ASU faculty member recognized for work in music education
Marg Schmidt, associate professor of music education in the School of Music at Arizona State University, was recently honored with two prestigious awards: the 2015 national String Researcher Award by the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) and the 2015 Arizona Governor’s Arts Award for an Individual in Arts in Education.
“Being chosen for even one of these awards, let alone two, speaks volumes about Schmidt’s dedication to passing on her knowledge and love of music to others and for her unwavering commitment to furthering music education,” said Heather Landes, director of the School of Music.
ASTA is a membership organization for string and orchestra teachers and players, helping to develop and refine their careers. The ASTA award is presented annually to a deserving string researcher “whose work has contributed significantly to scholarship in string education and performance.”
Schmidt received tenure at ASU in 2007, and since then, she has been actively involved in publishing in leading research journals, presenting research at professional meetings, mentoring students and participating in the strings community. Schmidt accepted the award at the ASTA National Conference, March 18-21, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Governor’s Awards are a statewide celebration of the arts that recognizes distinguished artists, arts organizations, businesses, educators and individuals for their passion, creativity and devotion to Arizona’s arts and cultural community. The winners of the 2015 awards were announced at a ceremony on March 24 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. Appropriately, each recipient was awarded an actual work of art made by a living Arizona artist.
Schmidt’s career as a string educator and researcher has spanned over 30 years. She is an expert on string education and pedagogy and on music teacher preparation and development. Her research has focused on sociological issues of race and class among and between music learners and teachers, and how these concepts mesh with the reality of teaching strings in today’s schools.
“I am so pleased that both these awards bring recognition to the music program at ASU,” Schmidt says. “I have always loved the idea of ‘lighting your candle in your own little corner.’ Neither award is completely about me, as I couldn’t do the things I do without the support and encouragement of the administration, staff, my colleagues and our students in the School of Music. They inspire and encourage me every day in so many small ways. If we each keep lighting our candles, we can collectively make a difference in the lives of our students and the larger community.”
In addition to teaching in the School of Music, in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Schmidt is also the founder and director of the ASU String Project, which won the Robert Jesselson String Project Consortium Award in 2005 for the nation’s most outstanding string project. Schmidt holds a doctorate in music education from the University of Michigan, a master's in music (violin performance) from SUNY-StonyBrook and a bachelor's in music education from Lawrence University.
Heather Beaman, Heather.M.Beaman@asu.edu
communications liaison, School of Music