Posts Tagged ‘visual and performing arts’


DEADLINE December 1

November 29, 2020

UMaine Scholarship

A message from Phil Edelman. If you have questions please email him at

At UMaine, we currently have a few Visual and Performing Arts scholarships that we can still award for students entering next year. The only requirement for these awardees is that they perform in a large ensemble each semester (they do not need to be a music major).

We do have a hard deadline of December 1 for these scholarships. With that in mind, you can imagine the demand is high. We used to be able to award an unlimited amount of these $12,000 scholarships ($1,500.00 per semester for four years), but we can currently only award 20 of them. I am not 100% sure how many we have left at this point.

If your student is interested in UMaine and performing with our large ensembles (regardless of major), please let me know! If there is anything that our faculty can do to help you as we all navigate this pandemic together, consider us “on call!” My cell is 207-745-0125. Please reach out anytime. 


In Today’s News

March 13, 2016

Maine Sunday Telegram

Read the following articles in the Maine Sunday Telegram and Portland Press Herald:

From the Portland Museum of Art’s Youth Art Month exhibition, “Teenage Angst” by Caitlyn Duffy, a 12th grade student of art teacher Chris Crosby at Gorham High School. Courtesy photo

From the Portland Museum of Art’s Youth Art Month exhibition, “Teenage Angst” by Caitlyn Duffy, a 12th grade student of art teacher Chris Crosby at Gorham High School. Courtesy photo


Teaching Artist Opportunity

July 1, 2015

Novice and Experienced Teaching Artists invited

Monday, August 3, Wishcamper Center, USM, Portland, 8:30 – 4:00

The Maine Arts Commission invites you to a day of networking and professional development with PK-12 Visual and Performing Arts teachers.

MAAI Logo_Color_TxtCtrThe day includes workshops designed specifically for Teaching Artists plus opportunities to engage with more than 50 teachers from Maine and NH about arts education; teaching, learning, standards, assessment, advocacy, and other pertinent topics.

You may choose to participate with the teachers as they continue their professional development work on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 4 and 5. However, Monday is designed especially for YOU, the Teaching Artist.

The day includes lunch and is FREE but you MUST APPLY by July 15. The application is located at THIS LINK.

Participants will:

  • Network with PK-12 Arts Educators and other Teaching Artists
  • Exhibit your Teaching Artist materials and skills
  • Participate in workshops designed specifically to help you succeed as a Teaching Artist
  • Gain insights and new knowledge about working in public schools
  • Identify as part of a professional Teaching Artist field
  • Learn more about the Maine Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist roster

Presented by Maine Arts Assessment Institute (MAAI) of the Maine Arts Commission. To learn more about the MAAI please go to

If you have any questions please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, Maine Arts Commission,


VPA Position – Maine DOE

March 6, 2015

Direct Hire Career Opportunity Bulletin

Department of Education

Regional Education Representative

Visual and Performing Arts Specialist

Code: 3032                  Pay Grade: 28 – $44,844.80 – $67,204.80


OPEN FOR RECRUITMENT: March 5, 2015 – March 20, 2015

This and other Current Vacancies for the State of Maine are published on the Bureau of Human Resources Career
Opportunities Web Page at

Current Direct Hire vacancies listed on this Career Opportunity can be viewed at: 


The Department of Education (DOE) has one (1) full-time position vacancy based in Augusta. Statewide travel is required.


The Maine Department of Education has one (1) full-time vacancy for a Visual and Performing Arts educator, based in Augusta with a regional superintendents assignment.



This is professional services work involving regional and statewide implementation of Maine’s education standards for visual and performing arts education K-12, school improvement efforts and related education initiatives. The position serves schools and school districts within an assigned region through customer service, brokering technical assistance and providing a communications link for the Maine DOE’s continuous improvement process. Primary responsibilities include developing ongoing interaction with school personnel and community representatives within an assigned superintendents region; serving as the Maine DOE representative and key contact for requests, information, and questions from within the region; providing or brokering professional development opportunities, technical assistance and other services to enhance teacher effectiveness and student and school performance; assisting districts with the implementation of the state education standards and associated assessments; promoting the Commissioner’s education initiatives within the region; and serving as the Commissioner’s representative and liaison in the region. The position also provides K-12 visual and performing arts education leadership and expertise to organizations and educators statewide in curriculum, instruction, and assessment through provision of professional development opportunities and technical assistance. The position may be assigned to lead other state and federal programs. Work is performed in collaboration with other members of the Maine DOE and is executed under limited supervision. Extensive use of technology, statewide/ national travel and field assignments are required.


