Michael Blakeslee is Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). He received B.A.s in music and psychology and an M.A. in music composition from the University of Virginia, where he managed the electronic music lab. He has taught at institutions in the United States and abroad, notably at Northern Virginia Community College, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Universidad de Los Andes, and the Universidad Nacional Pedagógica de Colombia. He has composed musical works for a variety of media, and is the author of articles on music and music education.
At NAfME, Blakeslee has served as editor of the award-winning Music Educators Journal and of Teaching Music magazine, and many NAfME publications. He has directed the development of music education initiatives and innovative online tools for music education. In 1994, he was editor of the National Standards for Arts Education: What Every Young American Should Know and Be Able to Do in the Arts. In 2010, he managed the process that resulted in the 21st Century Arts Skills Map, published by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. And he served on the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards leadership team in the development of the 2014 Core Arts Standards.
Blakeslee’s work over nearly 30 years at NAfME has also involved overseeing a number of significant cooperative ventures resulting in the development of teachers’ materials and other support for teachers and the public, and the institution of initiatives encouraging all decision-makers to engage more effectively in supporting music education.
In 2006, Blakeslee was designated a Lowell Mason Fellow, a distinction awarded to outstanding individuals in music education. He serves on the board of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras, a youth orchestra in the Washington, DC, area.