As I have made my journey through my first couple of years and stepping into the official role of president, I often get the question “why should I join ASTA?”  For me, this has always been an odd question and my initial knee jerk reaction is “why not?”  ASTA has always been a part of my life.  String community members strengthening and supporting each other as they try to bring something special and meaningful to the lives of others, how could you go wrong?

There are always different levels of participation within the association from the teacher that simply uses it simply for PD credit, to the individuals that eat, breathe and live off the vast breadth of knowledge that has accumulated through the hard work of others’ experiences.  From the college violin professor to the band teacher who has been informed they will now be teaching strings.  We all have a role to play within the organization whether we are the one that provides mentorship and knowledge to others, or are in fact the one seeking out the best practice to teach students how to tune.  We are here to support each other as we work to bring a moment of happiness to a child’s day where they may not know where they will be sleeping that night or a student that just needs a mental break from a bombardment of AP courses.  We teach unique children that have chosen us to be their mentors.  I, personally, am thankful every day for the type of job that I do.  Though the students may rarely let you know it, they cherish the times and moments they have in your class either now or later in life.  As you make your way through each day this year, I hope you have a chance to tell your students how happy you are that they have chosen to make you a part of their day and that hopefully, you brought them a moment of inspiration, success or peace to theirs.  Before frustration sets in, try to remember if a student isn’t doing what you ask musically, they are likely struggling to truly understand how to do it.  Then, when you yourself struggle to succeed in helping your student, remember that you have a whole community here in ASTA to help you be successful.

Chad Mickey
NVASTA President