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This Green Paper, submitted by the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), outlines ASTA’s vision for strings and orchestra in the 21st century, presents obstacles to achieving that vision, and offers strategies for overcoming those obstacles.

Green Paper Authoring Organization: American String Teachers Association


Michael Gagliardo

Musical Director
Etowah Youth Orchestras
Gadsden, AL

Michael R. Gagliardo was named the second Music Director and Conductor of the Etowah Youth Orchestras in August of 1995. Since his appointment, he has led the EYO to national recognition, including the receipt of ten ASCAP Awards for Programming of Contemporary Music. Under Mr. Gagliardo's direction, the Orchestras have performed numerous concerts throughout the United States and Great Britain, including "by-invitation" performances at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln and Kennedy Centers for the Performing Arts.

Mr. Gagliardo has served as Guest Conductor of the 2009 and 1997 Alabama All-State Orchestra Festival, the 2008 Colorado All-State Orchestra Festival, and the 2003 All-West Tennesse Honor Orchestra Festival Senior Orchestra.

Mr. Gagliardo received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education from Eastern Illinois University and a Master of Music Degree in Orchestral Conducting from Ball State University. He has served as a presenter at the League of American Orchestras’ National Conference, the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame's Summer Teacher's Institute, the Alabama Music Educators Association Conference, and the ASTA National Conference. He currently serves as the Chair of the 2010 National High School Honors Orchestra for ASTA.
Mr. Gagliardo is the founder and CEO of Wonder Dog Press and Daphne Roo Music,. He resides in Glencoe, Alabama, with his wife Melia and their four dogs, Daphne, Lady, Jake, and Gracie.


Original STRINGS Green Paper:

Strings (pdf, 94KB)




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Five Points

topic: Green Paper: Strings
Posted by Michael R. Gagliardo On March - 22 - 2010

The vision of the future of music education, as it relates to string instruments and orchestras, has been succinctly stated in five points by the American String Teachers’ Association.  Let’s take a look at these points and see in what direction they are pointing us.

First, ASTA’s vision includes “providing access to strings and orchestra for all children, protecting these programs from economic uncertainty, and teaching members how to advocate for these programs.”  That’s a tall order.  It’s not that string music educators aren’t up to the task, and it’s not that it’s too much to ask.  Those of us in the profession are doing this every day, to a certain extent.  Some of us are doing more than others – but that’s not the fault of those who are doing less.  The truth of the matter is that many younger members of our profession aren’t being taught how to advocate and how to fight for our programs.

The first thing on the chopping block when schools make cuts is always, it seems, the fine arts programs.  At least that is what we have been taught by our mentors, especially over the past 20 years.  Now, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t necessarily true.  However, it leads younger teachers to simply throw up their hands and see it as inevitable, instead of making a conscious effort to fight for their programs and, often, their jobs.

So the question, in my mind, is this – what can we be doing, on the collegiate level, to help our students better understand the NEED to advocate for their programs, and to teach our future educators how to fight for their programs, and in turn, the students in their schools who deserve the same opportunities that we have been given?

I would venture a guess that few music education courses teach future music educators how to write grants, or lobby a legislator, or make a presentation seeking funding to a local corporation.  As a group, we know that all students should have access to string programs.  There is no argument.  But what must we do, not to just to convince others, but to teach our future proponents HOW to convince others of the need for what we do?

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