REPRESENTATIVE TASKS (include but are not limited to):

  • Provide information and technical assistance; broker professional development; and collaboratively determine district needs and deliver requisite services.
  • Find and use research to develop and recommend policies and procedures.
  • Develop and support collaborative educational partnerships that support the implementation of Maine’s education standards, proficiency-based graduation requirements and systems thinking, and enhance student learning.
  • Serve as a key Maine DOE contact for the region and provide feedback from the region to the Maine DOE.
  • Promote the Commissioner’s and Governor’s initiatives within a region and statewide to enhance school improvement and related services, particularly as they relate to visual and performing arts education programs and grants.
  • Provide leadership and technical assistance regionally and statewide in visual and performing arts education standards, instruction and assessment.
  • Interpret state and federal laws, rules, regulations, and policies pertaining to visual and performing arts education in order to answer questions and ensure uniform understanding.
  • Maintain national contacts including membership in the national visual and performing arts leadership organization, stay current in research and exemplary practices and work in collaboration with state and national content organizations in visual and performing arts education improvement efforts.
  • Collaborate, as a member of a team with other Maine DOE staff to design and deliver supports for student learning.
  • Direct or coordinate other state, federal or national programs/initiatives for the state as requested.


REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES (required to successfully perform the work assigned):

  • Knowledge of current learning research and exemplary educational practice in general and in visual and performing arts education.
  • Knowledge of school improvement, proficiency-based education, systems-change concepts, student-centered practices, and tools to support learning especially in the area of visual and performing arts education.
  • Knowledge of current and emerging state and federal legislation, rules and regulations impacting education.
  • Knowledge of and experience with Maine’s education standards, the process of implementing standards and current and emerging trends for visual and performing arts including national standards development initiatives.
  • Knowledge of large scale and formative assessment development and administration in visual and performing arts education.
  • Ability to facilitate groups and use exemplary interpersonal skills; establish and maintain positive collaborative working relationships; effectively manage multiple projects and provide quality service.
  • Ability to integrate visual and performing arts with other Maine DOE teams including Career and Technical Education, Special Education, Assessment and Accountability, Adult Education, Certification and MLTI.
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing and use technology for work and learning.



To qualify, candidates must have a Bachelor of Arts/Science Degree in Education, Human Resource Development, Psychology, or a related field (visual and performing arts) and five (5) years of experience as an education practitioner. A Master’s Degree in an education-related field may be substituted for two (2) years of educational experience.

Knowledge of Maine’s education standards and experience with standards-based education reform is essential.

Preferred candidates will have will have a Bachelors of Arts/Science in the field of visual and performing arts, a Master’s degree and will have experience providing leadership, consultation and professional development in areas related to the position.


Requirements include specific certification and/or ability to obtain certification in visual and performing arts.



The value of State’s share of Employee’s Retirement is 16.17% of salary for BU. The value of State-paid Dental Insurance: $13.13 biweekly. The value* of State-paid Health Insurance:

Level 1: 100% State Contribution (employee pays nothing): $375.10 biweekly

Level 2: 95% State Contribution (employee pays 5%): $356.35 biweekly

Level 3: 90% State Contribution (employee pays 10%): $337.59 biweekly

Level 4: 85% State Contribution (employee pays 15%): $318.84 biweekly

*The level of the actual value of state paid Health Insurance will be based on the employee’s wage rate and status with regard to the health credit premium program.


MAAI Teachers as Resources

October 20, 2014

Teacher Leaders as leaders

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 8.15.47 PMResponding to the needs and voices of teachers in the field, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAA) has begun a series of steps to help all PK-12 Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Art teachers develop their own quality work as Maine implements the new proficiency law, Maine Statute 4722-A-Proficiency Based Diploma Standards, that requires all students to display “proficiency” in all subject areas.

