Birch Bay String Teachers' Workshop
  • July 29 - August 2, 2019

    The W-ASTA Birch Bay String Teachers’ Workshop is presented annually in Ferndale, Washington: a pleasant small town located fifteen minutes north of Bellingham, fifteen minutes from the beach at Birch Bay, and fifteen minutes from the Canadian border. The workshop is of interest to private studio and public school string teachers at all levels, and to college/university students preparing for a music education career. Each year, participants from all over the country and from foreign nations attend.

    For further information you may call workshop director Chip Schooler at 360-280-2556
    or email him at:
    We hope to see you here!

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  • 2019 Guest Clinician
    Laurie Scott

    Associate Professor of Music and Human Learning at
    University of Texas at Austin
    Director of University of Texas String Project

    Laurie Scott is Associate Professor of Music and Human Learning at The University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, she serves as director of The University of Texas String Project. Before becoming a professor, Dr. Scott taught in rural string programs in Nebraska, taught middle school and high school in the Austin pubic schools, and was co-conductor of the Austin Youth Symphony. As a professional violinist, she has performed with the Omaha and Lincoln Symphonies, the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, the Austin Symphony, Austin Lyric Opera and Ballet Austin Orchestras. Dr. Scott is one of only two registered "Suzuki in the Schools" teacher trainers for the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and serves as an editor for the String Research Journal. She is a guest clinician and conductor at state and national conventions speaking on string pedagogy, inclusive school music programs, and character development through the arts. Her articles have appeared in American String Teacher, The American Suzuki Journal, and The Journal of Research in Music Education. She is co-author with William Dick of the textbooks, Mastery for Strings, Level One and Two, and Learning Together: Sequential Repertoire for Solo Strings or String Ensembles, co-authored with William Dick and Winfred Crock. Her latest publication, From the Stage to the Studio: How Fine Performers become Great Teachers, is co-authored with Cornelia Watkins and was published by Oxford University Press in April of 2012.

  • Resident Faculty & Staff

    RUTH BODEN, Cello Technique and Pedagogy

    Associate Professor Washington State University
    CHRIS BURNS, Bass Technique and Pedagogy
    Symphony Tacoma principal, University Place School District
    NICHOLAS CAOILE, Conducting Masterclass
    Central Washington University, Wenatchee Symphony
    JOE DYVIG, Bass Technique and Pedagogy
    Olympia School District, Symphony Tacoma
    LISA DYVIG, Viola Technique and Pedagogy
    Olympia Symphony principal, Symphony Tacoma, Private studio in Olympia, WA
    STUART HAKE, Cello Technique and Pedagogy
    Tacoma Opera principal, Annie Wright School
    LESLIE JOHNSON, Viola Technique and Pedagogy
    Former principal PNW Ballet Orchestra, Private studio in Issaquah, WA
    LAURA LYNN, Violin Technique and Pedagogy
    Former Tacoma Symphony, Tacoma and North Thurston School Districts
    SVEND RONNING, Violin Technique and Pedagogy
    Professor Pacific Lutheran University, Symphony Tacoma concertmaster
    CHIP SCHOOLER, Workshop Director and Reading Orchestras
    South Puget Sound Community College

    KRISSY SNYDER, Facilities Manager
    Ferndale School District
  • Conducting Masterclass

    The conducting masterclass provides an opportunity for participants to receive gentle, supportive coaching by our guest clinician, Nicholas Caoile. Those wishing to take advantage of this opportunity will be assigned one movement of a standard string orchestra piece, and will be given 30 minutes of podium time with a small orchestra of their peers. To be considered for a conducting slot, please contact Chip Schooler and mark the registration form accordingly. Up to eight slots are available on a "first come - first served" basis.

    Nikolas Caoile

    Wenatchee Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor
    Professor of Music and Director of Orchestras at
    Central Washington University
    Music Director Designate of Lake Union Civic Orchestra

    Nikolas Caoile holds degrees in conducting and composition, earning his Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Michigan.  He served as the Conductor and Artistic Director of the Salem Chamber Orchestra from 2012-2016 and has guest conducted many community and regional orchestras throughout Washington State.  In 2009, Dr. Caoile conducted the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in collaboration with the Christopher Wheeldon's Morphoses Dance Company at New York City Center.  He has also participated at the Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music where he worked with Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier.  In 2016, Caoile received the Outstanding Orchestral Achievement Award from the Washington Chapter of the American String Teachers Association.  Caoile regularly presents clinics at National Association for Music Educators Regional and State Conferences and has served as a presenter for the Seattle Symphony Pre-Concert Talk series.  His principal conducting teachers are Kenneth Kiesler, Gustav Meier, and Peter Erös.  

  • Accommodations

    Participants are responsible for their own lodging. A variety of accommodations are available in the Ferndale/Birch Bay/Bellingham area.

    The following three motels offer a special rate to guests reserving prior to July 10 when identifying themselves as Birch Bay String Teachers’ Workshop participants (please call for this rate):

    - Super 8 Motel, Ferndale: 360-384-8881 (website link)
    - Holiday Inn & Suites: 360-746-6844 (website link)
    - Home2 Suites by Hilton: 360-734-3111> (website link)
    - Hotel Bellingham Airport: 360-676-7700 (website link)

    Condominium rentals near Birch Bay include:
    - Jacob’s Landing (condos): 360-371-5941 (website link)
    - Sandcastle at Birch Bay: 360-371-4900 (website link)

    - Campsites in nearby Birch Bay State Park, some with trailer hookups, may be reserved at the Washington State Parks website. (website link)
    - RV sites located near Ferndale may be reserved by calling the Cedars RV Park at 360-384-2622. (website link)

    Early reservations for campsites and RV sites are advised.

  • Registration, Fees, Credits, Location

    Pre-register for the workshop by completing this: online registration form (in pdf format). Send it with your check or credit card information as directed. You may also register on site for an additional fee, provided space is available. Registration includes all materials, refreshments, and salmon dinner Thursday night on the beach.

    Prior to July 9: $270 for non-ASTA members, $240 for ASTA members.
    After July 9: $300 for non-ASTA members, $270 for ASTA members.

    ASTA MEMBERS: Members of Washington ASTA may attend any two consecutive days of the workshop for a special fee of $160.

    COLLEGE CREDIT & CLOCK HOURS: Central Washington University offers 3 quarter credits for a very nominal fee which may be paid onsite. Thirty clock hours are available at no charge for WMEA members only. Clock hour arrangements may be made onsite.

    LOCATION: Ferndale High School: 5830 Golden Eagle Drive - Ferndale, WA 98248
    click here for link to Google Maps

    CANCELLATION POLICY: $150 of the workshop fee will be refunded if cancellation request is received prior to July 9, 2018. No refunds will be allowed after July 9.

    QUESTIONS: For further information you may call workshop director Chip Schooler at 360-280-2556 or e-mail

    Payment for registration and/or credits may be made by cash, check, or credit card. NO PURCHASE ORDERS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

  • Sponsors

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JULY 29 - AUGUST 2, 2019 - Ferndale, Washington