Summer String Teachers Workshop: Student Middle-Level Orchestra

by Frances Oare KMEA Middle School Orchestra Representative

If you are a string teacher at any level, be sure to set aside June 17th-18th 2022 for an amazing professional learning opportunity.  The Summer String Teacher Workshop sponsored by KASTA (you do not need to be a member to attend) will include a new opportunity this year for your middle school students to play in an orchestra under the direction of Dr. Mark Laycock, director of orchestras at Wichita State University and director of the Wichita Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Our clinician for the teacher workshop this year is Jim Palmer, recipient of the Elizabeth A.H. Green Award for a distinguished career in string teaching, James Palmer is an editor, arranger, and featured clinician for Alfred Music. He is also the Orchestra Director and Fine Arts Department Chairman at Allatoona High School in Acworth, Georgia.

Mr. Palmer has held posts with many youth orchestras throughout Florida and Georgia and is in demand as a clinician presenting workshops at the state level as well as the National ASTA conference; he is dynamic, creative, and a master teacher!   Teachers attending his workshop will find an abundance of ideas that they will be able to incorporate immediately into the classroom.

Topics at the summer workshop will include an Alfred sponsored reading session as well as:

  1. Warm Up to Wrap Up: A Complete Creative Approach to Achieving Excellence in the Orchestra Classroom
  2. Orchestral Bowings: Connecting the Technical with the Expressive to Achieve Superior Performances.
  3. Simple Symphony: A Teacher’s Guide to Creating, Rehearsing, and Developing a Symphony Orchestra at your School.
  4. Fantastic Fiddling: Understanding how to create a dynamic group that will serve your students and your community

While teachers are busy learning and adding to their toolboxes, the student orchestra will have a one-day event on Friday, June 17.  Students will rehearse and then perform for parents in a side-by-side orchestra with their teachers. The schedule for the students on June 17th is:

9:00-10:30  a.m.          Orchestra session #1

10:45-12:00 a.m.         Orchestra session #2

12:00-1:30 p.m.          Lunch on your own

1:30- 2:45p.m.            Orchestra session #3

3:00 p.m.                    Rehearsal with attending teachers from KASTA workshops

4:00 p.m.                    concert for parents    

Student cost is $12 per student.  The fee for the two-day teacher workshop is $150 with a $25 discount for ASTA members.  High school and college students may attend both days for only $25 and there is an option for single- day registration for teachers as well at $75.  For more information, click on the link above or go to

Our Sponsors