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ERIC Number: EJ820966
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1069-7446
The Great String Revival: For Decades, School String Programs Have Been Overshadowed by Bands and Choirs. Many Teachers Say It's Time to Change that--And They've Got Lots of Ideas about What You Can Do to Help
Simons, Dave
Teaching Music, v16 n3 p30 Nov 2008
According to the Austin-based Amati Foundation (a nonprofit group that supports programs for the stringed arts), over the past several decades the number of public school districts offering instruction for violin, viola, and cello has plummeted, from as high as 80 percent in 1960 to less than 19 percent today. Lack of public funding for stringed instrument education is a leading culprit, but there are other factors as well. Not only is there a pronounced shortage of qualified string instructors, but there is also a commonly held belief among administrators that string playing is somehow a second-tier activity. To a certain degree, the move away from strings in schools is understandable--it is clearly somewhat impractical to have an orchestra trot onto the court and play "Theme from Star Wars" during the halftime show. But even in school districts that offer a regular slate of concert activity, performances that include strings are fast becoming a rarity. As a result, string programs continue to be overshadowed or even marginalized by the more visible school bands that march in parades, perform at sports events, and compete on a national level. What can be done to reverse this trend? In this article, the author discusses how to bolster an existing string program or launch a program from scratch. He shares ideas from teachers about what can be done to foster and support a school's string program. Some tips on how to acquire a stringed instrument as well as strong opinions from a distinguished conductor about the importance of an orchestra program are presented.
MENC: The National Association for Music Education. 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-336-3768; Tel: 703-860-4000; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A