Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Marvin A. Lawson
Dr. W. Francis McBeth
Ms. Helen Lyon
Orchestras suffered considerably during and immediately after the second World War. The rise of military bands and school bands overshadowed the efforts in developing a well-rounded music curriculum of instrumental music in the public school. However, the trend is now reversed. As a shortage of string players for the symphony orchestras become apparent, a move was initiated to provide training in the public schools for students who wished to play string instruments. With the rise of more American composers, conductors, and symphony players, interest increased in string programs and they began to grow.
The purpose of the survey was to present information as to the organization, administration, and maintenance of Texas string programs. The research methods used were (1) study of recent books and periodicals relating to the subject; (2) review of materials used for string instruction; and (3) a questionnaire which was mailed to one hundred string teachers and orchestra directors in the thirty-eight Texas school districts which had established . string programs. Fifty-five of the questionnaires were received from twenty-three of the thirty-eight school districts surveyed. Of the questionnaires received, fifty were completed while five were not completed for various reasons.
The organization and administration of string programs in Texas were found to vary between school districts; however, certain similarities were also revealed. The similarities are as follows:
1. The majority of communities had at least one large senior high school with an enrollment of one thousand and fifty or more.
2. The majority of communities had a population of one hundred thousand or more.
3. The majority of the communities had a college or university which influenced the cultural attitude.
4 . String specialists were employed by the majority of school districts .
5. The majority of string specialists taught on both elementary and secondary levels.
6. The majority of teachers used students for demonstration of instruments when recruiting beginning students.
7. The majority of secondary classes met daily and most secondary teachers held rehearsals outside of school time in addition to the regular class period.
8. The majority of teachers teaching in the elementary schools offered beginning string instruction to fifth or sixth grades.
The materials and equipment used were most often supplied by the school . Elementary schools did not supply beginning books in the majority of schools. The method book most used was the String Builder by Samuel Applebaum. It was revealed that the larger instruments were furnished by most of the schools surveyed, with smaller instruments being furnished by the students.
The responding teachers varied in their opinion of the role of the string program in the school. The majority indicated that the purpose of a string program was enjoyment and enrichment.
Bell, Dennis Lee, "A Survey of String Programs in the Texas Public Schools" (1970). OBU Graduate Theses. 15.