Violinist's Left Hand    
String teachers of all levels are constantly looking for ways to help students develop strength and agility of the left hand. ASTA requested sample exercises from members through a "wanted" advertisement that appeared in the American String Teacher journal...
New Ideas and Old Reminders for the New School Year  
As teachers prepare for the new school year, it is important to reflect on current ideologies and strategies and to search for methods of improvement. New ideas and old reminders can be invaluable when building and nurturing a string program...
The Right Words at the Right Time  
I think that, as teachers, we all can recall moments of epiphany when a word, phrase, image, analogy, parable, or some other linguistic form that we uttered to our students clicked with them, and "they got it!" Not only did they get it, but they got it immediately, and could execute the skill or technique relatively easily...
Easing into Vibrato  
Some students are able to produce a beautiful vibrato seemingly without effort while others struggle, working to produce a relaxed motion. It is much easier to teach a relaxed vibrato early than to correct a tense vibrato later. But when should vibrato instruction start?
Contact Point Technique  
These exercises are easy to implement at all levels and take very little time during an orchestra rehearsal or private lesson. I have found that when I teach these contact point exercises to my young orchestra students, they are able to immediately apply the technique when they play…

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