Return: Get Involved / Conference & Summit / 2024 National Conference


Wednesday, March 20

  • 10:30 AM - 8:00 PM: Registration
  • 12:00 - 5:00 PM: Pre-Conference Sessions
  • 5:30 - 6:30 PM: Newcomer's Welcome
  • 6:30 - 7:30 PM: Welcome Experience - featuring the ASTA National Teacher's Orchestra (see Pre-Conference Workshops to register to participate!)
  • 7:30-9:00 PM: ASTA University & College Student Mixer

Thursday, March 21

  • 7:00 AM - 7:45 PM: Registration
  • 8:00 - 9:30 AM: Opening Ceremony featuring Vijay Gupta and the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra under the direction of John Nardolillo
  • 10:00 AM - 6:45 PM: Educational Sessions, Music Industry Sessions, Music Showcases, Invited Ensemble Performances, and Committee Roundtables
  • 10:00 AM - 5:45 PM: National Orchestra Festival Performances and Clinics
  • 12:00 - 1:30 PM: Exhibit Hall Grand Opening *OPENING EARLIER for 2024!
  • 12:00 - 7:30 PM: Exhibits Open
  • 7:30 - 9:00 PM: Evening Concert featuring Mike Block's Biribá Union
  • 9:00 - 10:00 PM: Jam Session

Friday, March 22

  • 7:00 AM - 7:45 PM: Registration
  • 8:00 - 9:30 AM: Opening Ceremony featuring Sphinx Virtuosi and the Music Institute of Chicago Virtuoso Strings
  • 9:30 AM - 6:30 PM: Exhibits Open
  • 10:00 AM - 5:45 PM: Educational Sessions, Music Industry Sessions, Music Showcases, Invited Ensemble Performances, and Committee Roundtables (5:00-5:45 PM: Research Poster Presentations)
  • 10:00 AM - 5:45 PM: National Orchestra Festival Performances and Clinics
  • 5:45 - 6:30 PM: Exhibit Hall Mix & Mingle
  • 6:30 - 7:30 PM: SAASTA Fiesta!
  • 7:30 - 9:00 PM: Evening Concert featuring Sphinx Virtuosi
  • 9:00-10:00 PM: Jam Session with Christian Howes

Saturday, March 23

  • 7:00 AM - 3:15 PM: Registration
  • 8:00 - 9:30 AM: Opening Ceremony featuring Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser & Indiana University - Jacobs School of Music String Academy Virtuosi
  • 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM: Exhibits Open
  • 10:00 AM - 2:45 PM: Educational Sessions, Music Industry Sessions, Music Showcases, Invited Ensemble Performances, and Committee Roundtables
  • 12:00 - 12:45 PM: ASTA Annual Membership Meeting
  • 3:00 - 4:30 PM: Closing Ceremony featuring NOF Grand Champions and SAA Youth Ensembles

Pre-Conference Workshops

Wednesday, March 20 - 12:00-5:00 PM

Separate registration fees apply. Pre-Conference Workshops are not included in conference registration. Registration will open November 1, 2023.

ASTA Pre-Conference Workshops

Beyond "Rote to Note" - Music Literacy with Deeper Learning

Debbie Lyle & Felipe Morales-Torres

Have you been dismayed to watch a student write a letter name under EVERY note, or seen blank stares as you prepare to play a rhythm you just clapped for the last 10 minutes? Beyond "Rote to Note" will present educational concepts and provide tools for teaching both pitch and rhythmic reading much faster and with better retention at the beginning level of instruction that will transfer and expand through the next levels of proficiency.

Create a Concert that Honors Diversity with 21st Century Tools

Julie Lyonn Lieberman, Robb Janov, & Rudolf Haken

The old concert model is exactly that… old! This session will focus on how to tap into originality, composition, student ownership, ethnic diversity, and storytelling, to build a media-rich presentation. Through demonstration and participation, we will explore a 21st century hybrid approach that will reach way beyond the old norm. Bring your ideas to add to the session and let’s shake loose to create a new approach.

