Mayor Karl Dean to present “Music Makes Us” Initiative
and to participate on Music Education Panel 

Casey James, Sarah Darling, Striking Matches and Mark Wilkinson to Perform

RESTON, VA  (September 25, 2013)  — There’s a growing sound of true advocacy being made by proponents of music education these days, as they fight more and more for the cause to be recognized and respected in public schools nationwide.  It’s a sound that will especially be heard loud and clear throughout Nashville, TN in late October as thousands of music teachers, administrators, and students come together to attend the 2013 National In-Service Conference of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

The main theme for the four-day conference is “Music education orchestrates success”— in school, in work, and in life.  The event will run October 27-30 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.

Teachers who attend will address the proposed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, gain new insights into how their classroom teaching styles are being evaluated, attend dozens of professional development workshops, and celebrate the achievements of some of the nation’s most distinguished student musicians.

Studies show that the skills students learn in music class – discipline, cooperation, creativity — help them become successful leaders, citizens, and workers. Principals agree that strong music programs lead to higher graduation rates. Music educators take the responsibility of teaching music seriously, and NAfME’s National In-Service Conference is where the rubber meets the road.  Each year, the conference does its part to improve the music education landscape by offering educators the chance to address these complex issues with others in their field and to participate in cutting edge workshops that will enhance their teaching when they return to the classroom.

“It’s a natural that we should meet in Nashville – Music City,” says Nancy E. Ditmer, president of NAfME and a music educator at the College of Wooster, OH. “Where better to bring together thousands of music educators and student musicians to discuss how the latest challenges to our profession should be handled, as well as to celebrate the success of our talented and dedicated students?”

Ditmer adds, “The likelihood is very high that just about every successful musician in Nashville has a music teacher that he or she can thank for support and guidance.”

The 2013 NAfME National In-Service Conference will also recognize the talent and accomplishments of local and regional music students, as sixteen of Tennessee’s most proficient musical groups, including a university wind ensemble, high school show choir, brass quintet, and a symphonic band, will perform at various events open to attendees.  A roster of performances is posted at

In addition, 670 of the most talented and skilled music students in the nation, representing 46 states, will perform as part of the 2013 All-National Honor Ensembles — Orchestra, Concert Band, Mixed Choir, and Jazz Band. A complete list of students along with their schools, directors, and hometowns is posted at

The week will kick-off Sunday, October 27 with a concert at the historic Grand Ole Opry House featuring music stars Casey James, Sarah Darling, Striking Matches and Mark Wilkinson.

Then, on Monday, October 28 at 10 a.m. CDT, Mayor Karl Dean will give the keynote address on the “Music Makes Us” initiative currently being implemented in Metro Nashville Public Schools. “Music Makes Us” introduces a new curriculum platform and technologies to improve traditional band, orchestra and choir programs. “We are well on our way to ensuring that Nashville has the best music education program in the country,” says Mayor Dean, who is also scheduled to participate in an education panel discussion immediately following his keynote address.

On Monday night, attendees will also be treated to a complimentary “Songwriters In The Round” event featuring legendary Nashville writers, Gordon Kennedy and Wayne Kirkpatrick, followed by the “Give a Note Foundation Extravaganza” at the Wildhorse Saloon, featuring a performance by country music star Sarah Darling, the recipient of the 2013 NAfME “Stand For Music” Award. Proceeds from tickets purchased will support NAfME’s Give a Note Foundation, which has already distributed $1 million to struggling music education programs.

On Tuesday, October 29 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, NAfME will present a special collaborative performance of the new stage musical based on the Disney film, “Tarzan.”  Local Nashville talent will take center stage, as members of the student body from Siegel High School (Murfreesboro, TN) will join forces with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Eden Espinosa (WICKED, Broadway “Elphaba”, RENT, Broadway “Maureen”) and many other talented cast members. Tickets are still available for this jungle shaking event.

To see the full agenda for NAfME’s 2013 National In-Service Conference, go to

To see the schedule of special events taking place during the conference, please visit

To register in advance, please visit Attendees may also register on-site each day of the conference.

For INTERVIEW REQUESTS or MEDIA CREDENTIALS, please contact Nelson Duffle, or Amanda French,  See our press kit at .

Media professionals are invited to attend the kick-off concert at the Grand Ole Opry House, “Songwriters In The Round,” Disney Musicals In The School’s performance of “Tarzan,” and two professional development workshop sessions of their choice.  Additional requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


 For more information, visit



National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education.  NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers.  The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century.  With more than 70,000 members, the organization is the voice of music education in the United States.



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