The objective of this study was to gather descriptive information about orchestra programs that can be used as baseline data when considering the needs of school string programs. Of the 1,345 surveys sent to schools offering orchestra instruction, 652 were completed. Orchestra teachers were asked to describe themselves, their schools, and their orchestra's curriculum, students, and music. Findings indicate a continued enrollment increase in school orchestras in the 1990s, although the number of orchestra teachers has remained relatively stable. Also, larger schools are more likely to offer orchestra instruction. The majority of orchestra students and their teachers are white. More than two-thirds of students who begin to play stringed instruments in the schools continue playing them until graduation. Twenty percent of orchestra students are in the upper 10% of their graduating class, even though they make up less than 5% of the student population.
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