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Panel Discussions 2020

posted Jul 22, 2020, 8:21 AM by Michael Watson

We have been having Panel Discussions to help string teachers with processing the many changes and challenges in string education.  Links to meetings are sent out in the weekly MNSOTA eNews.  

The Social & Emotional Health July 22 panel's documents and chat discussion is shared in this Google Folder:


Our commitment: inclusion, access, and achievement for all students

posted Jul 20, 2020, 9:24 AM by Michael Watson   [ updated Jul 20, 2020, 9:29 AM ]

MNSOTA is deeply disturbed and saddened by the murder of George Floyd. This is only the latest example of injustice that BIPOC (Black, Indigeneous, and People of Color) have suffered in
the history of our state of Minnesota and our nation. We acknowledge the structural racism inherent in our institutions and the resulting oppression of our students, friends, and neighbors. For too long, we have perpetuated injustice through complacency and silence. We support Black Lives Matter and the calls for meaningful change in our society. 

Despite initiatives at the state and national level to provide more equitable access, BIPOC remain underrepresented at every level of string playing and teaching. We need to do a better job of providing culturally relevant opportunities for all students in our communities and carefully consider our curriculum choices.

MNSOTA is committed to making meaningful changes to address the inequities in our string community through:
• Elevating eclectic string traditions (mariachi, hip-hop, fiddle, jazz, etc.)
• Supporting the creation and programming of culturally diverse concert literature composed by people of color and other marginalized populations:
• Developing and maintaining a list of works that our organization feels are best to avoid given racially sensitive origins or subject matter
• Providing equitable access to state level events for our entire string community
• Promoting professional development centered around courageous conversations about race, inequity, and trauma
• Diversifying leadership on the MNSOTA board and committees

MNSOTA remains committed to providing accessible and culturally relevant opportunities for string playing. We need all our members to stand together to end racism through thoughtful and
purposeful changes in our classrooms, studios, and everyday lives. 

We welcome your engagement in these conversations. Please reach out to any member of the board if you would like to be more involved in this work.

Here are a couple of Resources shared online by others for finding more Diverse Representations for Orchestra Programming:

Covid-19 Updates and Resource page

posted May 9, 2020, 6:13 AM by MNSOTA Events   [ updated Aug 23, 2020, 4:08 PM by Michael Watson ]

 Online Resources for String Teaching During COVID-19 pandemic:

The ones listed above are created by teachers for teachers, and are not advertisements for specific companies. If you know of others, please share them with a MNSOTA board member. We always looking for more ideas for my teaching, too!

Cover Art Needed

posted Jan 6, 2019, 6:53 PM by Michael Watson   [ updated Apr 14, 2019, 7:08 PM ]

Students and adults are invited to submit original black-and-white drawings for the cover of String Notes. Drawings should fill 8.5 w x 9.0 tall. Pencil drawings work well if they are dark enough to scan well. Scan your artwork and submit a high-resolution (large) file to editor Faith Farr, faith@farrpublications.com. The submission deadlines are six weeks before publication (July 15, November 15, February 15).


posted Mar 1, 2017, 3:46 PM by Michael Watson

To encourage new student memberships, MNSOTA will pay 50% of the first year's State/National dues. 

There are two ways to access this special subsidy.

1) Students should mail to the MNSOTA membership coordinator:

  • Their completed ASTA application form.
  • Copy of their current Student ID
  • A check for 50% of the dues, made out to ASTA.  The membership coordinator will forward the application, your check, and the remaining amount to ASTA.

2) Pay the full amount of the ASTA dues.  Send a copy of the confirmation email to the MNSOTA Membership Coordinator, and MNSOTA will reimburse you for 50% of your first year's dues.


MNSOTA Membership Coordinator:

Cindy Johnson

516 West Lake St

Winona, MN 55987




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