Look for the
Your PMEA state "leaders" have been hard at work researching and communicating guidance for dealing with the pandemic, offering suggestions on how teachers can work with their music students and families, as well as their home schools and communities, in promoting the future of their Fine and Performing Arts programs. There have been two major additions to the PMEA website which all members should peruse:
Spearheaded by State President Tina Bennett, PMEA EXCOM and other members on a COVID-19 response ("Future Planning") committee have launched new resources and programs to help update members and assist them in coping with and resolving many of the challenges associated with the "coronavirus crisis" and the changing scene of music education within the state and throughout the world.
The time is never been more critical as an organization to be proactive in advocacy. We must be thinking now about how to help retain and grow our music programs. PMEA is working on a
music educator toolbox
of ideas to help you navigate throughout not only the end of this year but through the summer and into the fall...
PMEA wants to help lead the way by sharing every bit of information we can to help lead with whatever the future holds. We know that proactive communication could be the game changer we need to continue to provide quality music education programs and experiences for our students...
While wrapping up this challenging school year, it is important that we prepare for our return next school year. With ever tightening budgets and an uncertain future due to this unprecedented health crisis, the support for our students and our programs is paramount. We know the value that music education has for our students, and its place in our school curriculum, and we should not underestimate the impact music has on our students' social and emotional well-being. It is our responsibility to make every effort to continue to provide meaningful music experiences and advocacy of our programs. -
PMEA Preparing for the Future Member Resource
Be sure to share with your colleagues the host of materials on these webpages, including links to letters sent to PA superintendents, PA Secretary of Education, and PA School Boards Association, the "Taking the Temperature" survey of active PA music teachers, NAfME Federal Action Alert, PMEA Advocacy page, and documents on virtual learning resources and
online music education,
COVID-19 Instrument Cleaning Guidelines from NFHS, NAfME and NAMM Foundation,
Distributed Music Recordings: Guidelines and Listing from NFHS and NAfME, and "Together as One: The Marching Band Project."
New TTRR appointments (but not new to PMEA)
We welcome back a familiar face to PMEA Council TTRR, Dr. Kathleen Melago, who will now serve as the Pennsylvania Chair of the Society for Music Teacher Education (SMTE).
Kathy is Associate Professor of Music Education at Slippery Rock University (SRU) and head of the music education program. Kathy joined the faculty at SRU in August 2009 and teaches Introduction to Music Education, Woodwind Methods, Guitar Methods for Music Education, Instrumental Methods, Instrumental Rehearsal Techniques, and Introduction to Music courses and supervises music student teaching and field observations.
She previously served as PCMEA State Advisor and collaborated in the design and distribution of resource materials for the preparation of high school students interested in becoming music education majors. These are available from the Council TTRR focus area: https://www.pmea.net/council-for-ttrr/.
Kathy is taking over the reins from Kevin Shorner-Johnson (Elizabethtown College) who we thank for his excellent service to PMEA as SMTE "head" for the past two years.
We are also happy to invite Sarah Watts to the PMEA Council TTRR as PMEA Region V Higher Education Representative. Sarah joined the Penn State University School of Music faculty in 2015 as an assistant professor. She is a specialist in early childhood and elementary music education, with a particular focus on Orff Schulwerk pedagogy. Her teaching interests also include elementary music methods and materials for pre-service and classroom music educators, foundations of music education, and World Music, and is particularly involved in the music and movement traditions of Hawaii.
Under the direction of PMEA Mentor Program Chair and Council TTRR Co-Chair Teri Myers as well as Executive Director Abi Young, Director of Education and Events Marissa LaBant, and Professional Development Council Chair Debbie Chrisman, numerous and very timely professional development opportunities have been announced for the future, providing Act 48 credit. In addition, members are granted "free access" to videos of past webinars.
The webinar series, "PMEA Cares: Together We Teach," now has a library of more than 20 sessions:
PMEA is here to help all of us navigate the current landscape of music education. To address the current changes in the teaching culture and increase our member's capacity to meet our students' needs, we have developed a webinar series that will motivate all of us to continue to provide effective and relevant instruction and to connect to our students. A variety of instructional topics will be covered twice each week by a variety of knowledgeable professionals. -
Coming in June, a "New Teacher Webinar Series" will be introduced:
The PMEA Mentor Program is happy to announce a summer webinar series for new teachers and those searching for employment. We know that several recent graduates did not get the full student teaching experience. This series mission is to link successful music education professionals (mentors) with individuals searching for expert guidance and to fill in some of the gaps of what you might have missed. Participants will benefit through remaining active in the music education field, gain proven conceptual ideas, networking, as well as a forum for questions. The webinar series will run through the month of June, every Tuesday and Thursday evening at 7 p.m. Register for webinars on the PMEA website under
. While this series is geared towards first through third year teachers, all PMEA members are welcome to join us! - Teri Myers
Mark your calendars for these initial offerings:
June 2 at 7:00 p.m.
