Thursday, August 4, 2011

professional organizations: music organizations

The emphasis on reading and math in schools has had a tremendously unfortunate impact on arts in schools.  The broken logic in that is that there is a wealth of research indicating that studying music positively influences the way kids learn and process information. I'll admit that this is an issue close to my heart, as I participated in orchestras and choirs from before I could read words straight on through to today. Music teachers do amazing things for kids. Here are the two main teacher organizations for music teachers.

MMTA is an organization dedicated to improving the quality of music education in the state of Minnesota.  You can learn quite a bit about MMTA by reading their newsletters, available in pdfs on the website.  MMTA has an active mentoring program for new music teachers.  You can find information about state and national certification on the website too. Like most organizations, MMTA sponsors an annual convention - though you missed this year's already (it was in June).  Even if you're not a music teacher, you can see their "Find a Music Teacher" page to find music teachers in your area for any instrument for your students, your children, yourself!

The list of benefits for MMTA members is huge. Take a look:
  • Programs for students and teachers, including contests and comprehensive examinations for piano, voice and other instruments;
  • Composition contests for both students and teachers;
  • Ensemble festivals and other programs designed to nurture and inspire the developing musician;
  • Syllabi and teaching materials that support students as they learn repertoire, music history, theory and sight playing skills;
  • Membership publications, including a bi-monthly newsletter, the annual calendar listing events and program entry rules, and a directory of members;
  • Annual state convention offering a rich variety of presentations on pedagogy and performance and features guest artists and concerts;
  • Mentoring program to help new members become acquainted with programs and procedures;
  • Opportunities for continuing education;
  • Network of local organizations throughout the state where members can meet for collegiality and support.
A member of MMTA also becomes a member of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). Founded in 1876, MTNA is a community of committed music professionals which offers to its members a variety of programs, services and benefits, including:
  • American Music Teacher, an award-winning bi-monthly journal containing features on various topics of importance to the music teaching profession
  • National convention, held annually, offering opportunities for education and networking
  • National certification program, providing a path to recognition and promotion of the highest standards of music teaching
  • Financial services including health insurance and retirement savings
  • Blanket music licensing agreement with ASCAP
  • National job placement service
  • National performance and composition competition for students
So let's more of a look at Music Teachers National Association (MNTA). MTNA was founded in 1876(!) to advance the value of music study and music making, and to support the professionalism of music teachers.The MTNA resources page is a treasure trove of teaching tips, music websites for kids, search engines for resources, and a professional support phone line and email.  A great resource for anyone, like the "find a teacher" above, is the How to Choose a Music Teacher resource page.

Next post: ELL teacher organizations


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