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The 2021-2022 school year is about building the future of music and arts education. The best way to do that is to remove barriers to participation and let as many students participate as we can. It’s time to open every door, every window, every nook and cranny and invite every student to participate in our music programs. On May 10, 2021, NAfME and NFHS will release “Return to Music: Phase II” guidance and resources to help music educators as they plan their return to the classroom. This initiative is the…
We Rise Virtual Choir 2021 NCMEA Hosts Inspiring Event during Music In Our Schools Month®   One hundred North Carolina students from the mountains to the sea performed Adam Mitchell’s “We Rise” during Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®). Hosted by the North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA), this moment was inspiring and encouraging to all who took part in and witnessed the performance. According to the press release, The choir includes one hundred NC Student Vocalists from Elementary, Middle, and High Schools from the Mountains to the Sea! Teachers…
A Vision of Hope How Four Schools Put on a Jazz Choir Collaboration during a Pandemic School Year Shared by NAfME Member Edward A. Trimis Last fall, four different Los Angeles-area schools got together to provide their school communities a vision of hope: a collaborative virtual performance of “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. NAfME member Edward A. Trimis, principal at Legacy Visual and Performing Arts High School, shared the story and the December performance. From the press release: [Last fall,] Drew Lewis, Choir Director at Cortines High School…
NYSSMA Celebrates 48th Annual Joseph R. Sugar Day during Music In Our Schools Month® With a stroke of his pen, Governor Andrew Cuomo claimed March 2021 as Music In Our Schools Month in New York State. The forty-eighth (48th) annual event was originally formed in New York in 1973 as a single-day concert held at New York City’s Lincoln Center and was the first coalition that advocated support for music education programs throughout New York State. In 1980, the legislature of the State of New York later showed its support…
It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week! We love our music teachers! Every day you give tirelessly to students in your community and make a difference in their lives. Listen to a special message from NAfME President Mackie Spradley. Transcription: Hi, I’m Mackie Spradley, President of the National Association for Music Education. Just think, a year ago, music educators: you were in the classroom. You were teaching and leading during a worldwide pandemic, something we’d never seen before, something we’ve never experienced. Yet, you were able to shift your thinking .…
Incorporating More Assessment in Your Orchestra Classroom Finding the Balance between Assessment and Rehearsal By NAfME Member Daniel Lytle I find accurately assessing my orchestra students to be challenging. It is difficult to accurately assess individual students in a group setting—or when you do assess students individually, that takes time away from rehearsal. I wanted to solve these problems and find strategies to assess my class as a whole and assess individual students without too much class time. To find solutions to these problems I read many journal articles on…
Thank You Teachers Campaign Students across America Sing “Thank You Teachers” with Donald Gee and Grammy Nominated Kendrick Dean   NAfME associate member Donald Gee (Georgia Tech Undergrad Student) wrote the song “Thank You Teachers” for his favorite educator (his mom) and all the other teachers who make such a difference in people’s lives. The song was picked up and improved by Kendrick Dean, seven-time Grammy nominated producer who was a high school history teacher before becoming a music producer. After collaborating with the American Choir Directors Association, National Association…
In March, the third round of stimulus funding, the American Rescue Plan, was signed into law. With this law came an additional $126 billion investment into K-12 education through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, following earlier investments in March and December of 2020 of $193.2 billion total to support pandemic-era K-12 education. This is the largest investment to date of federal funding into K-12 public education in our lifetimes. It is unprecedented. So, the question is, how will you make use of these funds to support…
Mock Interviews Unraveling the “Puzzle” of Landing a Music Teacher Job By NAfME Member Paul K. Fox This article first appeared on Paul Fox’s blog here.   Assembling the pieces: Interview Questions and Assessment Criteria Soon it will be the season of new school district postings of employment openings and opportunities to be hired! Hurray! At long last, college music education majors have made it through all of the music and methods courses, recitals and concerts, competency exams, field observations, student teaching, and Praxis testing. Or, perhaps you are a veteran teacher looking to relocate and…
General Music to Overcome Challenging Times Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Learning Environment By NAfME Member Edward Varner, Ed.D. This article was first published in the April 2021 issue of General Music Today. It seems fair to say that all of us, students and teachers alike, have navigated a shared traumatic experience of historic proportions. Many teachers and students are suffering significant stress and uncertainty this year amidst a global pandemic and violent, racially charged, political and civil unrest. We are experiencing strong emotions and divisiveness at the national level that can…
President Biden Announces Skinny Budget Last week, President Biden released his “skinny budget,” a document that provides the general information about the Biden administration’s budget request to Congress for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. The request is termed a “skinny” budget because, apart from some of the larger funded programs that have specified requests, the document only includes toplines of federal funding. This means that we know what funding levels the administration would like to see for various federal agencies, such as the Department of Education (USED), but are still waiting…
Recording Strategies for Auditions Tips for Quality Recordings By NAfME Member Tomás Cotik This is an expanded version of an article that first appeared in the April 2021 issue of Teaching Music.   In the current period of the COVID-19 pandemic, students and their teachers have been forced to pivot their lessons, ensembles, school groups, studio recitals, festivals, and auditions to an online medium. While learning the new skill set involved in this transition came more easily to some than others, even the most tech-savvy among us have had to…
Develop Performance Skills with Cloud Software By NAfME Member Robby Burns Over the past year of remote and hybrid instruction, teachers have reimagined the tools, assignments, and methods that best engage their students. The need to engage my band students from a distance has challenged me to depend on cloud-based tools that still foster the development of their performance skills. The features of these cloud tools allow me to engage students in new ways by introducing interactive projects, collaboration with peers, and automated grading. The ideas below will be featured…
Navigating Music Teaching in Uncertain Times An Opportunity to Re-Think What Matters Most in Music Learning By NAfME Member Chiao-Wei Liu This article first appeared in the January 2021 issue of General Music Today. Looking back at this year’s major events, I found myself wondering how history textbooks would describe this particular year. How will historians create meaningful accounts of these various events and interpret people’s response during this period of time? I am curious about how these events affect teaching and learning and shape human relationships. How do we…
Spring Forward . . . Remotely, When Necessary Recognize the Importance of Recruiting ALL Students By NAfME Member Lori Schwartz Reichl A similar version of this article was originally published in the April 2019 teacher edition of In Tune Magazine. The article has been enhanced to reflect the needs of the pandemic.   “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ~ Abraham Lincoln This past year has been challenging and exhausting. However, it may have also been motivating and reflective with moments of joy surprisingly sprinkled…

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