Do you Want to be a Better Teacher? Hands on Learning for a Blueprint for Success!

Sarah Ball, Bob Gillespie, Bob Phillips, & Margaret Selby

Four master teachers will lead participants in a hands-on experience playing secondary instruments. Areas of content will include secrets to successful recruiting, pedagogical tools for beginning students, life beyond D major, and creating a culture of retention. Beginning string teachers will walk away with a treasure chest full of great ideas and strategies they can use to take their program to the next level.

Get a Clue: Solving the Mysteries of What to Teach When – A Logical Sequence of Repertoire

Brenda Brenner, Mimi Zweig, & Kelly Parkins-Lindstrom

Understanding and finding appropriate repertoire at all levels does not have to be a mystery. Join us for a journey through elementary to advanced repertoire for the violin which will explore a logical sequence of music from Pre-Twinkle to Lalo. The focus will be on how to develop young violinists technically and musically. Session One (Elementary Repertoire) will emphasize a natural violin set-up with the teaching of the basic bow strokes - martele, detache and legato. Session Two (Intermediate Repertoire) continues the journey with the development of shifting, vibrato, the expansion of bow strokes and musical forms. Session Three will offer an overview of etudes from Wohlfahrt to Paganini. Session Four will focus on the teaching of advanced repertoire. Technical difficulties can be solved by identifying between which two notes the difficulties occur and then having the tools to solve the problems.

National Teachers Orchestra

Tamara Dworetz

Join us for a day of community music-making and relationship-building through the art form that we all love! This enjoyable pre-conference session will feature a full day of interaction with colleagues through string orchestra rehearsals and a planned culminating informal performance. The day of planned rehearsals will include rehearsal technique strategies and conversation with lots of playing and musical interaction. Participants will gain new insights and rehearsal techniques while rehearsing and playing the repertoire. It will be an active day!  Teachers are encouraged to exercise your primary or well-developed secondary instrument skills for this event. Repertoire will include pedagogical compositions, arrangements, and eclectic styles, as well as great standard repertoire. It will also feature compositions from the New Canon Project. Music will be distributed one month before the conference so participants can prepare ahead of time. Instruments will be available upon request. Performance attire will be “business casual.”

Trauma-Informed Pedagogical Practice: Developing Tools for String Teaching

Tawnya Smith, Laura Talbott-Clark, Kathleen Horvath, Erin Price, & Adrienne (Ageh) Bedell

Trauma-informed practice is an effective approach to maintaining a healthy classroom environment for both students and teachers. Learn definitions of trauma states, the physical and mental health manifestations of trauma, and the neurological changes that occur following trauma. Learn to spot the behaviors associated with trauma and the appropriate pedagogical strategies to support students with trauma histories of various levels of severity, as well as what to do when you are triggered in the classroom.

SAA Pre-Conference Workshops

Building Suzuki Community with Web Presence

Morgan Lee Gerstmar

Looking to grow your Suzuki community? Building a strong web presence has become one of the most reliable ways of recruiting new students. In this workshop, participants will learn about the basics of web design, social media, and optimizing search engine optimization (SEO).

Creative Ability Development

Alice Kanack

Leave with skills, tools, and games that are inspired by Dr. Suzuki’s concept of group classes as applied to creative musical development. Thes are intended to be taught as part of, or in conjunction with, Suzuki group classes. Games are designed to be used by students from pre-twinkle through book 4 on any instrument.

Dalcroze Basics

Jeremy Dittus

This workshop will be geared towards professional musicians and educators of all musical instruments. Ideal for both experienced and beginner students, Dalcroze Education uses the body to explore musical concepts in dynamic, engaging, and playful ways. Throughout this workshop we will discover new and meaningful ways to understand music using through focused physical gestures and movement. In addition to movement courses concentrated on adult learning, participants will survey principles of Dalcroze Education along with specific Dalcrozian strategies and techniques to acquire new approaches for personal practice and performance, the private lesson, and group classroom teaching. This course will cover Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Solfège, and improvisation. Learn the fundamentals of eurhythmics, solfège, and improvisation.

