2021 ASTA National Conference  |  March 3 - 6  |  Louisville, Kentucky

Call for Session Proposals NOW CLOSED

Notifications will be sent electronically in fall 2020 

We are seeking your expertise and ideas to provide a well-rounded education program. Submit a session proposal for the 2021 ASTA National Conference.

ASTA's annual conference is the largest conference focused solely on strings and string education. It is an opportunity for all current and future ASTA members to engage in exceptional learning experiences. As a presenter, you play a valuable role in advancing and leading the strings community.

Interested in presenting a 5-hour pre-conference workshop on Wednesday, March 3? Submit your presentation content, with learning objectives and speakers, by the April 23 deadline.

Please read all the details below before starting your proposal. The conference committee is looking for proposals that are positioned to deliver a mix of the following items:


  • Reflect innovative, cutting-edge content, and evidence-based practice
  • Present a business case with evidence supported by research or data

Trending topics the committee is specifically looking for:

  • Culturally responsive pedagogy, including repertoire lists
  • Career development for musicians
  • Artificial Intelligence—how does it apply to music education?

Instructional Design

  • Stimulate and provoke discussion, audience engagement, and outcome-focused design
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer and development of new competencies
  • Use methods that draw out relevant past knowledge and experiences

Session formats:

  • Pre-conference Workshop (5 hour) – provides intensive education in a small class setting
  • Listen and Learn (60 min) – a blend of lecture-based instruction, interaction, and case studies
  • Panel Discussion (60 min) – facilitated conversation with a group of experts and the audience
  • Learning Lab (120 min) – in-depth practical instruction to enhance critical skills (limited availability)
  • Demonstration Group (60 min) – watch and learn with a group focusing on skills
  • Learn and Play (60 min) – hands-on learning experience with the speaker; bring your instrument
  • Express Talk (20 min) – TED-style talk given by one person that explores a single idea with practical tips

Target Audiences

  • Private Studio – Content covers pedagogy, instructional methods, and administrative tasks relevant to private studio instructors.
  • School Orchestra – Content covers pedagogy, instruction methods, classroom management, repertoire, classroom-based technology, and other topics relevant to public/private school teachers.
  • Collegiate/University - Content covers pedagogy, instructional topics, teacher preparation, and research relevant to higher education professors.
  • Student – Content covers topics relevant to attendees who are working toward becoming music educators, such as completing music degrees, finding employment, or attending graduate school.
  • Community Music – Content covers topics relevant to community music programs, such as youth orchestra programs, El Sistema, and New Horizons ensembles.
  • Other – Content covers topics related to playing or teaching string instruments that do not fall into the categories above. Examples include eclectic styles (i.e., fiddle, rock, jazz, and world music), chamber music pedagogy and repertoire, wellness, theory, copyright, advocacy, entrepreneurship, and non-classroom based technology.

Key Dates for Planning Purposes:

  • Call for Proposals Close: April 23, 2020, at 11:59 pm Eastern time
  • Conference Invitations: fall 2020
  • Sessions Materials Due: January 2021 - Plan ahead!

The Details - Please read all the information prior to submitting your proposal(s):

Speakers will be notified of the status of their submission through the online submission system, so please make sure that your email address is correct.

  1. Primary Target Audience: Who are you teaching? The conference committee aims to have a diverse program; therefore, there is a blend of education that falls into the following audience categories. Select one and include it in the proposal (required).
  2. Learning Formats: Learning formats support a range of instruction that give attendees the option of choosing different content, materials, and methods that match their objectives.
  3. Primary and Secondary Session Topic Focus: What are the primary and secondary topic areas that best describe the session?
  4. Marketing Description (50-75 words): Write a description that ASTA can use to promote the session if selected.
  5. Abstract (300 words; this should be different from the Marketing Description): What will the audience learn? Some of the criteria for the selection committee to consider are the learning objectives to vet content.
  6. Speaker Information: Please include a brief professional biography for each speaker in your session; if you have presented at previous ASTA or statewide conferences, please be sure to include this information here. All speakers must be ASTA members and will need their ASTA Member ID number. To find your ASTA Member ID number, login into the website in the top navigation. (The default user name and password are your email address on file with ASTA.) Once logged in, click on “My Profile” and you will find your ID number in your member profile.

Special Notes:
  • The committee will not accept session proposals that are solely performance-based and those that promote individual commercial products. Commercial materials may be used in a session for educational objectives, but they cannot be used for promotional purposes. Taking orders or selling products during the session is prohibited.
  • Exhibitor Showcase applications (sessions promoting commercial products/Product Promotion Showcase) are available through the exhibitor prospectus and must be reserved by the sponsoring company.
  • All applicants must be current members of ASTA at the time of application and also at the time of conference; furthermore, they are expected to register for the full conference.
  • IMPORTANT: Session proposals can ONLY be submitted through this online submission process. No paper applications will be accepted. Online software will be available to accept session information until midnight April 23, 2020.

Product Promotion Showcases - Limited number available
These sessions are for promotion of commercial products and services. These sessions give companies the opportunity to launch new products, market directly to a focused group for a one-hour block, and provide increased visibility for your product or service. Showcases are available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis and are available to members of the ASTA String Industry Council exhibiting at the conference.
  -  Members: Please contact your company representative to have them reserve the showcase slot.
  -  Company Representatives: Please contact Susan Hoopes at shoopes@astastrings.org, or use the exhibitor prospectus contract to reserve your slot.

Thank you for your support of ASTA and the strings community.

Questions? Email asta@astastrings.org.