AST Journal - August 2021

Volume 71, Number 3

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Rebuilding through a Pandemic
By Sarah Lenhart and Becky Bush

The past year has been challenging for everyone. As this new year begins, know that most teachers will be rebuilding their program. String teachers have experienced reduced numbers, lost instructional time, and setbacks from virtual learning. As your program’s leader, this year’s assignment is to have hope and believe in the future of the program. It is crucial to stay focused and keep the big picture in the forefront…

Level Up Your Orchestra: Gamification in the Orchestra Classroom
By Jessica R. Stephens


String teachers are constantly striving to engage our students in meaningful learning. We face many challenges: students at multiple levels, reduced class times, and pressures from administrators to integrate technology. This can be exhausting and using technology can feel like both a blessing and a curse. We need to find ways to meet students where they are both in terms of technical ability and learning style…

Creating Student Rehearsal Guides for String Orchestra
By John Rine A. Zabanal


Great orchestra teachers are constantly seeking ways to differentiate learning to challenge all student members. This can include different learning styles, different backgrounds, different technical levels, and even different instruments. Although differentiation may have several definitions, Tomlinson et al. (2003) defined it “as an approach to teaching in which teachers proactively modify curricula, teaching methods, resources, learning activities, and student products to address the diverse needs of individual students…

All About that Bass, No Treble: Shapeshifting from Violin to Double Bass
By Tanatchaya Chanphanitpornkit and Tammy S. Yi

It is no wonder teachers favor the violin for their young musicians. Its size alone is often reason enough to justify offering it as a first stringed instrument to small players. But children grow and musical callings change, and at some point, whether for the individual student or because a teacher simply needs some cellos and double basses to fill out that string section, young violinists (and their teachers) will eye upright instruments as the next stage in their musical evolution…

What’s in Your Glinda Bubble? Finding Peace in Performing
By June Huang


One of my earliest memories is of being afraid to talk. When I was in kindergarten, doctors and teachers speculated that perhaps growing up in a bilingual environment confused me. Nope. I knew exactly what I was thinking—I just could not, or would not, spit it out. To this day, the hardest part of giving a lecture is introducing myself. I see this type of performance anxiety quite often with students; they have done the work and are in command of the material, yet their performances fall short of their true abilities…

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