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"Above all, ASTACAP is designed to offer a constructive and supportive learning tool for string teachers, students and their families."    "WHAT'S NEW WITH ASTACAP?"

ASTACAP Exam Dates:  
Northern VA: May 6, 2017  (apply by April 10, 2017)
Bowed Strings (violin, viola, cello, bass)                 
Bowed Strings Exam Site: Lutheran Church of the Redeemer
1545 Chain Bridge Road, McLean VA 22101
Harp 
Harp Exam Site: St John's United Methodist Church
5312 Backlick Road, North Springfield, VA 22151 
NoVA Exam Organizer: Carol Stone 
NoVA Downloadable Application: Click here

Southwestern VA: May 20, 2017  (apply by April 30, 2017)
Southwestern VA Site: Floyd Music School
115 W Main St, Floyd VA 24091 
Blacksburg Exam Organizer: Mike Mitchell
SW VA Downloadable Application: TBA

     ASTACAP Participants

Begun in 1998, The American String Teachers Certificate Advancement Program (ASTACAP) has been re-vamped and expanded beginning in the fall of 2014 and now includes an additional exam site in Virginia, an on-line submission option to serve students living in remote areas, and a new and updated ASTACAP Handbook.

As we transition to the new national standards for ASTACAP, this is the final year we will be using the Old ASTACAP Handbook and rules in Virginia. For a copy of the Old Handbook, contact the State ASTACAP Chair, Carol Stone.

 Much like similar programs in Great Britain, Canada, and Australia, ASTACAP consists of 11 graded levels of technical and musical development. Rooted in our geographical region, ASTACAP was founded in Maryland by Lya Stern and advanced in Virginia in 2002 by then VASTA President Lynne Denig. A Harp component was added by Virginia's own Elizabeth Blakeslee in 2010.

 Teachers who are interested in participating in ASTACAP are encouraged to read more about the program on the ASTA website under Member Resources. Once there, click on "Certificate Advancement Program" at the left.

 In Northern Virginia in 2015 both the Old and the New Handbook requirements will be allowed. In 2016, we will update to the new Handbook only. This will also apply to the Southeastern Region of Virginia.

• There are eleven levels of graded curricula for strings.
• The student, under the guidance of his or her teacher, prepares scales, an etude, one or more pieces, and hones sight-reading skills.
• These are performed at a yearly non-competitive exam before an examiner who offers constructive written comments.
• The examiners are VASTA members known for their fine, supportive teaching skills and professional experience.
• The student is awarded a Certificate of Achievement for each level successfully completed.

Benefits of the ASTACAP program for both teachers and students include:
• Uniformity of expectations between states.
• Continual feedback on students' progress with constructive comments.
• Documentation of achievements that can be used in applying to youth orchestras, summer music camps, and for college admission.
• Professionally designed and printed certificates for students.
• Member access to the ASTACAP Handbook online.
• Access to a marketing brochure (for teachers).
• Use of a specially designed logo on materials and cards.
• Listing of participating teachers on the ASTA Website.


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