Scott Barnes Biography


Scott Barnes (002)

Scott Barnes

2017-2019 Northwest Division President-Elect Candidate


Candidate Biography and Statement


Scott Barnes is the Manager for Visual and Performing Arts in the Edmonds School District, just north of Seattle, Washington. Previously, he taught high school band for seventeen years in both Oregon and Washington, and was the Associate Principal at the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics.  He was also the Associate Conductor of the Shoreline Community College band for seven years.  Scott holds a BMUS from Western Washington University and a MMUS from the University of Oregon, with majors in Music Education and Horn Performance.  He also holds his Administrative Certificate from Washington State University.  Scott is currently the Immediate Past-President of the Washington Music Educators Association and has served on the WMEA Board for the past nine years as President, President-Elect, Vice President and Administrative Curriculum officer. He has also served as regional President, Treasurer and curriculum officer for SKMEA and LCRMEA in Washington State.  Under his leadership, the Edmonds School District has been recognized by the NAMM Foundation ten times as a “Best Community for Music Education.”  

What do you see as the major challenges music education will face during your term as president?

Music education has always had to advocate for its place as a valued part of a well-rounded education for all students, and this continues to be our biggest opportunity for growth.  While ESSA now lists music as a stand-alone subject in Federal legislation, this just opens the door for conversations at a local and state level about the value of music education.  We need to be proactive not only in advocating for our strong traditional programs, but also for new and innovative approaches that will truly make music education available, and relevant for all students. 

What do you see as the major challenges facing NAfME?

NAfME needs to remain relevant and progressive in meeting the needs of a changing musical world and culture.  As the leading organization of music educators in the country, it is vital that NAfME embraces the rich diversity that makes up our membership, and the student musicians across our nation.  We are an organization that does many things well – advocacy, professional development, providing opportunities for students, etc., but we have an opportunity to grow by embracing the diversity of our membership.  As an organization, we are blessed and mired in a rich tradition of Western music that doesn’t truly reflect the changing diversity of our students or teachers.  Our leadership, at a national and state level, doesn’t reflect the diversity of our teachers, and our teachers don’t reflect the diversity of their classrooms.  NAfME needs to be proactive in closing these gaps.  We believe that music education is for ALL students, but we need to build bridges so that this goal can be a reality.

How should our Association respond to these challenges?

We are at an exciting time in music education.  With the passage of ESSA, we have a great opportunity to bring music education into the mainstream conversation of a well-balance education.  To capitalize on this momentum, NAfME, and music education overall, need to strongly advocate for music opportunities for all students.  We need to embrace and reflect the diversity of our society, with high quality teachers, leaders, and musical offerings that reflect and engage all students.  As an organization we have done an incredible job of providing opportunities for students who are able, and interested, in being involved in our traditional ensembles.  We need to continue to build upon these successes by expanding our vision to provide alternative performance opportunities for students; and by providing training for music educators to equip them in new strategies.  The ways that students access and interact with information, including music, is evolving at breakneck speed.  As a growing organization, we must position ourselves to connect with this reality, creating innovative ways for students to connect with, experience, and share music.  My time on the WMEA board has taught me that great things can happen if we take the time to listen, and I would encourage us to not only listen to the wisdom of those who have set the bar of excellence and success, but also to our newest members, especially our Collegiate and Tri-M students.