June 4 at 7:00 p.m.
No one has all the answers because every student, teacher, environment is unique. So, let's deconstruct some ideas and theories that have worked for veteran teachers (and some that have not). Join us to discover how to build your classroom management system. Ensemble and classroom from elementary through high school will be discussed.
Final Lecture to His Music Education Graduate Students
University at Buffalo Graduate School Online
This course, "Supervision of Music Learning Programs," was focused on programs as they existed before this year. Obviously, some things have changed.
What has changed and what has stayed the same? To answer that question let's take another look at this graphic from Unit 4.
All decisions should flow from the mission statement. That should not change.
As you discovered, most school district mission statements focus on ideals such as "success, life-long learning, and becoming responsible citizens in the community." An effective music department mission statement will be in alignment with the stated district mission. It will inform the administration and the community how the study of music helps the district achieve their stated mission through the skills and knowledge children learn in music. It also explains what children would lose if the subject were not offered because no other discipline is available in the school district where children can learn those skills and knowledge as well as in music classes.
The school mission and the department mission define the WHY.
Once the WHY has been determined, then the district must determine the WHAT. WHAT learning activities need to be offered to the students in the district in order to help them achieve the desired outcomes stated in the mission? The answer to that question should help determine the curriculum for music.
The content for the music curriculum is determined partially by the district and department missions, partially by state mandated Arts Standards, partially by local school district inter-disciplinary curriculum requirements, and partially by the music department's desire to provide each child with a comprehensive and high-quality music education based on National Standards.
The outcomes from those learning activities - the WHAT - should not change.
In pre-COVID-19 times, the next decision would be to determine how much time is needed for students to master the curriculum and succeed in their activities. How many years will each facet of that curriculum require? How many hours of instruction should be allocated in each year and WHEN should that time be scheduled in order to provide the maximum number of learning opportunities for each child?
The WHEN might stay synchronous or change to asynchronous instruction. The number of instructional hours provided to each teacher and each subject may need to be flexible. That is yet to be determined and we should prepare for all possibilities. However, keep in mind that the WHEN should not alter the WHAT.
Once it is decided how many hours of instruction should be allocated annually and when those hours would be scheduled, then the district must figure out exactly how many teachers will be needed to deliver that instruction and what qualifications those teachers should possess. The "WHO" part of the process - the staffing piece of the puzzle - should still be driven by the needs of the curriculum and should not change.
It will be the HOW and WHERE parts of this process where the largest changes will occur.
Obviously, the decision WHERE teachers and students will be in the fall will impact HOW music will be taught and what equipment and materials can be used for learning activities.
Facilities in school buildings must be adapted to provide appropriate space for instructional activities to take place and to conveniently store all of the materials and equipment used in those activities while following whatever social distancing protocols and approved procedures for safely handling musical materials are adopted. The WHERE may continue to be the student's home or a combination of school and distance learning. Once again, we need to prepare for all possibilities.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the outcomes of the K-12 music curriculum - the WHAT - should not change. Teachers need to keep "the end in mind" rather than just focusing in on their own period of time with each student. Then, following the principles of Understanding by Design, K-12 music staff must work as a team to create appropriate learning activities that are designed to help each student make progress through each grade and ultimately achieve the specific learning outcomes of the K-12 music program using the WHEN, WHO, HOW and WHERE pieces that we will have to work with.
As my friend and colleague Bob Morrison said in a recent presentation: "Change the HOW not the WHAT!"
Yes, it will be challenging. The challenges caused by these changes may appear to be daunting at first, but they are not insurmountable!
Fortunately, there are some great thinkers in our profession who are already coming up with ideas to make the best of the situation for both classroom and performance teachers. Even if you are the only music teacher in your school district - you are NOT alone! Wonderful ideas for solutions to these challenges can be found in social media and through webinars.
The most important thing to know at this time is that discussions are occurring right now in every school district throughout the country. When students might return to school, and how classes might be scheduled will be determined soon. You must be proactive and become part of that decision-making process BEFORE the decisions are made! Be at the table so that decisions affecting music education in your district happen WITH you and not TO you.
The future of music education is in YOUR hands. It will be what you make it. Good luck and keep in touch!
Another PMEA innovation! More details come soon!
Summer 2020 Virtual Conference
Please stay safe and healthy! Let us know if PMEA or Council TTRR can answer any questions or offer you assistance!