Let Yourself Go! Piano Improv & Composition

Nancy Modell

Why expose our Suzuki students to improvisation and creative composing?  Improvisation and composing are longstanding traditions and important experiences for all pianists. Improv and composing original music are enjoyable activities that promote self-expression and creativity, encouraging students to tap into their imaginations. This session will provide guidance, tools, and a vision for teachers to help students realize their creative impulse to compose original music. Join us for fun and innovative teaching ~ Let yourself go!

Suzuki Early Childhood Education Curriculum Revision Course

Danette Warren

Intended for any SECE Teachers who have ECC & SECE stage one, this 5-hour course covers all the revisions to the SECE curriculum, bringing diversity, equity, inclusion, and access to the Suzuki Early Childhood Education Classroom. Teachers will be invited to actively participate in singing the songs, saying the rhymes and practicing the actions to the new and revised activities in the curriculum.

  • Learn More!

    ASTA & SAA Pre-Conference Workshop Information

    Click Here!
  • Plan to join us!

    Register for Pre-Conference Workshops

Conference Sessions

  • Full Session Schedule

  • Thursday, March 21

  • Friday, March 22

  • Saturday, March 23

New Music Reading Sessions

  • K-12 Grades 1-2

    Michelle Hudson

    Jessie Clark Middle School, Fayette County Public Schools

  • K-12 Grade 3-4

    John Rine Zabanal

    Department of Defense Education Activity

  • K-12 Grade 5-6

    Phil Kent

    Lafayette High School, Fayette County Public Schools

  • K-12 Eclectic Styles

    Cory Zilisch


  • K-12 Women Composers

    Annalisa Chang

    Clayton State University

  • K-12 Historically Excluded Composers

    Jonathan Glawe

    Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor Public Schools

  • Studio Women Composers (VN & VA)

    Claire Allen

    Allen Violin Studio

  • Studio Women Composers (VC, DB, HP, & GTR)

    Mira Frisch

    University of North Carolina - Charlotte

  • Studio Historically Excluded Composers (VN & VA)

    Member of the Sphinx Virtuosi

  • Studio Historically Excluded Composers (VC, DB, HP, & GTR)

    Member of Sphinx Virtuosi

New Music Reading Session Schedule and Clinician Bios

K-12 String Orchestra

Grade 1-2: Saturday, March 23 - 10:00-10:45 AM

Michelle A. Hudson is the orchestra and guitar director at Jessie Clark Middle School in Lexington, KY and KMEA Orchestra State Chair-Elect. She started her career in Florida and is in her 17th year of teaching. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance and Master of Music Education both from Florida State University. Beyond music, she enjoys her family of 4, her dog, home renovations, word games, and gardening.

Grade 3-4: Thursday, March 21 - 10:00-10:45 AM

John Rine Zabanal is a string music educator, researcher, and a supporter of the arts. He is currently an instructional systems specialist for K–12 music at the Department of Defense Education Activity where he supports music programs at schools on U.S. military bases worldwide. He previously taught at VanderCook College of Music, Florida State University, and Spotsylvania County Public Schools, Virginia. He holds degrees from The Ohio State University and Florida State University.

Grade 5-6: Friday, March 22 - 5:00-5:45 PM

Phil Kent is the Director of Orchestras at Lafayette High School, the School for the Performing and Creative Arts in Lexington, KY. Mr. Kent has taught strings 4-12 grades for twenty years. He has earned a BME from Western Kentucky University and a MME from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. IL. Mr. Kent has performed with various professional and community ensembles such as the Woodford County Community Theater, the Bluegrass Area Jazz Ambassadors, the Yellow Dog New Orleans Jazz Band, and the MetroGnomes Big Band.

