AST Journal - November 2020

Volume 70, Number 4

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Advancing Antiracism in the Secondary School Orchestra Program
By James Ray


This article will discuss ways in which we can advance antiracist policies and actions within our spheres of influence—particularly, within school orchestra settings at the secondary level. I envision this essay as merely an entry point for continuing dialogue, the import of which extends beyond the present political moment.

Methods for Web-Based Teaching: An Introduction for String Music Educators
By Mary-Elizabeth Brown


Physically speaking, you can teach from anywhere with a computer, a reliable web connection, and minimal background noise. Refining your environment, however, can really help to improve the experience for everyone involved. The good news? You likely have all of the equipment you need at home already.

How to Choose a String Instrument: FAQs for Teachers, Students, and Parents
By Barbara Barber


Shopping for a string instrument can be a daunting task for students and their parents. Without advanced playing skills, listening experience, or a string-playing vocabulary, many will not feel confident in evaluating a selection of instruments or bows. The ideas presented here are for violin, but they can easily be adapted to viola, cello, and bass.

Celebrating All Learners, Part II: Helping Students with Common Disabilities and Special Needs Succeed Playing String
By Stephen J. Benham


Neurological diversity is a strength, not a weakness—without exceptional learners, we would not have had some of the greatest art, science, or other creations that we currently have. Part II of this essay includes potential solutions for providing access to students with disabilities into our studios and classrooms, and teaching strategies for helping these very special students thrive.

Improving Intonation with a Drone Accompaniment
By John-Rine A. Zabanal


During our lessons in the private studio or in the classroom, we often tell our students whether a pitch they perform is sharp or flat. However, we cannot be there to assess their pitch accuracy every time they practice. As teachers, we have to show students how to precisely differentiate an in-tune pitch from an out-of-tune pitch and how to adjust it accordingly.

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