March 19, 2020  
 
To all members of the PMEA District/State leadership teams and members-at-large:

Welcome to this special edition of For the Good of the Order...
brought to you by the PMEA Council for Teacher Training, Recruitment, and Retention (Council TTRR), supporting "the life cycle of a music educator." This e-publication is sent to all PMEA District and State Officers, Representatives, Council Members, Ex-Officio, and Staff to share updates, news, tips, techniques, innovations, and supplemental information.  
 
This issue is also being shared with PMEA/PCMEA members due to the recent challenges associated with the interruptions of most school/community music programs. 
   
Take a deep breath! This has been an unprecedented disastrous three months dealing with COVID-19 warnings and preventive measures, public health concerns, cancellations of trips, musicals, festivals, concerts, and the PMEA conference, and school closings.
 
No, we're not done yet (by a long shot!). We're probably not even at the half-way point! 
 
Please hang in there! We'll make it through these turbulent waters... all thanks to YOUR  compassion, leadership, and commitment to our colleagues, students, and music education!
 
The rest of this impromptu e-newsletter is to help you facilitate the communication of numerous professional development options, sample support services, expert technical suggestions, and other assistance to all music teachers. Please pass everything along! Through collaboration and a lot of patience, we'll get through this emergency!   
 
 
 
PMEA is YOUR helping hand!
 
 
Online Resources Galore!  
Members of the PMEA Council for Teacher Training, Recruitment, and Retention, and indeed, the entire PMEA organization, are committed to HELP! Thanks to the generosity of music teacher "techies" from PA and across the country, we have assembled a growing library of recommendations for remote/alternative music teaching to "reach-out" to our students. On the PMEA website's Council TTRR Focus Area under the heading of Virtual Music Learning - Engaging Students During the Break, as of today, there are these four links for your perusal:
Read through these examples of other music teachers promoting "at-home" practice, arts enrichment, and the review/creation of new music goals. If it is even possible, perhaps you will be motivated to contact your own students and offer them optional opportunities to explore music apps, games, recordings, technical exercises, excerpts, playing tips, and other resources... to stimulate the desire for additional learning, foster personal growth, and build on their current knowledge, skills, and appreciations in music.  
 
 
 
 
 
What to Do "Artsy" When We're All Trapped at Home?  
Besides immersing yourself into the wonderful worlds of YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify, Deezer, Soundcloud, Band Camp, MusicUp, Pandora, etc., here are a few ideas to CRUSH CABIN FEVER and take virtual tours of museums, musicals, operas, and more!
 
Thanks to the Google Arts & Culture collection, there are literally hundreds of virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous art galleries and displays around the world. Get out your laptop, iPad, or other device, and check out this dozen!
With the Smithsonian Museums temporarily closed on March 14 until further notice, you can also "soak up some history" using these sources in the comfort and safety of your home:
We also found the Musée du Louvre, the Tuileries Garden, and the Cour Carrée offering virtual tours on their website.
 
Did you know that beginning on March 16, the New York Metropolitan Opera is launching free nightly opera streams during the corona-virus closure? 
 
Interested in audio only? I am sure your Classical music collection is extensive, but have you seen the Accuradio streaming site? 
 
 
Closer to Western PA, have you experienced on YouTube Fallingwater, architect Frank Lloyd Wright's home built partly over a waterfall on Bear Run in the Laurel Highlands of the Allegheny Mountains?
 
 
Low-Tech Solutions to Connecting to Your Students 
If your school, community or after-school group, or private studio is forced to remain closed for an extended period of time, what about direct emailing to your music students or parents? You could send or post messages, supplemental "fun" activities, or articles using your music booster association's network, school district "teacher pages," or personal website.
 
As an example, for the South Hills Junior Orchestra, a Saturday community/youth orchestra in southwestern PA, the directors (PMEA members) have resorted sending out "Fox's Firesides" and SHJO.clips to its membership... everything from practice hints, terminology reviews, music history and theory games, scales and technical exercises, and listening lessons to... guidance on performance etiquette, obtaining college references, and audition information. Please feel free to peruse and share these samples. 
 
 
We Lost the Spring Conference! How Can We Make-up those Act 48 Credits?    
You have the ability to seek comprehensive professional development in the privacy of your home and on your own terms. Take a look at the extensive catalog of PMEA WEBINARS. 
 
Still Bored?  
Now You Have the Time to Participate in NAfME Amplify Forums  
Have you "listened in" to the numerous community discussion groups hosted by NAfME? 
With categories like band, choral, general music, strings, and many others, this is "the place" to ask questions or give answers to problems/solutions in our profession - and it is free benefit of NAfME/PMEA membership. Start in the Music Educator Central "chat room," and you will notice many recent postings about virtual/remote/alternative music teaching and learning! 
 
 
 
Don't forget to KEEP THE DATE for the PMEA Summer Conference at the Red Lion Hotel
in Harrisburg/Hershey on July 20-22, 2020. Fingers crossed... all will be okay! 
 
As always, for future e-newsletters, you are encouraged to share any new ideas or proposals, organizational solutions, and policy or procedural reminders "for the good of the order" with other PMEA leaders reading this e-publication. Please send your submissions to paulkfox.usc@gmail.com. 
 
Stay healthy! Let us know if PMEA can answer any questions or offer you assistance!  
 
Musically yours, 
 
Paul K. Fox, Chair
PMEA State Council for Teacher Training, Recruitment, and Retention  
 
 
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