HED: Get Involved this School Year


Welcome back, music educators! Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to recharge and are ready for a new school year. Very exciting. Along with the excitement, this is a perfect time to renew your sense of purpose. The work we do is important and your involvement with professional organizations provides benefits to you, your institution, community, and state. In this article, I will highlight several opportunities that you can use to bolster your tenure application or simply keep your energy flowing. Here are a few opportunities to consider

Contribute to NAfME’s strategic plan. Mackie V. Spradley, NAfME president, has invited everyone to participate in the creation of a new strategic plan for the organization. Specific areas of interest are Research, Music Teacher Education, Advocacy, Educational Policy, and Professional Learning & Growth. Check the NAfME.org website for updates.

Become active in one of NAfME’s societies or councils. NAfME sponsors several societies and councils that have focused agendas. If you are interested in research, jazz education, or any number of topics, go to https://nafme.org/community/societies-and-councils/ to get started.

Learn a new skill, or polish an old one. NAfME Academy offers pre-recorded webinars with hands-on strategies in a variety of areas. Scroll down. There is something for everyone on this site https://nafme.org/community/elearning/nafme-academy-content/

Submit an article for publication. Whether you write by yourself, with a colleague, or with a student, professional journals such as Ala Breve, Music Educators Journal, and Journal of Research in Music Education are actively looking for manuscripts. Bennett Reimer once stated, “Writing and reading deepen our thinking.” Submitting an article to a professional journal can be a very rewarding experience. The reviewers’ comments are invaluable and may help shape your thoughts about the topic. As a side note, be aware that General Music Today is now the Journal of General Music Education (JGME).

Accept a leadership role in the AMEA. The Alabama Orchestra Association is currently looking for a webmaster and will be looking for an executive director in 2022. Contact Daniel Stevens at dstevens1@una.edu if you are interested. In addition, the Higher Education Division will hold its election of officers at the 2022 AMEA Conference HED Luncheon. Join us for a bite to eat and throw your hat in the ring.

Give collegiate students a helping hand. Attend the C-NAfME Fall Summit at 2:00 pm on Oct. 24 at the University of Alabama. Or, if you are a music teacher educator, participate in the Festival of Music Lessons. This event will premiere at the 2022 AMEA Conference in Birmingham. Professors with an understanding of the edTPA portfolio assessment are needed to judge applications and facilitate the event. Contact me at mzelenak@alasu.edu for additional information.

New opportunities are everywhere. If last year was one of the worst of years, why not make this year one of the best? Get involved and make a difference!