The first of these steps is designating past and current MAAI Teacher Leaders to serve as live “go-to” people for advice, talking through problems and ideas and providing support. Between the Leadership Team and Teacher Leaders, there are over three dozen people who have volunteered to be these live resources. Go to, click on either of those two pages (Leadership Team and/or Teacher Leaders) under the dropdown, “About MAAI: who we are”. You will find contact information in red for those who are willing to work with you, as well as what grade levels and subject areas they teach, where they teach it, and a list of topics they have had experience with.

DSC02227As the only grassroots arts assessment entity in the United States, it remains a goal of MAAI to be here in a practical way for teachers in the field, “removing us from the islands” for once and for all. Please take advantage of the work that has already gone on in recent years by respected colleagues throughout Maine, and contact them often as you progress through your proficiency work!

If you have questions or ideas for other needs that you have during the transition, please contact MAAI Leadership Team member Rob Westerberg at or Argy Nestor at MAAI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission with many partners including MAEA, MMEA, New England Institute for Teacher Education, USM, MLTI, MDOE, and MAAE.


MAAI Logo_Color_TxtRt


Another Teacher’s Story: Patti Gordan

April 15, 2014

Raymond Elementary School music educator

This is the sixth blog post for 2014 and the third phase of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative of this series sharing arts teachers’ stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to learn from and about others. I had the pleasure of visiting Patti’s classroom last week; grade 5 and 6 strings and kindergarten general music class. It was a wonderful morning. I was reminded of the combination of skills it takes to be an elementary music teacher. The fast pace of the class, the attention to the needs of small children, and the energy level is truly amazing. All of this with music learning at the heart!

IMG_3609Patti Gordan has been teaching for 31 years, the past 30 of those years in Raymond.  For the last four years Raymond has been part of RSU#14, Windham/Raymond, so she now also teaches in Windham. During her 31 years she has taught K-8, General Music, Chorus, Band and Orchestra.  Her present assignment is K-4 General Music, 3rd/4th Grade Chorus and 5th & 6th Grade Orchestra. Patti is teaching approximately 350 students.

What do you like best about being a music educator?

 I love watching my students’ faces light up when they are feeling the joy of expressing themselves through music.  I love their enthusiasm and their eagerness. Music means everything to me and I love sharing that with my students.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

The most important key to success is be passionate about teaching and to continually improve my craft. I am always striving to learn. The second key to success is to have “decision makers” (administration, parents, school board) who are committed to providing best practice in arts education for our students. The third key to success is to have the time and resources necessary to provide best practice.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

Before I began authentic, individual assessment of my students’ singing skills in General Music class I assumed that most of my students could match pitch in their full singing range. After all, when I listened to the class as a group it sounded pretty good. When I started assessing them individually I was shocked to discover that approximately 25% of my students were carrying the rest of the class. I started using these individual assessments to inform my instruction and also started having the students do self-assessments of their singing skills so that they could make their own plan for improvement. The percentage of students who can match pitch in their full singing range has risen to 85% by the end of 3rd grade.  I have expanded these methods to assessing their beat/rhythm skills and literacy skills as well.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

It has been very exciting to meet other arts educators with the same passion for improving their teaching and assessment methods. I have loved bouncing ideas off of the other teacher leaders and I come away with new energy and enthusiasm every time we meet.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I guess I’m most proud of always wanting to learn more about being a music teacher. I’ve never felt like I know all I need to know. If ever I’ve begun to feel that way I’ve always then gained a bit more wisdom to realize I still don’t know what I’m doing. I am also proud of helping 30+ years of students experience the joy of music. I now teach many children of former students and I am so happy when I hear those parents share fond memories of music class and when they express their happiness that I will be teaching their children.

