NSPC: What we do.
A 2018 national survey regarding the status of orchestra programs in the United States projected that there will be approximately 757 new jobs this year for string teachers (Smith, Mick, and Alexander, 2018). The population of string teachers is aging, and the number of new string education graduates does not meet current demands. This national problem has greatly limited the number of children who are able to learn to play stringed instruments. A national survey from the Give a Note Foundation (2017) on the status of music education in the public schools revealed that there is only 25% of orchestra classes offered to students in elementary school. While the availability for students in middle school orchestra classes increases, 41%, the number decreases within the high school orchestra classes, 36%.
The NSPC is attempting to address this shortage of qualified string teachers with a plan that establishes teacher-training programs at universities throughout the country. Since it is the responsibility of one generation to pass on our culture and musical heritage to the next, the NSPC is working to ensure the future of a diverse number of string players by increasing the number of young people who will be playing stringed instruments and experiencing the joys of music-making in all types of communities across the United States. The NSPC is also working to ensure that there are sufficient numbers of teachers, in every state, who will be able to teach these children the art and technique of playing stringed instruments.
The NSPC supports the creation and growth of String Projects at universities across the country. These String Projects provide practical hands-on training for undergraduate string education majors during their college years and give children the opportunity to study a stringed instrument.
The Consortium was originally formed in 1998 under the auspices of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA). It is now an independent non-profit organization working together with ASTA and other music organizations to serve string education and string development across the United States.