By Gae Phillips, KMEA President
The NAfME National Leadership Assembly always provides a great opportunity to reflect on why we do what we do. If we desire to see something different within NAfME, our state MEA’s, and within music education, then we have to be the difference. President Mackie Spradley suggested that we are the sleeping giant and we all have greatness within us. We are powerful and have untapped greatness that has not yet reached its potential. We must awake the sleeping giant within us and realize that I, You, We are NAfME.
Are we musicians who teach or are we teachers who specialize in music? Are we teaching as a technician—teaching primarily technique, pedagogy or certain instrumental goals? Or do we enter our classrooms as professional educators? Approaching our work as professional educators changes the entire scope and focus of our mission. Music is essential to every child’s well-rounded education and as music educators, we must reimagine how we deliver our subject so that we are encompassing all students.
Perhaps our purpose and vision can be found by pondering what drives our foundation of belief. Contemplating these questions will help determine what is at the core of our vision and decision making. What difference are you making in your classroom? What is your mission? What is your focus? Who are you reaching?