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

I get frustrated when I hear lip service that the arts are just as important as math and ELA, that they’re “CORE,” but then are not treated as equal. The truth is that there is no way that any K-4 General Music teacher, no matter how expert, can give students a true, standards-based music education, using the Maine Learning Results or the new Common Core Standards, in 45 minutes per week.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

From 2000 to 2010 I worked with a group of teachers and administrators at my schools that were dedicated to providing quality arts education programs to students in Raymond, through sufficient class time, resources and optimal schedules.  By 2010 students had music class twice a week for 45 minutes in grades K & 1, and 5 through 8, and once a week for 45 minutes plus a 30-minute chorus rehearsal, during the school day, for grades 3 and 4, and a remedial singing class in addition to their regular 45-minute General Music class for 2nd graders who were having trouble finding their head voice or matching pitch. Sadly, since consolidation, some of that has been chipped away.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Keep learning! It’s the best way to stay fresh, prevent teacher burnout and give your kids the best possible experience.  Also, keep trying to make little improvements in your program. It can be overwhelming to look at your program as it is and think of what it should be. Plug away, bit by bit to improve the students’ experience and before you know it, 30 years later, your program will have grown by leaps and bounds!

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

Too bad you can’t buy time. I’d get my masters degree, buy a bunch of small violins to give my 3rd or 4th graders a “pre-orchestra” experience, buy more puppets for General Music class (you can never have enough puppets.), buy some additional technology for the music room, pay some bills and take some trips (Scotland, Germany, camp across America).

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

No. If you can’t fix it, regrets are a waste of time. Learn from the experience and don’t’ make the same mistakes again.  Make new ones.

I’ll probably be one of those little old ladies who gives music lessons and home baked cookies.






MAAI Summer Institute – YAY!

June 24, 2013

Institute starts tomorrow!

This is an exciting week and today and tomorrow are jock full of preparing for it! As you know (if you’ve been following the blog) we have launched phase 3 of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) and tomorrow is the first day of the summer institute. This is a week that I tell myself “Argy, no one ever died of lack of sleep!” since there are so many details to pay attention to. Fortunately, the MAAI leadership team is a wonderful group of educators who have guided the initiative every step of the way. It is an ongoing volunteer job that they have committed to and I want to THANK each and every one of them:

  • Catherine Ring, New England Institute for Teacher Education, Executive Director
  • Jeff Beaudry, USM Associate Professor, Ed Leadership
  • Bronwyn Sale, Bates College, Lecturer in Education
  • Bill Buzza, Edward Little High School, Music Educator
  • Pamela Kinsey, Easton Schools, Music Educator

So what is the excitement all about? For starters, we have 14 new teacher leaders and 21 returning taking on leadership roles for phase 3. Thirty-five teacher leaders will be creating assessment workshops that will be based on research, practical knowledge and experience, professional development at the institute, and will be on topics that are relevant to visual or performing arts education. They will provide the workshops over the next school year at the regional, mega-regional, and statewide level. The dates for all of these workshops will be made available in the near future. How fortunate we are in Maine that 35 (52 counting all the teacher leaders from the past) visual and performing arts educators are committed to helping other arts educators. This is a HUGE commitment and I certainly appreciate their willingness to take on the leadership role! THANK YOU to the teacher leaders who represent pre-school, elementary, middle, and high school, dance, music, theatre, and visual arts, and all regions of Maine.

  • Drew Albert
  • Allysa Anderson
  • Susan Barre
  • Sasha Bladen
  • Andrea Chase
  • Amy Cousins
  • Melanie Crowe
  • Jennie Driscoll
  • Jen Etter
  • Judy Fricke
  • Patti Gordan
  • Suzanne Goulet
  • Mari-Jo Hedman
  • Gloria Hewett
  • Lisa Ingraham
  • Charlie Johnson
  • Susan Jones
  • Jane Kirton
  • Beth Lambert
  • Lisa Marin
  • Jen Nash
  • Jen Neal
  • Jenni Null
  • Brian McPherson
  • Linda McVety
  • Leah Olson
  • Jeff Orth
  • Pam Ouellette
  • MaryEllen Schaper
  • Ashley Smith
  • Jane Snider
  • Shari Tarleton
  • Shannon Westphal
  • Andrea Wollstadt
  • Rebecca Wright

The teacher leaders and feedback from the over 800 arts educators who have participated in some way in the first two phases of the initiative have identified these focus areas for phase 3.

  • Standards
  • Depository
  • Advocacy
  • Outreach

We will hit the ground running using these Essential Questions to guide the standards segment of the work.

  • What is proficiency in the arts in reference to the Maine Learning Results?
  • How do teachers in the arts articulate what proficiency is?
  • What does it look like at different grade levels?
  • How will we do this in Maine?

