Student Chapter Planning Resources

Below is information to help you start your student chapter, build your network of peers, and become an active part of the ASTA student community.

Tips for a Successful Student Chapter


Chapter Events

Holding regular events is a great way to keep your chapter members involved and motivated. Social events are just as important as music and education events. Try hosting at least one event per month during the school year.

A kickoff event early in the school year will bring together returning students and incoming freshman.

  • Food and games will engage members and increase the possibility of recruiting new members
  • ASTA can provide swag for events—pens, magnets, bumper stickers, membership applications, and more; just send us an email with your request 10 days in advance
  • ASTA can reimburse your chapter up to $50 for refreshments; use the Recruitment Reimbursement Request Form on the right
  • Partnering with fellow music education organizations (NAfME, ACDA) can help fund events and reach new people

Host a music reading session.

Attend the ASTA National Conference as a student chapter.

Volunteer at local schools or start a string project at your university.

Bring in local speakers and teachers to present on a range of topics, such as:

  • How to survive your first year of teaching
  • Gigging and freelancing
  • How to set up a private studio
  • Injury prevention and physical wellness
  • Mental wellness and burnout
  • Recruiting and retention in your music program
  • Teaching chamber music
  • Technology in the classroom
  • Improvisation
  • Student teacher panel
  • Rehearsal techniques
  • Repertoire selection
  • Eclectic styles (fiddle music/jazz/rock/pop)
  • Mock interviews
  • Instrument repairs and maintenance
  • Faculty/Teacher Q&A

Advertise Your Events

Promoting events is important! Make posters and social media posts to advertise your upcoming events. Email lists are another great way to communicate with your members. Consider inviting local teachers to make guest presentations at your meeting. Have your calendar of events outlined in advance.

Fundraising

Fundraising can help your student chapter defray the cost of events and trips.

Check with restaurants to see if they will host a fundraising event with your chapter.

  • Some restaurants may donate 10-25% of their proceeds during a period of time to your student chapter
  • Applications can often be found on restaurant websites
  • Some chain restaurants that allow fundraising: Chipotle, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, California Pizza Kitchen, Blaze Pizza, Buffalo Wild Wings, Boston Market, Raising Canes, Applebee’s, Noodles and Company, Panera, Panda Express, Buca di Beppo
  • Get the word out about your event—post flyers, post on social media, and invite as many people as possible

Host a bake sale.

Sell refreshments at concerts.

Sell custom t-shirts for your ASTA student chapter or school ensemble.

Grants and Sponsorships

Grants and sponsorships can be an easy way to get funding for guest speakers or chapter trips.

  • Check with your university and school of music for available travel grants and programming funds
  • The Foundation for the Advancement of String Education (FASE) offers grants for students and groups to use for professional development and teacher training
  • Have a local music shop or luthier co-sponsor an event with your chapter
  • Look for sponsorships with local businesses


Recruiting and Retaining Your Members

Participate in ASTA's Member-Get-A-Member Campaign and earn gift cards and more for recruiting members.

Partner with the ASTA national office to hold your own member-get-a-member campaign and offer rewards to students for recruiting members. Interested? Email membership@astastrings.org to get started.

Hold a wide variety of events, get the word out, and invite EVERYONE!

Maintain an active social media presence and share information with friends.

Attend the ASTA National Conference as a group and invite friends or prospective students.

Prepare for Future Student Chapter Members

Transitioning from one student chapter board to the next can be difficult as students graduate and move on. The best way to sustain an active chapter is to ensure there are motivated individuals ready to take over year after year.

Create a President’s Journal with everything a future chapter leader would need to know, including:

  • How to register your student chapter with the ASTA national office
  • Officer roles and responsibilities
  • What events you host or attend regularly
  • Notes about your constitution
  • How to hold elections for the next year
  • Tips about past fundraisers
  • A list of past events
  • Financial information
  • Social media account information
  • Standard operating procedures


Encourage younger members of the chapter to be involved with decision making and event planning; leadership experience is a great resume item.

Train younger members to take over your position and responsibilities.

Younger members are more likely to stay involved in student activities if they are involved their first year; this will help to enhance longevity and prevent student turnover.

ASTA National Conference

Visit the ASTA National Conference website for details.

  • Plan social events and team-building opportunities to build connections
  • Share your adventure on social media
  • Wearing matching shirts to showcase and represent your school
  • Have fun!

Paying for the conference:

  • Plan ahead—register early to receive the early bird discount. Start looking for funding options in the start of the fall semester.
  • Take advantage of the ASTA student group discount—you get the student group discount rate when 5 or more student members in your chapter register together. Each student chapter member must also be a member in good standing with ASTA. Make sure to send all registrations (5 or more) together either by email or mail (to the ASTA national office address below). The student group discount cannot be applied if you register online.

University funding:

  • Most colleges and universities want to see their students attend national conferences to enhance their education, meet professionals in their field, and represent the university. Check with your school to see if funding options are available.
  • Become an official student group through your school’s Student Government Association.
  • Tie your trip to a research study. Your university may have funds to promote undergraduate research.
  • Your school of music may have funds designated for travel grants.