The American String Teachers Association convened the ASTA COVID-19 Task Force on May 21, 2020, to create planning guides for string teachers as they prepare to resume string instruction in classrooms and studios in the fall.
ASTA is providing suggestions for classroom teachers, ensemble directors, and studio teachers as they navigate the following instructional situations during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Task Force Goals
The following ideas directed the development of these ASTA resources, which are intended to support string education and the continuation of teaching and learning string instruments (see the planning guides for more information):
- Active music-making as part of a community of musicians can and should remain a priority.
- Curriculum continuity should be maintained as much as possible.
- This is a time for us to reflect on how to make string programs even better.
- Assessment methods may need modification.
- Differentiated instruction will be necessary.
- Equity and access must receive consideration.
Arts Education Is Essential
ASTA is among 53 arts and education organizations to support and sign the joint Arts Education Is Essential statement in May 2020. The statement endorses arts education as an important subject to be included in every child’s education. The opening statement reads: “It is imperative that all students have access to an equitable delivery of arts education that includes dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts that supports their educational, social, and emotional well-being, taught by certified professional arts educators in partnership with community arts providers.” ASTA affirms that:
- Arts education supports the social and emotional well-being of students, whether through distance learning or in person.
- Arts education nurtures the creation of a welcoming school environment where students can express themselves in a safe and positive way.
- Arts education is part of a well-rounded education for all students as understood and supported by federal and state policymakers.
As a reminder: Student and teacher health and safety should remain a priority; we highly encourage teachers to stay informed and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), federal, state, and local guidelines.