Women Composers: Thursday, March 21 - 1:30-2:15 PM

Annalisa C. Chang is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Music Education at Clayton State University in Georgia. At Clayton State, Dr. Chang teaches general music education courses, string methods, music for early childhood, music appreciation, and supervises student teachers. She was named the 2022-2023 Gene Hatfield Teacher of the Year by the CSU College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to teaching, she serves as the Director of the CSU Music Preparatory School.

Historically Excluded Composers: Saturday, March 23 - 1:00-1:45 PM

Jonathan Glawe (from Waterloo,Iowa) is currently the Director of Orchestras at GRAMMY Award-winning Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Currently in his 15th year at Pioneer, Glawe has led the Pioneer Orchestras to a wide variety of successes through performance and informal exploration of music in both the traditional and contemporary canons. Glawe is committed to bringing to life music from historically underperformed and underrepresented composers within his programming at Pioneer.

Eclectic Styles: Friday, March 22 - 11:00-11:45 AM

Cory Zilisch, a visionary music educator, achieved remarkable success as the former Director of Orchestras at Westport Middle School. Under Cory's leadership, the Westport Rock N' Warhawks gained nationwide acclaim with their pioneering electric orchestra, known as the most technologically advanced program of its kind in the US. Cory's innovative approach introduced students to a captivating blend of rock, pop, and classical music. The program's impact was undeniable, resulting in a remarkable 400% growth in the orchestra program over five years. Cory's commitment to excellence earned him recognition as one of the most impressive young orchestra teachers in the US.

Applied Studio: Solo and Chamber Music

Women Composers (Violin & Viola): Saturday, March 23 - 11:00-11:45 AM

Claire Allen is a private violin teacher in northern Virginia whose explorations into creating a more diverse musical experience for her students have led to unique recital programs for herself and her students, an article in American String Teacher, and varied pedagogical presentations. Ms. Allen received her bachelor’s degree from Baldwin-Wallace University and her master’s degree from the Peabody Conservatory. She is a Suzuki-registered teacher with training in Books 1-6.

Women Composers (Cello, Double Bass, Harp, & Guitar): Thursday, March 21 - 2:30-3:15 PM

Mira Frisch, Professor at UNC Charlotte, has performed throughout the United States and abroad. Most recently, she has played extensively with Charlotte Strings Collective, a group that performs music by Black composers. She holds a BA in Music and Mathematics from Saint Olaf College, a MM in Cello from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a DMA in Cello from the University of Minnesota, and a Graduate Certificate in Anti-Racism in Urban Education from UNC Charlotte.

Historically Excluded Composers (Viola & Viola): Friday, March 22 - 10:00-10:45 AM

Historically Excluded Composers (Cello, Double Bass, Harp, & Guitar): Friday, March 22 - 2:30-3:15 PM

Jam Sessions

  • Thursday, March 21 - 9:00-10:00 PM

    Mimi Rabson

    Berklee College of Music

  • Friday, March 22 - 9:00-10:00 PM

    Christian Howes

    Creative Strings

Jam Session Schedule and Clinician Bios

Thursday, March 21: 9:00-10:00 PM

Dubbed "...dazzling, violin phenom" by the Boston Globe, Mimi Rabson is one of Boston's most creative and versatile musicians. She is a Professor at Berklee College of Music. Her mission is to open musical styles to string players even if they are outside of the pedagogical canon. Her newest book called "Berklee Arpeggios, Chords and Etudes for the Violin" is on Berklee Press/Hal Leonard.

Friday, March 22: 9:00-10:00 PM

Award-winning eclectic violinist/composer/educator Christian Howes has been widely recognized for leading the way for through the pandemic by creating and sharing hundreds of free play-along videos for all levels and in many styles on the Christian Howes YouTube channel. The lessons have accumulated over 3.5 million views and Christian has visited hundreds of districts across the country leading play along workshops focused on improvisation, harmony, and eclectic styles. His methodology has been used across the world by string players and teachers interested in going past playing prescribed parts to make and teach music in more diverse and creative ways.

(703) 279-2113

4155 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, VA, 22030

© 2024 American String Teachers Association