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ASU School of Music wins national award for string teacher training program

ASU student teachers at ASTA conference in the Reno, Nevada where they were able to interact with teachers from other String Projects in the nation. All of them are music education majors at ASU.
Front row, left to right: King-Wea Ng (Malays

Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

March 24, 2005

Tempe, Ariz- The ASU Herberger College School of Music String Project was recently selected for the Robert Jesselson String Project Consortium award from the National String Consortium Project (NSCP), a program that focuses on turning around the national string teacher shortage. The award was presented at the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Convention in Reno, Nevada, in February 2005. The Robert Jesselson award committee selected the ASU String Project as the most exemplary project in the country.

As public schools across the country attempt to build and maintain their music programs, numerous jobs for string teachers go unfilled due to a lack of qualified professionals. The belief of NSCP is that with practical hands-on training during their college years, the undergraduates who teach in the string projects gain valuable experience prior to taking a job.

"Participants in the program have the opportunity gain supervised teaching experience while earning money toward their college education," said ASU assistant professor and project director Margaret Schmidt. "In addition, music education majors discover whether they enjoy teaching by doing it."

The NSPC was created in 2001 by ASTA with the National School Orchestra Association (NSOA) as a way of helping universities build the practical training component of their music education program, using a successful project as a model. Currently there are 28 local string projects in the country.

Now in its third year, the ASU School of Music String Project enrolls about 100 children from the community each semester, in both class and private lessons. The ASU String Project received $10,000 per year for four years to help fund the project, and allow tuition to remain affordable for all students. For the 2004-2005 school year, the ASU String Project received a grant from the Charlotte Martin Foundation.

You can find more information on the ASU School of Music String Project by contacting Professor Margaret Schmidt at 480-965-8277.

The School of Music in the Arizona State University Herberger College of Fine Arts is one of the top music schools in the nation. More than 100 music faculty artists and scholars work with approximately 800 music majors each year in research, performance and scholarly activities. It presents approximately 700 concerts and recitals each season. To learn more about the School of Music, visit 

Media Contact:
Mica Matsoff
(480) 965-0478