Advocating for Strings

The American String Teachers Association has added another resource for string educators. “Advocating for Strings” is a ten-minute DVD that focuses on the benefits associated with playing a string instrument and features artists and students from the 2007 ASTA National Conference held last March.

“Advocating for Strings” stresses important benefits of playing a string or musical instrument and provides solid evidence in the form of statistics. According to Bob Gillespie, ASTA past president and professor of music at Ohio State University, research proves that music students are:

  • scoring significantly higher on the SAT than the average general student body population; string students have the highest among music students,
  • leaders in classes and activities,
  • members of academic honor groups,
  • in the upper 10 percent of their graduating class, and
  • less likely to abuse alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs.

The DVD not only interviews ASTA’s vocal leaders but also gives students a chance to encourage their peers to play and get involved in string competitions at a national level. “This DVD is extremely well done, and we are excited about its release,” says Donna Hale, ASTA executive director. “The overall theme of advocating strings should change many nay-sayers perspective on the value of string education and pursuing a career in string teaching.”

This public service DVD would not have been possible without the sponsorship of dedicated ASTA members. They are CodaBow, D’Addario, Heinrich Gill, Knilling, The National Youth Orchestra Foundation, and Yamaha.

“Advocating for Strings” is available on our website at no charge for individual, institutional, and council members of ASTA. Nonmembers may purchase the DVD for $9.95. Teachers as well as anyone who is an advocate of string education can use this tool. Contact the ASTA National Office at 703/279-2113 ext. 25 or by email at for questions relating to the DVD.