Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Reifinger, James


While many previous studies indicated that the overall number of school string/orchestra programs in the United States has increased, string/orchestra programs have been substantially underrepresented in school music curricula. In addition, the programs have been inequitably distributed geographically, and have tended to conform particular trends in their characteristics and demographics of string teachers and students. The purpose of this study was to examine the characteristics and trends in the profile of current school string programs. Also, by investigating the inception of the programs, this study aimed to identify practical ways in creating a school string program. A 37-item questionnaire was developed to collect data. The participants were string/orchestra teachers who were teaching in public schools and members of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). A total of 130 teachers participated in this study. The result of this study indicated that string programs remain concentrated in suburban areas. Additionally, while string student population has become more diverse and reflective of the overall student population, the racial/ethnic makeup of string teachers is still predominantly White. This study also revealed that the idea of creating a new string program was most often initiated by either school music teachers or outreach program instructors/directors, and the first step typically involves discussing the idea with school administrators.




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