Teaching music at small schools affords unique opportunities and benefits, while also presenting specific challenges. NAfME’s Small Schools Initiative was started by Tom Muller, Immediate Past President of NAfME’s Northwest Division. Muller was the first chair of the Small Schools Initiative Task Force, and is now followed by Rich Tengowski, President of NAfME’s North Central Division, at the request of NAfME President Scott Sheehan. Starting its work in February 2023, the Task Force identifies key issues and effective strategies for networking, community building, professional learning, advocacy, and resource development to support music educators in small schools throughout the United States, primarily but not exclusively serving in rural contexts.  The Task Force meets regularly to discuss priority issues and plan outreach and support for small school music educators including through surveys, research, articles, resources, town halls and other types of professional learning.


NAfME Town Hall: Perspectives on Developing a Successful Small School Music Program

Embracing and Influencing Change in Small School Music Programs: A NAfME Small Schools Task Force Initiative Town Hall

How to Redefine Success at a Small School: A NAfME Small Schools Task Force Town Hall

NAfME Town Hall: Elevating the Small-School Music Education Experience

August 2023 Teaching Music Magazine Feature Article

October 2023 Teaching Music Magazine Feature Article

Small Schools Initiative Task Force Members

Scott Sheehan
NAfME President

Deb Confredo
NAfME President-Elect

Mackie Spradley
NAfME Immediate Past President

Tom Muller
Task Force Founding Member
Northwest Division Immediate Past President

James Daugherty
Southern Division President

Rich Tengowski
Task Force Chair
North Central Division President

Judy Bush
2021-2023 Tri-Chair, NAfME Professional Learning and Partnerships Committee

Lance Jones
Chair, K-12 Fine Arts & Tech. Education Department
West Branch Area School District
Morrisdale, PA

Melissa Jmaeff
High School Teacher/Choir, Band
Sutherlin High School
Sutherlin, OR


NAfME Staff

John Donaldson johnd@NAfME.org
Laura J. Reed laurar@nafme.org
Chris Woodside chrisw@nafme.org
Kim Henry kimh@nafme.org