I’ve always known about ASTA (American String Teacher Association). I knew that they sponsored the most prestigious competitions. They launched careers, including that of musicians like Joshua Bell and Rachel Barton Pine, not to mention their excellent instrument insurance program.
So when I moved from New York to Los Angeles in 2001, the first thing I did was join ASTA. I started to teach violin and was desperate to find out how the local music world operated. Unlike New York, there are so many musical organizations all so spread out. I found it confusing and overwhelming, and of course I joined all of them.
What a mess! Each organization seemed to have its own standards, guidelines and timelines. This was before everything was on the Internet, so I quickly collected a huge pile of information. Not only was I emotionally overwhelmed by paperwork, but so was my kitchen table!
But soon, the ASTA material rose to the top of the heap.
Attending my first ASTA board meeting was the first time I felt at home in the strings community.