National President-Elect Candidate 2022-2024 Deborah A. Confredo

Deborah A. Confredo

National President-Elect Candidate 2022-2024

Biography

  • Professor of Music Education and Director of Online Graduate Studies in Music Education at Temple University (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 42-year veteran music educator. Taught elementary, middle, and high school instrumental music in New York and Pennsylvania. Music teacher educator: Illinois State University, University of Illinois, Temple University
  • State membership in PMEA, NJMEA, LMEA.
  • Member of LMEA’s: Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Professional Development Committee; LA Music Adjudicators Association
  • Immediate Past Chair: Society for Research in Music Education
  • Chair: NAfME Music Teacher Profession Initiative
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What do you see as the major challenges music education, NAfME and the advancement and Equity/DEI will face during your term and in what ways can you transform these into opportunities during your presidency?

The challenges of music education, NAfME, and Diversity/Equity Advancement are inextricably interconnected. Our collective response will impact the trajectory of our profession for years to come. Here are some thoughts on how these challenges might be transformed into opportunities:

Challenge: Historically Persistent Issues

Opportunity:

  • Funding: Source entrepreneurial skills of members, leaders, and government/industry partners to create sustainable funding assistance for financially challenged programs
  • Relationships: Build awareness and investment by engaging meaningfully with stakeholders and non-stakeholders
  • Low Participation in Secondary School Music: Expand student access to music experiences that support and honor local cultures
  • Benefits
    • Partner with researchers to collect/disseminate data from music education, education, neuroscience, and sociology that substantiate music’s prominent place in curricula
    • Engage education, community, and government leaders in learning more about the singularly unique benefits of music education through systematic discussion, task forces, and targeted performances

 

Challenge: Making Music

Opportunity:

  • Continue to support cornerstone large and small ensemble experiences
  • Expand valid music making experiences to reflect cultural diversity and inclusion
  • Create music-making opportunities through advancing sensitivity and response to divergence in learning, and providing access to modifications and accommodations
  • Evolve teacher preparation curricula to better prepare teachers for more equitable music-making experiences across a wider array of genres

 

Challenge: Student and Position Losses, Post-Pandemic

Opportunity:

  • Strengthen campaign for music education as: (a) a unique human endeavor; (b) conduit for social and emotional health/learning; and (c) critical to human development
  • Create, implement, and support opportunities for novel approaches to music teaching/learning while sustaining motivating time-honored practices
  • Involve state MEA members/leadership in local lobbying/advocacy efforts to emphasize: (a) importance of retaining music teacher positions where retrenchment is taking place, and (b) student participation in elective music experiences

 

Challenge: Workforce Inequities

Opportunity:

  • Nurture a workforce that: (a) more accurately reflects communities; (b) is better prepared to teach a diversity of student populations; and (c) is dedicated to all children, committed to skillful teaching, and compelled to embrace, with respect and without appropriation, a diversity of methods, materials, and repertoire
  • Identify barriers to the profession, particularly for underrepresented and marginalized communities by seeking input from:
    • Veteran PK12 teachers
    • Early-career PK12 teachers
    • Preservice teachers
    • Music teacher educators
    • Supporting partners

 

Challenge: Curricular Inequities

Opportunity: Through member task forces…

  • Eliminate bias in historically questionable and racist curricular materials
  • Seed programs to create new materials by purposefully engaging composers and educators from historically underrepresented and marginalized populations
  • Identify and curate materials from multiple cultures and populations
  • Curate, make accessible, and manage a resources website for (a) easy access to curricular materials/repertoire created by underrepresented and marginalized composers/authors, and (b) approaches to teaching modifications and accommodations
  • Re-envision music teacher preparation curricula for transfer, creativity, authenticity, critical thinking, and a broader view of valid and relevant musical content and experiences

 

Challenge: NAfME’s Relevance

Opportunity:

  • Combat isolationism to fortify NAfME as the preeminent voice for the profession by strengthening relationships with partner organizations and communities
  • Identify new alliances with those whose connection to music education might be outside the typical
  • Better harness and use the power of affordable technology towards membership, music-making, and advocacy
  • Reshape and strengthen NAfME’s guiding principles towards remaining relevant, robust, and solvent
  • Engage research community to collect/share data about the power of music endeavors
  • Apply research findings to initiatives, methods, and policy

 

Challenge: NAfME’s Significance, Identity, and Future

Opportunity:

  • Address 25% drop in membership through dialogue with current and former members, and those who have never chosen membership; apply mitigating action steps
  • Clarify NAfME’s identity: why it is important and unique; its position as a principal voice for the profession in its work with partners
  • Work with state leaders to:
    • Clarify and publicize membership benefits
    • Create unambiguous user-friendly communications to stimulate membership growth, share materials, and meaningfully connect members
    • Revise member fee structure (e.g., sliding fee scale, pay what you can)
    • Develop member sponsorship program to defray costs for those in need, including sponsorship of collegiate membership grants
    • Mobilize novice teachers and collegiates to stimulate service and leadership
  • Reimagine and revitalize Tri-M® as a relevant, contemporary, and vital link between music learning and teaching, made possible through philanthropic grants
  • Institute a mentorship system for novice teachers for sustainability and durability of an inclusive, representative music teaching workforce
  • Advance accessibility by organizing state MEA task forces for partnership development (neighborhood, community, corporate/industry, university, philanthropic institutions, etc.) to identify and ameliorate lack of access to:
    • regular music instruction and experience;
    • musical materials;
    • appropriate music equipment and instruments;
    • accessible physical spaces; and/or
    • technology and connectivity
  • Job acquisition assistance
  • With state MEAs and partner universities, create free or low-cost new/novice music teachers mentorship program
  • Continue work of the Music Education Profession Initiative: collect data/actionable ideas to establish an equitable path to music teacher education; create a more equitable music teacher preparation experience through admissions and curriculum revision

 

Challenge: Communications/Connections

Opportunity:

  • Facilitate continued dialogue between members, leadership, partners, and communities; share outcomes at local, district, state, region, and national levels to advance work of the association, its societies, and councils
  • Work with NAfME staff towards improving social media presence; modify website to a more intuitive and easily navigable tool for members and those curious about NAfME
  • Foster equity in leadership at state and local levels through focused interaction and generating new involvement opportunities
  • Enlist volunteer support for continued and greater presence on social media to create colleague teams, collections of ideas and practices, and advocacy assistance

Curriculum Vitae/Resume

Equity Statement

Leadership Statement

Social media:

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