Concerts and end of year events fill our calendars as teachers, leaders, and community members. We have all learned how to expand our programs to include livestreams and community engagement with new communication tools. At the same time, we are trying to maintain the value of our art as a human experience and not just for the entertainment of others while we rush from one event to another. This aesthetic human experience is at the heart of every one of us. Speaking for myself, the relationships and connections built through music with students and colleagues are what motivate me. How fortunate we all are to be the leaders that share this aesthetic celebration with our students while we model professionalism and support.
This year has been a challenging one, no doubt. Music educators across Colorado are addressing professional challenges in our schools while maintaining appropriate expectations of our students. We celebrate the students while we have our own concerns about new jobs, new colleagues, continuing ed, funding, or new curriculums as our schools change. It is exhausting as articles appear daily citing the need for more educators to fill positions and the need for increased compensation. These articles are absolutely spot on and I see so many music educators, K-14, investing their entire heart and soul into the art of music… many on the brink of burn-out. Perhaps our transparency is the best model for our students. We can show them that we can all “do hard things.” Perhaps this is really the adult version of the anxieties our own students face day to day, week to week, and year to year. We are all models for our students in how we balance this crazy time of the year. We have a 100% record of making it through the day and that is important for our students to see as they look to us for inspiration and social emotional wellness through the arts.
The excitement is building as we all prepare for the conclusion of this school year. In all honestly, we have been preparing for a good while. This is the season where we have the honor of celebrating our students and their growth in music. Please, take time to tend to your students and yourself as this school year begins to wrap up. If you are like me, I’m ready and I encourage you all to feed your soul this summer. Take time to connect with yourself
It’s a great pleasure to send my initial greetings to the membership of CMEA! As the new President-Elect of this organization, I am finding out the many roles and responsibilities of this position and how I might be able to serve each of you. Before I delve into the purpose of this communication, please allow me to congratulate you on successfully navigating the past two (+) years of creative teaching and giving your students the very best of yourself in a very trying time! You are to be commended for your efforts and resourcefulness through the trial that has been Covid!!
A portion of the responsibilities for the CMEA President-Elect is to help define and guide us through some of the changing times we are experiencing. The emphasis on diversity, equity, inclusion, and other key concepts related to DEI culture seem to be predominant everywhere we turn in today’s climate. To some, this terminology is a welcome change to the educational focus utilized for years - while for others, these concepts present a major challenge to the successes enjoyed through their established teaching philosophy.
I’d like to take the opportunity to think out loud, if you will allow, to reflect on a few of my experiences just this past spring as I’ve observed classrooms, performances, festivals, All-State ensembles, and music professionals interacting formally and informally. It is my position that almost all arenas outside of the music education classroom (whether performance ensembles or instruction incorporating theory, history, composition, technology, or ethnomusicology, etc.) have a great deal to learn from what we as music educators do daily. I know of no other curriculum placing such a diverse population of students together to explore such a diverse curriculum of technical, philosophical, historical, expressive, cognitive, and creative learning in such a compact daily schedule. Allowing young people from many ethnic backgrounds, beliefs, and economic situations to join for similar purposes such as rehearsing and performing traditional music for established ensemble types or creating new and innovative music for the very first time. These are examples to be celebrated and are illustrations to be emulated in most other areas of our culture! My experiences have shown that ensemble members who have performed this winter and spring at events such as CMEA, All-State, and many of the music festivals have benefitted richly through their involvement. I also take great pleasure in witnessing the joy of educators interacting together once again!
If there is anything that I can surmise from the above thoughts, it is this… Music education has been doing much of the work in developing healthy diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom! I must admit, though, that although I get to see much of the best of what Colorado music education programs have to offer, there is still much to do to continue the work to be the model we have always been. I welcome your thoughts, suggestions, discussions on this, or any other subject that would benefit our profession. Please reach out to me through my contact information on the CMEA website. I am grateful to serve you all and look forward to working together!! My best to each of you as you complete your work of the 2021-2022 school year!!
Interested in Presenting at the 2023 CMEA Conference?
Deadline: June 4, 2022
Call for Proposals - open until June 4, 2022
CMEA is now accepting proposals for workshops, clinics, and professional development sessions for the 2023 Clinic/Conference!
CONFERENCE DATES: Wednesday, January 25; Thursday, January 26; Friday, January 27; Saturday, January 28, 2023
CONFERENCE LOCATION: Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado
PROPOSAL SUBMISSION DEADLINE: on or before June 4, 2022
NOTIFICATION of ACCEPTANCE: by June 30, 2022
PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED: by September 15, 2022
CMEA is specifically interested in addressing middle school and elementary school performance ensembles, elementary and middle school vocal and instrumental techniques, score analysis and conducting, non-traditional ensembles, recruiting and retention, and social-emotional and mindfulness supports for both students and teachers. Additionally, session for all grade levels, ensemble levels, and alternative music courses are always welcomed.
Interested in Having Your Group Perform at the 2023 CMEA Conference?
Deadline: June 4, 2022
Performance Applications open until June 4, 2022
CMEA is now accepting applications for Honor Performing Groups at the 2023 Conference. Elementary Choirs, Elementary Ensembles, all levels of Instrumental and Vocal Performing Groups, Non-traditional Ensembles, Modern Bands, Mariachi, and Community Groups are all invited to apply to perform.
In preparation for completing this form, please have the following files ready to upload:
a quality recording of the ensemble's performance (mp3 is preferred)
a PDF/scanned copy of each score performed on each recording with all and any identifying school/director information removed. (PDF/scans of scores will be held securely and used only in the evaluation/listening process. Scores submitted will be deleted upon completion of performance group selections.)
a PDF/scan of the Principal Signature Page for K-12 Music Groups that can be downloaded at cmeaonline.org under the Conference Tab- Conference Performing Groups