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Volume 26, Number 4 — April 2019

Pulling Strings to Get Music Into Children's Lives

"So far — in this area — we continue to be lucky that orchestra and band programs are still important in our schools." — Jane MacMorran

By Angela Wampler /A! Magazine for the Arts | March 27, 2012

In December 2003, the New York Times reported, "In the face of folding orchestras, diminishing finances, vanishing record sales and shrinking audiences, there exist stubborn and imaginative pockets of resistance determined to put string instruments into the hands of children. Mastering techniques such as bowing and fingering seems to promote self-esteem not easily achieved in other areas of children's lives."

In August 2010, Strings magazine announced the results of a new report, "The Status of Strings and Orchestra Programs in United States Schools." The report cites numerous positives, including an increase in the number of districts offering string classes, a greater variety in the racial mix of string students, and a less drastic dearth of certified teachers than existed seven years ago."

The study determined that the music profession would need an influx of 3,000 string teachers between 2010 and 2013; that the percentage of school districts offering string instruction had increased from 18% in 1997 to 29% in 2009; and that the number of students playing stringed instruments in schools has steadily increased at all grade levels since the early 1980s.

- Youth Orchestras in Middle Schools & High Schools