Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category


Congrats MMEA!

May 19, 2015

All-State Conference

Virgil Bozeman, (Richmond Middle/High School), Rob Westerberg (York High School), Allysa Anderson (Camden-Rockport Middle School)

Virgil Bozeman, MAAI Teacher Leader Phase 5 (Richmond Middle/High School), Rob Westerberg, MAAI Leadership Team (York High School), Allysa Anderson MAAI Teacher Leader Phase 1,2,5 (Camden-Rockport Middle School)

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

Mixed Choir rehearsing

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!

Mixed Choir rehearsing, First Parish Church

Mixed Choir rehearsing, First Parish Church


Shoulder massages during a break from Mixed Choir rehearsal

The Mixed Choir singing Hallelujah by Beethoven.

The Band performing a segment of the Olympic Fanfare by John Williams.


Statewide Arts Ed Conference

May 12, 2015

Mark your calendars!

The Maine Arts Commission presents

Maine Arts Assessment Initiative

Biennial Conference

Maine Arts Education: The Measure of Success

October 9, 2015

Point Lookout, Northport, Maine

Registration will be available in the near future. Please mark your calendars and request a professional development day so you can join us at the fall conference.


May 1, 2015

Creative Aging


Ian Bannon, Teaching Artist, from Figures of Speech and Celebration Barn, trying out the TimeSlips techniques

One week ago the Maine Arts Commission (MAC) provided a fabulous professional development opportunity through TimeSlips. You might be wondering, what the heck is TimeSlips?!

Taken from their website: TimeSlips is an open, poetic language of improvisational storytelling which invites people with memory loss to express themselves and connect with others.  TimeSlips brings meaning to long term care.

Before the workshop the 20 participants, which was a combination of  artists, professionals from the health care field, MAC staff, and caregivers prepared themselves by accessing online training modules. I was fortunate to participate and found myself very ready and excited to attend the all day workshop after doing my online homework. And, I am very impressed with the program. Joan Williamson from TimeSlips traveled from Milwaukee, WI the home of TimeSlips, to provide the training at UNE in Portland.

After we participated in some exercises we traveled to The Park Danforth, a nearby elder living facility, to try out the TimeSlips process. It was wonderful to see TimeSlips in action and Ian Bannon from Figures of Speech Theatre and Celebration Barn volunteered to try it out. He was awesome! Often the participants break into song when something in the story leads to that and we saw two examples of that during the process.

This opportunity is part of the MAC Creative Aging program which is administered by Kathleen Mundell. You can learn more at Included in the program is a Teaching Artist Roster for those interested in working with older adults. Don’t hesitate to contact Kathleen at about the Creative Aging program or TimeSlips, if you have questions.

Ian in action

More Info on TimeSlips

TimeSlips is a non-profit that aims to:

  • Improve the lives of people with memory loss through creative engagement
  • Reach a day when creative engagement is standard practice for all levels of care

TimeSlips offers:

  • Certification to Individuals and Organizations in creative engagement with people with memory loss
  • Consulting on creating sustainable partnerships and structures to support creative engagement
  • Resources for those dedicated to transforming dementia care through creative engagement

If you’d like to learn more about TimeSlips please click HERE.


All-State Music Conference

April 20, 2015

Maine Music Educators Association

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 2.05.21 PMThere is one month until the All State Festival and In Service Conference being held at USM, Gorham campus on May 14 and 15, 2015. The Maine Music Educators invite you to join them and promise that there is something for everyone!

The following highlights are important to note

  • 5 workshops with Christi Carey Miller of Hal Leonard
  • Key note by Peter Boonshaft
  • NAfME Eastern Division President Robert Frampton
  • Exhibits Crawl
  • President’s Reception
  • Workshops about online auditions
  • Director’s Chorus

Click Here for the Registration Form!  Registration (pre-register by April 30, 2015)

Call for a hotel reservation today Best Western Merry Manor (207) 774-6151

Thank you to Sue Barre and Sam Moore- Young who are the conference co-chairs. If you have questions please email them at or  Thanks also to Kristin Thomas who is doing an AMAZING job on the festival side of things.

In addition the conference highlights include the following

  • Performances by the Navy Band Thursday night and the Director’s Chorus and Maine Rock Orchestra Friday night.
  • Maine Music Educator of the Year and Outstanding Administrator will be announced at the President’s Reception.
  • York Treble Choir and Chamber Singers performing
  • Brunswick Concert Band performing
  • Over 60 workshops including 2 workshops by Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Leadership Team member and York High School choral director Rob Westerberg about assessment – Keeping it real and painless :-)!

I hope to see you there on May 14 or 15!!


Calling All Teacher Leaders

April 16, 2015

Regional VPA Teacher Leader Search

MAAI Logo_Color_TxtCtrJoin us for a GREAT opportunity! The Maine Arts Commission invites YOU to be part of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI), Phase 5. MAAI is looking for teachers interested in leading and in taking a close look at assessment in the arts. If you are selected to be an MAAI Teacher Leader, you will be required to attend the summer institute, August 3, 4, and 5 for professional development and ask that you take what you’ve learned and share it with other educators in your region and beyond. The MAAI community of teacher leaders has grown to 61 and we hope that you will consider applying.

Application deadline is Wednesday, May 6, 2015.

To learn more about the MAAI, please go to!maai/cy91.

You can access the Teacher Leader application at

Please send a completed application to Argy Nestor at no later than Wednesday, May 6, 2015.

