EASTERN DIVISION CANDIDATE KEITH HODGSON
2017-2019 Eastern Division President-Elect Candidate
Candidate Biography and Statement
Keith W. Hodgson is an Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. He teaches graduate & undergraduate conducting, percussion methods, oversees the music education minor program and observes student teachers in their field placements. Mr. Hodgson is a Past-President of the New Jersey Music Educators Association, a National Board Certified Teacher, the recipient of the 2014 New Jersey Governor’s Award in the Arts for Leadership in Music and was a Grammy Nominated Music Educator Quarter Finalist in 2014. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from William Patterson University, NJ and his Masters Degree in School Leadership and Administration from Rowan University, NJ with Supervisor and Principal Certifications. Mr. Hodgson has spent the past 26 years of his career as a high school band director in New Jersey where he built a very successful three-tiered concert band program, competitive marching and jazz bands, conducted the musical theater, taught AP Music Theory and Guitar classes and was advisor to a very active TRI-M Music Honor Society Chapter.
Mr. Hodgson is the Conductor and Music Director for the South Jersey Area Wind Ensemble, an adult community band of music educators and professional musicians. Mr. Hodgson has held the principal conducting post of the SJAWE since it’s founding in 1997. Mr. Hodgson is also the Head Director of the American Music Abroad Gold Tour, an annual three-week summer music tour of band and choral students performing in 5-6 countries throughout Europe. Mr. Hodgson is an active guest conductor for high school honor bands, community bands and summer music camps and a high school and a collegiate band clinician and guest speaker. As a conductor, he has studied with Ed Lisk, Stephen Melillo, Anthony Maiello, Peter Boonshaft and Mallory Thompson among others. In 2016, Mr. Hodgson was honored as the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Service Award by the New Jersey Music Educators Association, a distinguished Conn-Selmer Institute VIP and nominated to the 2016 Class of the American School Band Directors Association.
What do you see as the major challenges facing music education during your term as president?
Among the issues nationally that continue to be challenging are students having equal access to opportunities, funding, equipment and quality instruction. In addition to the financial and political situations involved, I see effective teacher evaluation, implementation of the NCASS Arts Standards locally and new teacher preparation to be vitally important.
I also see basic volunteerism becoming more and more of an issue among music educators. I have experienced that finding managers, colleagues to serve in positions of leadership at county, region and state levels and finding colleagues to go beyond their classroom and activities to give to the profession through our organizations and associations is becoming more and more scarce.
What do you see as the major challenges facing NAfME?
I believe maintaining state membership numbers across the board is an important issue. Not just keeping them from decreasing but continually working to increase participation by new members through exciting professional development opportunities and by encouraging participation by their students in honor ensembles.
Working hand in hand with that challenge is targeting effective communication as an organization through the states to the local levels. I know NAfME works hard with wonderful music education campaigns and excellent social media efforts and I believe they are working well. Adapting and improving these efforts to meet a continually changing demographic needs to be a very active part of the organization’s strategic plan.
How should our Association respond to these challenges?
The Eastern Division as an organization should continue to focus on providing local music educators, as an extension to the Eastern Division State Conferences… meaningful professional development, high quality musical performances and
collegial support. The association should be working on state by state membership campaigns and providing to all participating members and their students, schools and communities… positive press, research and public relation campaigns about music and the impact on student development. Finally, work to communicate the new and exciting changes to our profession, best practice programs and advocating the importance of continuing the personal professional development and growth of all music educators.
Having been involved in the state and division leadership over the past 8 years, including six years of National Hill Day and National Assembly advocacy work, it has been great to see our efforts in the trenches working and producing such monumental accomplishments such as the ESSA legislation, the national arts standards (NCCAS), the state by state standards implementation process, and the new National In-Service Conferences just to name a few. Experiencing this work of our association has been and continues to motivate and inspire me to get even more involved in the future.