2021 Virtual Music Program Leaders Forum

November 3–4, Virtual Music Program Leaders Forum

The 2021 Music Program Leaders Forum will provide relevant professional development for music program leaders and district arts coordinators working in the PreK–12 school setting, aimed at establishing and growing networks of collegial support for those in the profession. The 2021 Forum will address:

    • The Creative Process and Social Justice
    • Getting Back to Basics
    • Maintaining Balance in a Post-COVID World
    • Creating Gender-Friendly Learning Environments
    • Music Education and Economic Development
    • Hiring the Best Candidate
    • Diversifying Curriculum through a Music Business Program
    • Building a Modern Music Program
    • Teacher/Administrator Collaboration
    • How to Start & Sustain a Music Therapy Program
    • Online Software and Student Privacy
    • Daily Break-out Sessions

This event is for any music program leader, teacher leader, or aspiring leader. Detailed session information will be posted soon. Registration fee: $25 for NAfME members; $75 for nonmembers.



Day 1:  Wednesday, November 3, 2021

11:00 – 11:10 a.m. EST   OPENING:  Michael Stone, NCMPL Chair

Michael Stone, NCMPL Chair- Brief Welcome

Dr. Mackie Spradley, NAfME President, Opening Remarks

Introduction of the NAfME Council of Music Program Leaders (NCMPL):

  • Judith Hawkins, Eastern Division Representative
  • Lance Nielsen, North Central Division Representative
  • Ann Medellin, Northwest Division Representative
  • Annamarie Bollino, Southern Division Representative (Chair-Elect)
  • Martha Gabel, Southwestern Division Representative
  • Scott Burgener, Western Division Representative
  • Jared Cassedy, Member-At-Large Representative
  • Shawn Chastain, Member-At-Large Representative (Past Chair)
  • Heather Cote, Member-At-Large Representative (Past Chair)


11:10 – 11:50 a.m. EST    KEYNOTE:  Alysia Lee

“Radical Creativity: Imagination + Action”

“We cannot create what we cannot imagine.” – Lucille Clifton

In her interactive keynote, Lee will explore the connection between the creative process and justice, present a framework for social change, and provide an opportunity to radically imagine your next steps.


12:00 – 12:45 p.m. EST     PLENARY SESSION:  Judith Bush, Presenter

“Looking Forward to the Future by Getting Back to Basics: Refresh, Refocus, Renew”


1:00 – 1:45 p.m. EST      PLENARY SESSION:  Dr. Christy Whittlesey

“It’s OK to say “THEY”: Creating Gender-Friendly Learning Environment Where Our Music Students Can Thrive”


2:00 – 2:45 p.m. EST     PLENARY SESSION: Dr. Morgan Soja

“Creating or Maintaining Balance in a Post-COVID World”



Break-outs will be by NAfME Division, led by your Division Representative on the NCMPL


3:45 – 4:00 p.m. EST    DAY 1 WRAP-UP: Michael Stone

Tomorrow begins at 11:00 a.m. EST


Day 2:  Thursday, November 4, 2021

11:00 – 11:10 a.m. EST    OPENING: Michael Stone, NCMPL Chair

Michael Stone- Brief Welcome, Review Agenda


11:10 – 11:50 a.m. EST     PLENARY SESSION: Anne Fennell and Mr. Russ Sperling

“Our Composed Counterpoint: Music Education and Economic Development”


12:00 – 12:45 p.m. EST    SESSION CHOICES BLOCK (pick one)

  1. “Hire Smart: Find the Best Candidate” (Joseph Owens, Presenter)
  1. “Launching Exciting Careers in the Music Industry: the East Central High School Music Business Program Model” (Marcia Neel, Presenter)
  1. “Come One Come All- Build a Modern Music Program” (Heather Fortune, Presenter)


1:00 – 1:45 p.m. EST    SESSION CHOICES BLOCK (pick one)

  1. “Stronger Together: Create, Collaborate, and Connect with Administrators” (Lori Schwartz Reichl & Shiney Ann Johns, Presenters)
  1. “Music Therapy: How to Start & Sustain a Program in Your District” (Matthew Koperniak and Amber Weldon-Stephens, Presenter)
  1. “Online Software and Student Privacy: What You Need to Know” (John Mlynczak, Presenter)




2:45 – 3:15 p.m. EST     CLOSING AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS: Mr. Michael Stone, NCMPL Chair

2022 NAfME National Conference at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center (Prince Georges County, Maryland)