Michael D. Stone
Western Division President-Elect 2022-2024
Michael D. Stone earned the B.A. in Music Education/Performance and the M. Ed. from University of California, Los Angeles. Mr. Stone serves as the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for the Bakersfield City School District, overseeing arts programs at 33 elementary schools, 5 middle schools, and 3 junior high schools. Prior to assuming this position, he served for more than 14 years as instrumental music teacher at Chipman Junior High School, also in the Bakersfield City School District.
Chipman bands and orchestras consistently earned Unanimous Superior Ratings at California Music Educators Association (CMEA) ratings festivals during his tenure. Chipman ensembles performed at the state conferences of CMEA and California Band Directors Association. Mr. Stone was featured in the January 1999 issue of The Instrumentalist Magazine and has written several articles for the magazine since that time. During the summer of 1998, he was awarded the prestigious “Fellowship in Music Education” at Northwestern University.
Under his leadership, Bakersfield City School District has been named a Best Communities for Music Education Award Winner by the National Association of Music Merchants for the past nine years. The District’s Music In Our Schools Week instrumental music recruitment program and Choir Standards Festival have both been recognized as Golden Bell Award recipients by the California School Boards Association in recent years. In October of 2015, Mr. Stone was recognized by the Arts Council of Kern as its Outstanding Arts Educator at its Accomplishments Awards Gala. In 2016, Mr. Stone authored a blog post entitled “Mentoring New Music Educators for Lifelong Success in the Profession” for the National Association for Music Education, or NAfME.
Mr. Stone is a Past President of CMEA, CBDA, CMEA Central Section, Kern County Music Educators Association, and is currently the Chair of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Council of Music Program Leaders, appointed by NAfME President Mackie Spradley. He has also recently served as the Music Supervisors Representative on the CMEA State Council from 2018-2020, and was Western Division Representative on the NAfME Council of Music Program leaders from 2016-2019. As an educational leader, Mr. Stone has extensive experience and passion for leading strategic arts planning in the Pre-K-12 setting. He has also served in an adjunct capacity at California State University, Bakersfield, teaching instrumental music methods to undergraduates. Mr. Stone holds active memberships in many professional associations, including NAfME, CBDA, CMEA, and Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association. He was inducted into the American School Band Directors Association in 2001. Mr. Stone is a euphoniumist and trombonist, and is a founding member of the Bakersfield Winds, a symphonic wind ensemble.
Active as an adjudicator and guest conductor, Mr. Stone has conducted numerous honor bands and orchestras, and conducted clinics, over his career, both throughout California, as well as in Arkansas, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah. He has served for many years as a guest conductor at the Cazadero Performing Arts Camp in California’s Sonoma County.
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?
As American schools re-open post the COVID-19 Pandemic we must recruit, retain, and rebuild music education programs. Our opportunity is to rebuild our programs providing access to sequential, standards-based music education for all students. Music educators learned over the past two years that we could adjust the “how” of music education, all while keeping the “what” (i.e., music learning) going in new and reimagined ways. We now have the opportunity to blend tradition and innovation in our teaching and learning moving forward. Our legacy of band, choir, and orchestra ensemble classes provides students with unique and rich experiences in learning. Paired with modern approaches to music learning we can together expand and build culturally-relevant curriculum that reflects the rich diversity of our nation.
Moving forward, our profession must nurture the pipeline of teacher preparation in music, ensuring that our music students of today consider entry into the music education profession. Music education is one of the truly great professions, and we must each work to recruit future music educators into the Pre-K- 12 system. We can each begin by sharing our passion for the music education profession! It is our shared responsibility.
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?
NAfME is at a critical juncture. The experience of the Pandemic has resulted in significant loss in membership for the Association. The NAfME National Executive Board must think outside of the box. What membership services are considered most valuable to our members? How can those benefits be prioritized, all while giving members the opportunity to serve our profession? NAfME must have a fiscally solvent bottom line, all while providing high-valued membership.
NAfME is uniquely positioned to lead in the area of advocacy for music education. NAfME, alone, can speak for all areas of the music education profession. Over the next several years, NAfME should expand its national advocacy efforts to include a cohesive network of state-level advocacy work coordinated through state-level music educator associations.
Finally, NAfME must innovate. As the world’s largest arts education organization, NAfME has the opportunity to look far into our future and reimagine the “how” of music education in the schools. We must think beyond our current decade, providing leadership to music educators today and beyond. What will music education look like in 30 years? NAfME must provide the blueprint.
How do you plan to advance equity/DEIA in NAfME during your term of office?
In recent years, NAfME has transformed its values, vision, and mission through the lens of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA). Equity is a core value of our Association. Resources must be put where they are most needed in our equity-based approach. It is critical that our music programs have an inclusive approach, giving access to all students, and providing a rich and diverse curriculum reflective of all our communities. We will find unity in our work through our shared vision of leading the world of music education, empowering generations to create, perform, and respond to music. DEIA is at the heart of our work!