The ASTA Certificate Advancement Program (ASTACAP) provides students with an incremental means of achieving playing goals, motivating them to persevere and excel in their instrument studies.
There are eleven levels of graded curricula for violin, viola, cello, bass, harp, and guitar.
The requirements and repertoire for each instrument are available on the ASTA National Website. Please be sure to have your ASTA user name and password available to gain access to these files.
ASTACAP provides definite goals and awards for all students, from beginner to advanced levels, through non-competitive examinations.
Students are judged on technical and musical preparedness at specific levels—Foundation Level through Level 10—by an examiner of musical and pedagogical stature.
Each level is defined by a set of technical and musical goals (for instance: starting vibrato, third position, sense of style), along with corresponding study material.
Completion of each level is demonstrated at a performance exam. The student plays one or more pieces, an etude, scales, and arpeggios. The student is also asked to sight read.
The student’s success is recognized by ASTA with the awarding of a Certificate of Achievement for each level successfully completed.
ASTACAP adjudicators include some of the most prominent musicians and teachers in the state.
Teachers of all traditions find that ASTACAP complements and strengthens their programs. As a result of its great success in several ASTA state chapters, it was adopted as a national program in 2004. Benefits to ASTACAP teachers and students include, but are not limited to:
Uniformity of expectations between states.
Continual feedback through an examiner’s comments on student progress.
Documentation of achievements that can be used when applying to youth orchestras, summer music camps, and college admission.
Professionally designed and printed certificates for students.
Member access to the ASTACAP handbook online. (PDF format.)
Access to a marketing brochure about the ASTACAP program to use for recruitment. (PDF format.)
Use of a specially designed ASTACAP logo for teachers to use on materials and cards.
Listing of participating teachers on the ASTA national website.
Meryl GeibASTACAP Committee Chair
Meryl Geib, cellist and pedagogue, has maintained an active and varied career as a musician in central Oklahoma since 2009. She earned her Bachelors of Music degree with distinction from the School of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with previous studies at the University of Texas-Arlington and the University of Central Oklahoma. Her primary teachers include Dr. Tess Remy-Schumacher, Dr. Karen Becker, and Dr. Elizabeth Morrow.
As a performer, Mrs. Geib has played in orchestras and chamber groups in Arkansas, California, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas. She is a former member of the Garland Symphony, Las Colinas Symphony, ION Trio, Red Rock Chamber Orchestra, and Symphony Arlington. Currently, she is principal of the Covenant Chamber Orchestra, a founding member the Edmond Chamber Orchestra, and also performs with the Enid Symphony Orchestra. She has performed at venues nationally and abroad, including the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City. During her career, music tour opportunities have taken her to Australia with a cello ensemble and to Nuremberg, Germany for the premiere of “Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra, op. 170” with guitarist Stefan Grasse. To further expand her understanding of music throughout time, Mrs. Geib has begun the study and performance of baroque cello. She regularly performs with Trio Antiqua and at various events held in conjunction with the Brisch Center for Historical Performance.
As an educator, Mrs. Geib is committed to expanding cello and chamber music education in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. She is an active member of the American String Teachers Association, and currently maintains a large private studio. Her students have participated in various Oklahoma ensembles, including the North Central Honors Orchestra, All-OMEA, Oklahoma Youth Orchestras and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic's Society of Strings. She also co-founded the student-musician scholarship program at Covenant Presbyterian in The Village, Oklahoma in order to help young musicians learn how they can benefit the community. To further improve the education of young cellists Mrs. Geib has teamed with other local teachers to form the OKC Cello Project, a group dedicated to creating unique educational experiences for young cellists in central Oklahoma.
With an eye toward the future, Mrs. Geib hopes to inspire entrepreneurship in the field of music. She is available to mentor young musicians in how to start and manage new businesses. She has been a guest speaker for UCO music business courses and the UCO cello studio. Ultimately, Mrs. Geib hopes to help young musicians redefine the role of music in the twenty-first century and have fun doing so.