North Central Division President-Elect 2022-2024 Candidate
Kim Bruguier teaches elementary general music and beginning band at LB Williams Elementary in Mitchell, SD. She also directs a middle school show choir and is color guard instructor for the High School Marching Band. Mrs. Bruguier is the director for the Mitchell Area Children’s Choir, is vice president of the Sioux Valley Orff Chapter, is the Immediate Past President and conference manager for the South Dakota Music Education Association and is an adjunct professor in the education department for Dakota Wesleyan University. In that position she teaches a class on using music, movement, and art for elementary education majors. Mrs. Bruguier has been a clinician across the midwest, presenting at multiple state music conferences, as well as the NAfME National conference in Dallas, the South Dakota Technology In Education conference, the SD Arts Education Institute, and for the Sioux Valley Orff Chapter. She has also led professional development sessions for school districts on a range of technology and music topics. Mrs. Bruguier has been an adjudicator multiple times for middle school music contests and has been the guest director for the 4th-6th grade SDMEA Festival Choir in the spring of 2018, the Brookings Festival of Voices for middle school singers in 2019, and this fall the Northwestern Music Festival for Middle School Voices.
In 2011 she was awarded the South Dakota Outstanding Young Music Educator Award and in 2017 was selected as both the LB Williams Elementary and Mitchell School District Teacher of the Year.
Kim and her husband Lee have 2 children, Max and Amelia.
What do you see as the major challenges music education will face during your term and in what ways can you transform these into opportunities during your presidency?
Music educator shortages are at an all-time high. This has been a growing concern for years, but the covid-19 pandemic has made this challenge exponentially worse and brought additional stresses to college music educator programs. The number of new teachers does not match the high number that are retiring or leaving the profession. It is up to all of us in the field to help build the future of music education. There are ways we can support our future educators using NAfME tools that will also benefit our programs and provide opportunities.
Support college music teacher education programs in your state. This can be through mentoring, taking on student teachers, speaking to collegiate students, allowing them to job shadow or be a classroom volunteer. Get them involved and invested. Let them see firsthand the reality of our amazing profession!
Encourage your high school and middle school students. Having a Tri-M chapter will gain investment into the program, and also may be the extra engagement needed to get a potential future teacher interested. Use your Tri-M chapters to mentor younger district music students, and outreach into the community. Get students involved as much as you can. Spark that drive for music education. Allow high schoolers to job shadow you, invite them to attend professional development events put on by MEA’s. Many allow and encourage high school music students to attend as potential teacher candidates. Positive experiences help cement a passion for music education. Utilizing these opportunities will not only help gain future educators, it will also build up programs and strengthen music departments.
What do you see as the major challenges the association will face during your term and in what ways can you transform these into opportunities during your presidency?
Music educators across the country are working to keep their programs alive as they navigate the latest developments with Covid-19. Teachers are concerned about the longevity of their programs with declining participation numbers, and educating communities and administration on the validity of music. While this is happening at the school and district level, state MEA’s and the National association are struggling as well with similar concerns. Trying to maintain membership numbers and offer applicable programming for students and educators, all while maintaining covid guidelines and fiscal responsibility.
School districts and NAfME can support each other for potential solutions to all of these concerns. Student retainment in programs- offering students the ability to participate in regional and state level festivals, contests, and events. Extra-curricular programming and groups create buy in to your program. Students also can participate in Tri-M which is a student led honor group. Having a Tri-M chapter will boost musician moral and gain parent help and involvement. In return this will provide MEA’s with revenue from events, and new memberships.
When advocating to communities and administration the validity of music education, NAFME has excellent resources for this. NAfME has long been an advocate of music education at the national level. In the last 8 years it has significantly grown in state level advocacy as well. We need to utilize these opportunities for growth as they will make our programs AND NAfME stronger.
How do you plan to advance equity/DEIA in NAfME during your term of office?
Many states are still figuring out how to implement inclusion, diversity, equity, and access, in their state to develop actionable change. I would like to see NAFME be even more proactive about this. Some ideas could be: before events asking teachers if anyone will need special services to be able to participate, creating an all abilities ensemble- (example being a non-audition choir or band festival,) having choirs that are not labeled with gender but instead voice part (instead of Mens choir say bass choir), hiring clinicians to present on topics such as how to modify a lesson to make accommodations for learners with special needs, working with trans singers through their voice changes, sight reading sessions that include composers of color as well as gender, or starting an all abilities extracurricular ensemble. MEAs could offer non-traditional ensembles or festivals such as Mariachi, Native American hand drum, guitar, or music technology.
Access to state programming is an area of concern. Not all school districts cover registration costs for their students to attend so it becomes an expense the family may or may not be able to afford. How can we provide access for these students as well?
Our first priority needs to be educating the individual teacher in the classroom. How can we help them to attain a classroom that is DEIA focused? A classroom that teaches a diverse curriculum that is modified to be inclusive to fit the needs of all learners.