The American String Teachers Association (ASTA), founded in 1946, is a professional organization for teachers of bowed string instruments based in the United States. The American String Teachers Association records collection covers the period from 1938 to 2003; the bulk of the materials date from 1979 to 1990. The collection primarily consists of professional papers including correspondence, programs, periodicals, membership lists, reports, receipts, photographs, and meeting minutes relating to the general administration of the Association, the annual national convention, board meetings, and collaborations with other organizations. This collection is being processed; an inventory is available upon request from SCPA's curator.
There are no restricted files in this collection.
30.0 Linear Feet
The American String Teachers Association records collection covers the period from 1938 to 2003; the bulk of the materials date from 1979 to 1990. The collection consists of professional papers including correspondence, published writings, programs, periodicals, membership lists, reports, receipts, applications, photographs, meeting minutes, and a photo album. The materials relate to the general administration of the Association, the annual ASTA national convention, board meetings, collaborations with MENC (the Music Educators National Conference, now known as the National Association for Music Education, or NAfME), and professional papers of various officers, including Presidents Robert Klotman (1962–64), Paul Rolland (1964–66), Ralph Matesky (1970–72), Robert Oppelt (1972–74), Jerry Kupchynsky (1976–78), Phyllis Young (1978–80), LeRoy Bauer (1980–82), Robert Culver (1990–92), Gerald Doan (1988–90), Anne Mischakoff (1986–88), Gerald Fischbach (1984–86), Lucas Drew (1982–84), Anne Witt (1992–94), Louis Bergonzi (1998–2000), and Robert Gillespie (2004–06).
The American String Teachers Association (ASTA) is a professional organization for teachers of bowed string instruments based in the United States, and is the largest string teacher organization in the country. In addition to an annual national conference and festival, all ASTA members have access to online and print teaching resources, scholarly publications, professional development, local and national events including student competitions, insurance programs, and a robust network of string teachers and orchestra directors. Ongoing activities include the publication of two journals, the American String Teacher and the String Research Journal, non-competitive student examinations through the ASTA Certificate Advancement Program (ASTACAP), and annual scholarships for attending the national conference through the George Bornoff Memorial Scholarship Fund.
ASTA was founded in March 1946, with the mission of furthering the interests of string playing in America with a focus on performance, research, development, planning, and teacher training. Before this point, string education in the U.S. had been experiencing a decline in interest as school orchestras diminished in favor of bands and choral groups. Concerned about the drop in the number and quality of string players and instructors, string teachers began to seek out ways to remedy these issues. While there were a handful of regional groups dedicated to advancing string playing and teaching as well as string teaching committees within the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and the Music Educators National Conference (MENC), no national organization existed to mobilize string teachers across the country and address shared issues. The idea to form such an organization first arose at a session of the violin forum at the MTNA national meeting in February 1946, and at the MENC convention in March of that same year an informal meeting of nineteen string instructors was held to determine interest. The assembled group agreed that a string organization that could serve both MTNA and MENC in a capacity similar to the national band, orchestra, and chorus associations was needed, and they appointed acting executive officers and organized a committee-at-large. On March 1 the following year, the American String Teachers Association was officially established.
In August 1958, some members of ASTA broke off to form a new organization, the National String Orchestra Association (NSOA), in order to specifically address the needs of public school orchestra directors, who felt that ASTA catered more to the interests of college/university and private studio instructors. In the following decades, ASTA and NSOA collaborated extensively with each other, as well as with MENC (the Music Educators National Conference, now known as the National Association for Music Education, or NAfME), at conferences, workshops, and publications on string instruction and repertoire, including The Complete String Guide (1988). In July 1998, ASTA merged with its sister organization, the National String Orchestra Association (NSOA), and the new organization officially became “ASTA with NSOA.” In 2006, for legal reasons the title was simplified to “ASTA.” To this day, ASTA continues to operate in support of the interests of all school, university, and private string teachers in the US.
Transfer of materials to the ASTA records commenced in 1990 and has continued with ongoing accruals.
Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library