First Year Music Teacher Learns a Valuable Lesson about Helpful Music Educators

Jenni Koenemann joins other music-makers at MENC Conference

Shortly after she returned from MENC’s National Biennial Conference in Milwaukee, first-year music teacher Jennifer Koenemann recalled the energy and camraderie she experienced first-hand from other music educators.

“It was such a wonderful experience. I made sure I got to sessions early to get hand-outs. I talked to presenters and attended concerts. The music was so great. I took so much great information back home with me.”

One of her favorite activities at the MENC conference was the World Rhythms Event. She arrived early to get an instrument, dance and sing. She is so enthused about what she learned that she plans to incorporate World Drumming curriculum into her classrooms.

Koenemann, from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, teaches in two inner-city schools where her music program has already had a big impact. “Music is such a great way for children to express themselves. I feel like I make a difference.”

Helping her make a difference are other music teachers in her district, who she says have been generous with time and advice from the beginning, as well as lending her instruments when she needs them.

“It is not easy being a first year music teacher because no one else does the same thing you do at your school. The support I received from other music teachers was really wonderful. I don’t know what I would have done without that support.”

See the Update section in the June ’08 issue of Teaching Music for more information on the World Rhythms event.

Roz Fehr, May 15, 2008. © MENC: The National Association for Music Education (