ELEM/GEN: Greatness Lies in You – Conference Review

Wow! Just wow! I was sincerely blown away by our recent virtual AMEA Professional Development Conference. I will admit that coming into the conference during an unprecedented pandemic ridden school year, I had some skepticism and reluctance about spending the weekend on the computer. However, my attitude quickly changed with the very first session. A little later in the evening, keynote speaker, Dr. Judy Bowers reminded us to focus on what we can do instead of all the things we can’t do. She encouraged us to continue to do everything we can, to collaborate with others and to think outside the box to further music education during these unusual circumstances. She said “ The only real power that any of us have for change is personal or professional action.” This can be hard, but we took the first steps! We attended this conference, we learned from others, we collaborated, we expanded our professional learning communities. I know that “greatness lies in you.” One day, our students will tell our story. Let’s help them write the most amazing tale of strength, perseverance, and love.

My time as your Elementary/General Division President is coming to a close. I would like to thank AMEA President, David Raney, Garry Taylor, Dr. Rob Lyda and the entire AMEA Executive board for the extraordinary work that went into the AMEA conference. I would also like to commend Carl Hancock and our elementary division zoom hostess, Adrienne Wiggins, for all of their hard work and support. This year was the 75th anniversary of our Professional Development Conference and it was exceptional. Presenters David Row, Dr. Julie Bannerman, Quaver, and many of our own educators shared their gifts and talents with us. I would also like to thank, Past President, Phil Wilson, and long time, elementary treasurer, Lori Zachary. At the conference, you elected your new incoming leadership team. These officers will be installed in late May and take office June 1st. They are as follows: President: Sarah McLendon, President Elect: Alicia Luttrell, Secretary: Melissa Galanopoulos, Treasurer: Devin Lacy, Festival Director: Melissa McIntyre, and Hospitality: Erica Lutz. Next year, our Professional Development Conference will be back in Birmingham, Alabama in January. I am looking forward to seeing you in person at this wonderful event, but remember, your elementary AMEA division is here year round to help you. Keep us up to date with your teaching and contact information by emailing us at elementayamea@gmail.com. Continue to “sharpen your saw” as an educator by attending some of the workshops and events listed below. Reach out to us anytime through our Elementary AMEA Facebook page.


Betty R Wilson, President Elementary/General Division


Workshops and Other Professional Development Opportunities

Alabama AOSA Spring Workshop

  • March 6, 2021: Manju Durairaj, Clinician

Cost: FREE!

Virtual workshop 9-11 and 12-2

Register at https://site.google.com/view/alabamaaosa

  • March 5, 2022 Jennifer Donovan, Clinician
  • Orff Levels I, and III Summer of 2021, (date TBA)

Samford University: contact Dr. Soja msoja@samford.edu

Sweet Home Alabama Kodaly Educators Workshop


  • Fall (August/Sept) 2021: Lea Hoppe, Clinician
  • April 2022: Rachel Gibson, Clinician
  • Kodaly Levels I, II, III, July 2021 (date TBA)

University of Montevallo: Contact Becky Haliday ahalliday@montevallo.edu

East Alabama Music Educators
August 28th 2021, Auburn, Alabama
Contact Dr. Rob Lyda for details lydarob@me.com

AMEA Music Festival
October 15, Eastmont Baptist Church
Clinicians: Rhonda Tucker and Jeremy Howard
For details email: ameafestival@gmail.com

AMEA Fall Workshop
October 16, Eastmont Baptist Church TBA