Selected teacher leader responsibilities for the 2015-16 school year include

  • Communicate by wiki
  • Attend the three-day Summer Institute, August 3, 4, 5 2015, Portland
  • Present workshop to critical friends, all-day Thursday, August 20, 2015, Portland
  • Present a workshop in your region, planned by you
  • Present a workshop at the mega-regional workshop site that will be coordinated by the leadership team
  • Attend a retreat to reflect on the work of phase V with teacher leaders and the leadership team to be held winter/spring 2016
Leading the Way

Phase 3 Teacher Leaders

MAAI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission with the following partners: Maine Art Education Association, Maine Music Educators Association, Maine Department of Education, University of Southern Maine, Maine Learning Technology Initiative, University of Maine Performing Arts, and New England Institute for Teacher Education.

Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Background Information


Create an environment in Maine where quality assessment in arts education is an integral part of the work all arts educators do to improve student achievement in the arts.

Since 2011 the initiative has been building capacity by training arts educators on the “what” and “how” of arts assessment so they can provide the leadership in Maine through professional development opportunities. The details of the initiative are at


Devise a statewide plan for assessment in arts education, which includes professional development opportunities, regionally and statewide, to expand on the knowledge and skills of teachers to improve teaching and learning.

  • Develop and implement standards-based assessment statewide for Visual and Performing Arts (VPA)
  • Continuation of building a team representing all regions of Maine
  • Workshops to provide ongoing learning opportunities for arts teachers

HISTORY – Phase I, II, III, IV – Summer 2011 to present

  • Sixty-one teacher leaders attended summer institutes on assessment,
    leadership, technology, creativity, standards-based and student-centered
    teaching and learning
  • Teacher leaders presented workshops at two statewide arts education conference, USM, Portland and UMaine, Orono with over 450 educators attending
  • Teacher leaders facilitated regional workshops across Maine
  • Teacher leaders facilitated workshops at 12 mega-regional sites across Maine
  • Another Arts Teacher’s Story series (60) on the Maine Arts Ed blog
  • Arts assessment graduate courses offered by New England Institute for
    Teacher Education
  • Nine arts education assessment webinars for Maine educators facilitated by Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring – archived
  • Video stories of seven teacher leaders that demonstrate a standards-based arts education classroom
  • Teacher Leader Resource Team ongoing development of items for resource bank
  • Maine Arts Assessment Resources website that contains a plethora of information

Phase V components

  • August 3,4,5, 2015: Summer Institute, Portland
  • Augusta 20: Critical Friends Day
  • Regional and mega-regional workshops throughout Maine
  • Continuation of Another Teachers Stories on the Maine Arts Ed blog
  • Continuation of the Resource Bank
  • Professional development for teaching artists

To Providence and Back Again

April 13, 2015

Presenting with MMEA President-Elect Sue Barre

I had the opportunity to go to the 54th NAfME Eastern Division Biennial In-Service Conference last week held in Providence, Rhode Island. Its been some time since I traveled to Providence for a conference so I was surprised to see changes in the city.

Waterville music educator and Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Teacher Leader Sue Barre invited me to co-present with her. Our workshop called Assessment in Maine – The Way Life Should Be was scheduled for two time slots. The participants were a mix of pre-service teachers, veteran music teachers, and arts administrators. We created a wiki for participants at which is an open wiki with our workshop resources. Participants had good questions, many related to the type of resources that teachers are seeking.

Sue and I also sat on the Teacher Effectiveness panel with leaders from other eastern states. The session provided me an opportunity to learn where other states are in the process that all states are dealing with.

One of the workshops that I attended was called Can We Measure Creativity? A Confluence of Rubrics, Technology and Out-Of-The-Box Thinking  which was presented by music educator Kim Yannon, from the Cheshire Public Schools in Connecticut.  She shared very useful information.


MAAI Teacher Leader and MMEA President Pam Kinsey and Greg Pattillo from PROJECT Trio

One of the conference highlights was the Thursday evening performance by PROJECT Trio from Brooklyn, NY. Greg Pattillo on flute, Eric Stephenson on cello and Peter Seymour on bass. They are a unique high energy group who travel around the world playing chamber music. You can view them in the YouTube below. There are several other YouTubes with their work that you may want to check out. We spoke to them about the possibility of them coming to Maine for the fall biennial statewide conference on October 9, 2015. If anyone would like to contribute funding to bring them to Maine please let me know.


Early Childhood Learning Through Play

April 9, 2015

Pre-K-4 learning opportunity – Starting Friday 4pm, April 17, 2015 in Portland with instructor, Judy Fricke!

IMG_1438Are you a Pre-K – 4 teacher looking for recertification or graduate credits? Do you want some inspiring and fun strategies for incorporating the arts in early learning? EDE 526: Early Childhood Learning Through Play may be just what you are looking for!

Current research supports the understanding that children learn through play. The importance of arts-based learning is emphasized to educators of young children and participants will learn how to integrate play and each of the art forms across the curriculum. The course covers the foundations of creative thought, the creative arts, and creative teaching and assessment.

Designed for educators from pre-school through grade 4, this course will help early childhood educators to integrate children’s creativity, play, and the arts into their curriculum in a way that fosters learning and growth and meets accountability measures. Course activities will enable educators to articulate the importance of creativity and arts-based learning to families, colleagues, and administrators. The course can be taken for 3 graduate credits or for 4.5 CEUs.

4747f3_20084657f003426298b40842b18f0bdc.png_srz_p_147_138_75_22_0.50_1.20_0The instructor, Judy S. Fricke, is a workshop facilitator and arts education consultant in both early childhood music and emergent literacy. Judy has taught music in large and small preschool settings as well as parent/child class settings over the past twenty years. She is a teacher leader in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative and she teaches graduate level courses for the New England Institute for Teacher Education.

For more information, or to register, visit the website of the New England Institute for Teacher Education or call 207-367-5807.


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