Northwest Division President-Elect 2023-2025 Joe Dyvig


Joe Dyvig

Northwest Division President-Elect 2023-2025


Joe Dyvig is currently the orchestra teacher at Olympia High School, as well as the Music and Visual Arts coordinator for the Olympia School District in Olympia, Washington. Prior teaching assignments include Band, Jazz, and Orchestra in the Northshore School District, Ferndale School District, and Monroe Public Schools. 

He was on the Washington Music Educators Association board in various roles for six years from 2017 to 2022 and has been the organizing chair for both the All-State Chamber Orchestra and the All-Northwest Orchestra. At the regional level he served a term as president of the San Juan Music Educators Association. Joe has presented at the WMEA and NAfME Northwest Division conferences on multiple occasions. Additionally, he is on staff as assistant director and double bass teacher at the Birch Bay String Teachers’ Workshop, as well as leading the teacher inservice component of the Hammond Ashley Memorial Bass Workshop. Joe was selected as the Chinook Music Educators Association music teacher of the year in 2022 and is a National Board Certified Teacher. 

In his time at Olympia High School the orchestra program has been awarded, on numerous occasions, first place recognition at various competitions including the Mount Hood Community College Orchestra Festival, The WWU/W-ASTA Orchestra Festival, and the WIAA/WMEA State Ensemble Contest. These awards were across all levels of orchestra. Orchestras under Joe’s direction have performed at both the Washington Music Educator Association’s (WMEA) conference and the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) Northwest Division conference. 

As a performer, Joe has been a member of the Symphony Tacoma Double Bass section since 2011. He has also served as Assistant Principal Double Bass with Olympia Symphony Orchestra and Principal Bass of the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, He has performed with Federal Way Symphony, Auburn Symphony, Port Angeles Symphony, and the Dallas Wind Symphony. 

While an undergraduate student at the University of Washington, Joe studied double bass with Barry Lieberman, and tuba and conducting with Tim Salzman. His Masters of Music Education was completed at the University of North Texas where he was a double bass teaching assistant to Jeff Bradetich, as well as the Master Teacher for the University String Project. 

He lives in rural Thurston County, Washington with his wife Lisa and two children, Jorie and Lucas. 


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? 

I see the biggest challenge in music education being finding well qualified and prepared music educators to put into our classrooms, keeping the ones we already have, and inspiring the next generation to go into education instead of more lucrative career paths.  

As we have gone through the last few months of our hiring season, finding qualified applicants was a real challenge. We had many applicants for general music teaching positions with no discernable music background, let alone a music degree. 

I’m saddened by the number of high quality music teachers I personally know that have left the profession for a variety of reasons ranging from compensation, work load, and dealing with the anxiety associated with being a music teacher 

It is also concerning, especially here in the state of Washington, the stories I hear of students who traditionally would have been music education majors being pushed in college to become performance majors. Also, the students who love music in school, are good at it, and have good leadership skills are being pushed to pursue more lucrative careers that appreciate their overall talent. 

With these kinds of issues, the opportunity is to work with colleges to learn what factors are steering students to become performance majors when there is such a shortage of qualified music teachers. What factors need to change to fulfill student needs and the need in the market for music teachers. 

 In the coming years NAfME needs to examine how to support teachers through professional development and advocacy so that they feel well like they have the tools and support to deal with the workload and anxious feelings. How do we support teachers in tempering their expectations to match their teaching context? Is anxiety a product of mismatched efficacy, skill, and expectation? 

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? 

Here in the northwest, my experience with NAfME has been primarily seeing it as a professional development provider and supporting teachers through student events. I know the advocacy element at the national level is present as well, but it is not always as visible. In the near future we must face the challenge of continuing to provide relevant professional development that music educators can translate across multiple contexts so they can feel effective in their schools. As people examine how they use their time, and the value of those activities we need to ensure that engaging with NW-NAfME is worthy of their time. Additionally, as we work towards relevance and value, the coming years are going to require engagement across diverse modalities. 

To put it simply, people need support and we need to find ways to offer it that are engaging, relevant, and accessible. 


How do you plan to advance equity/DEIA (diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility) in NAfME during your term of office? 

As a teacher’s organization I would like to answer this question purely from the teacher perspective. As an organization we need to continue in our work to attract music teachers to the profession that match the demographics of our students. That is a long term project that will take years to attain! We must use our power as a professional development provider to train our current teachers to encourage a diverse group of future teachers. Providing inservice that helps us recognize our biases and inappropriate gatekeeping will be paramount in achieving this goal. 

 Additionally, providing training to help all teachers learn to create inclusive classrooms where all children feel safe, respected and recognized is vital to advancing equity and inclusion. Continued training on being a culturally responsive teacher is necessary to achieve this. 

 As an advocacy group, we must work tirelessly to ensure that all children, regardless of where they are growing up, have access to music instruction with a well trained and supported teacher. 

Equity Statement

Leadership Statement

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