ASTA Mentor Program

What is the ASTA Mentor Program?

ASTA is dedicated to providing support to string educators throughout their careers. Whether you are a beginning teacher, new to strings, or want to sharpen your skills, the ASTA Mentor Program can connect you with an experienced string education specialist.

The ASTA Mentor Program Committee matches mentees with a qualified mentor based on mentee areas of interest and mentor background. The mentee and mentor communicate through email, telephone, video chat, or in some cases face-to-face. Teaching observations (live or via video) may be included in mentor-mentee discussions. Some mentor-mentees also meet at the annual ASTA National Conference.

Mentee and Mentor Application Periods
        Call opens mid-May and closes late June
        Notifications will be sent by late July

        Call opens mid-November and closes late December
        Notifications will be sent by late January

Mentee Application
*Applications also accepted outside of the periods listed above! 

Mentor Application
*Mentors are selected based on prior mentoring experience and ASTA mentee needs. Mentors are required to participate in at least one of the online mentor training session scheduled several times throughout the school year.
ASTA Mentor Program History

ASTA's national mentoring program grew from the expressed needs of ASTA members, many of whom are the only string/orchestra teacher in their building. The program launched with a pre-conference session in Spring 2016—“Preparing To Be An ASTA Mentor.” During this session, experienced string teachers from across the country learned about the teacher development continuum, mentoring styles, communication strategies, and string/orchestra specific teaching challenges through discussion, video observation, and hands-on activities. Pre-conference facilitators were Dr. Margaret Berg, Dr. Colleen Conway, and Mr. Bob Phillips.

Previous & Upcoming Events

December 19, 2023 - The 77th Midwest Clinic
String Pre-Conference Intensive

More information coming soon!

March 18, 2023 - ASTA eLearning Webinar
Mentoring Conversation Strategies

Margaret Berg

This webinar is designed for ASTA mentors who serve as student teacher/teacher candidate supervisors, instructional coaches, or ASTA Mentor program mentors. Learn how to be a more effective mentor by using different types of questions during conversations with your mentee that are aligned with their level of teaching experience. During this webinar, participants will evaluate the effectiveness of sample mentoring dialogs and also get a chance to role play different questioning approaches.

December 18, 2022 - The 76th Midwest Clinic
Supercharge Your String Teaching: Strings for the Non-String Specialist

John Clinton, David F. Eccles, Rebecca MacLeod, and David Pope

From the basics of teaching strings to refining your pedagogical string knowledge, this 4-hour immersive session will provide non-string specialists with the information, tools, and resources needed to teach any string player. This informational and practical session will focus on the foundational principles of string playing and teaching. Instrument position, tone production, articulation, bowings, and fingerings will be presented. Participants will select a primary string instrument to learn during this hands-on workshop. The Midwest Clinic and American String Teachers Association have come together to sponsor this exciting opportunity.