This work is a direct response to preparing Maine arts educators for LD 1422 which goes into effect with the graduating class of 2018. I hope that you are having conversations around these same questions at the district level to be ready for students graduating showing proficiency of the standards. This will transition us from discussing “seat time” or “one credit in Fine Arts” to talking about what will be in place for students to “fulfill the standards and the guiding principles”?

So, as I spend today and tomorrow gathering resources, organizing groups, answering questions, packing the car, crossing items off the forever long “to do” list, I can’t help but smile! I know how fortunate I am to work in a state with outstanding arts educators and people who truly care about the quality of arts education programs. Each student benefits from the work that each teacher does!  I look forward to the traditional group photo that shows the teacher leaders at the end of the institute – tired and full of new ideas ready to hit the ground running! You can look for that photo as well – posted on the blog at the end of this week!


McTighe on National Core Arts Standards

March 28, 2013

McTighe Recording on Arts Assessment

Screen shot 2013-03-19 at 7.56.58 PMMost states have someone at their state Department of Education’s that represent visual and performing arts education. We are members of the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE). We have monthly online meetings and almost monthly we have professional development webinars that are often facilitated by our members.

Sometimes we have guests and recently SEADAE hosted a session with Jay McTighe of Wiggens & McTighe consultants. They are best known for originating the Understanding by Design approach. McTighe has worked with the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards and the writing teams creating the National Core Arts Standards with his work on assessment, arts assessment and the cornerstone assessments.

Fortunately, you can listen to the recording of the SEADAE webinar with Jay McTighe that has been archived. Jay has much to offer as we develop arts assessments as part of a complete curriculum. I was glad that the session was recorded since I wasn’t available to attend but you can hear many of my colleagues introduce themselves during the first 3 minutes at start of the webinar.

The archive link:

Download recording link:

It was great to attend a session while at the National Art Education conference in Texas earlier this month when Jay presented on the National Core Arts Standards. Daisy McTighe is an art teacher and has been working on the standards as well and is on webinar also. I suggest you check out this vimeo and hear Daisy discuss the work.


Sooooooo Many Celebrations!!

March 16, 2012

I LOVE March!

I know many people dread March but I’ve ALWAYS LOVED it. I know it is because, as an arts educator, there is so much to celebrate this month. With Music In Our Schools Month, Youth Art Month, and Theatre In Our Schools Month, anyone who is an arts teacher can find the silver lining in March – the month that is not really winter, nor spring, just in between.

It is a wonderful month to celebrate and during the last week I have attended a variety of celebrations. Starting on Saturday with the state Youth Art Month opening at the Portland Museum of Art, on Monday in Presque Isle at the mall for the Aroostook County art exhibit, yesterday at the Blaine House for the Celebration of Arts Education, and tonight in RSU#40, my home district, for their once every four years Arts Celebration.

From the actors on the stage, to the musicians in the band, the classes of singers, the art work covering the walls; students, parents, grandparents, and educators had much to smile about. It’s an event that brings the community together.

The event was dedicated to former colleague Anne Kofler, elementary art teacher, who retired almost two years ago after teaching in Friendship, Washington, and Union for 21 years. We collaborated often bringing together her elementary students with my middle school students in Union. We worked with our students to transform the elementary and middle schools (located upstairs and downstairs). Everyone’s artwork was important and played an integral and necessary part of the collaborative outcome. And we had FUN!

Anne and I giving Christo and Jean-Claude a book of our student collaboration.

Anne and I giving Christo and Jean-Claude a book of our student collaboration.

As I walked through the exhibit tonight and saw former students who were there with their own children I thought of how fortunate we are to be arts educators.

When students have the opportunity to exhibit and perform, Visual and Performing Arts Educators:

  • bring people together
  • celebrate students
  • bring out the best in students
  • provide the stage and the wall space to show accomplishments
  • push students to the edge
  • challenge creativity and imagination
  • create the forum to show accomplishments
  • use curriculum, instruction, and assessment seamlessly
  • provide a public space to show the standards are being met

During this month, I hope you are getting many YAHOOOOOOOOOs for the work you do providing the above and much more to all students! And, if you are not celebrating your students and colleagues accomplishments, well, we’re only half way through the month, there is still time! Take the time to SHOUT about arts education!

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