Last Friday I had the chance to catch up with many Maine music educators at the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA) conference at USM Gorham. It was a beautiful day on the campus and I was so thrilled to see old friends and meet music educators that I didn’t know before attending. I bumped into several Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Teacher Leaders, some presenting. I know that there were many other music teachers attending that I didn’t see. (I wish I could be there for all three days!) Along with conversations with teachers I also had a chance to pop into the rehearsal sessions of the Band in Warren Hill Gym, the Mixed Choir in the First Parish Church (across from campus), the Treble Choir in the Recital Hall, Corthell Hall, and the Orchestra in Corthell Hall. For those of you who couldn’t be there I took a couple of videos of the student rehearsals. (embedded below)
What did I learn?
- The number of participants overall attending the conference was up – and several new MMEA members
- Treble Choir was a new addition this year and is very successful
- Students are amazing; kind and well prepared AND wonderful to listen to
- Conference and student schedules well organized and providing opportunities to meet the needs of both groups
- Teachers are experiencing similar challenges at their schools and welcome the opportunity to come together with their colleagues from across the state to learn from each other
- The planners of the conference and All-State festival are fully committed to creating a successful event
I noticed that there were more younger teachers and with that goes lots of energy and eagerness to learn! Some teachers said that they were not on the Maine Arts Education list-serv which means they are not part of the statewide community that is connected by the list-serv. Please be sure and send me your email and let your colleagues know about the list-serv so they can be part of the visual and performing arts community. By being a member you receive Tuesday morning Arts Ed Updates.
A note from MMEA President-Elect, Sue Barre, confirmed what I guessed from being in rehearsals on Friday: “We had a wonderful day of music making yesterday, all four ensembles were top notch!”
Thank you to those who took advantage of the learning opportunity that MMEA affords at the annual conference. And more importantly CONGRATULATIONS and a HUGE THANK YOU to the conference and All-State planners. I know it is no small task! Your lights are shining brightly!
The Mixed Choir singing Hallelujah by Beethoven.
The Band performing a segment of the Olympic Fanfare by John Williams.