Throughout this troubling time for our world, cNAfME and music educators have been forced to ask themselves “How do we go on?.” Over the last month, college students across the globe have been sent home to complete the semester online. But what does this mean for musicians whose classes nearly all have some sort of performance aspect? Do we perform online to Facebook Live? Do we cancel our long-awaited recitals? Do we get to complete our internships? All of these questions are troublesome and difficult to answer, but as future music educators, it is important for us to continue to strive to learn from home and become better equipped for the careers ahead of us.
Since being home, cNAfME chapters have been encouraged to continue meeting in some facet. For many of our chapters, that means meeting over Zoom to discuss important music education topics, but for others, it means meeting asynchronously and using a set of resources to continue engaging in educational materials from home. Our chapter presidents have worked diligently to keep their chapters afloat and have collaborated in compiling different ways to still grow as future educators during this time of acting as Q(uarantined)cNAfME.
The University of North Alabama and Troy University have both been able to meet online through Zoom. In their meetings, they discuss what music education looks like from home and how to stay engaged with the classroom away from the classroom.
Alexa Dishroon, president of UNA’s chapter writes, “UNA’s chapter is holding ‘music education roundtable’ discussions via Zoom every week. Here, we present and discuss topics in music education. Our discussions also cover our personal teaching philosophies or procedures, and we discuss and share ideas and advice all in an effort to build us as future music educators.”
Troy University’s president Caroline Swann states, “Our cNAfME chapter has stayed in contact by having our business meetings over Zoom! We are also going to have an edTPA workshop with a guest speaker. Recently we held a business meeting where we talked about the bylaws and nominations for the executive team for next year.”
As chapters continue their normal routines from home, we are seeing how technology has changed how we interact with each other. While last month it would have been easy to say that we are terrified of how education will look in the coming weeks, cNAfME has proven they can carry on through online meetings, plan for the year to come, and become better educators from home. While many of our chapters have been able to meet synchronously, some chapters have had to adapt and engage with each other without face to face interaction.
At the University of Alabama, students have engaged with online resources. President Isabelle Page writes, “I doubt we’ll have a synchronous meeting with the entire chapter. What I plan on doing is to research some online learning tools for music teachers being used currently or to talk to music teachers currently teaching online classes, and compile some narratives or tips/tricks on how to navigate such a unique situation. I think what’s happening right now is horrible, but at the same time, it’s a learning opportunity for future teachers that I think we should take advantage of—it’s an excellent example of how teachers have to be ready to change their plans, so it’s something we should all be keeping up with.”
Our chapters are quickly learning what it means to be adaptable, which is an important trait any teacher should possess. As we continue to navigate the uncertain days and months ahead, ALcNAfME will continue to function and engage with each other with the goal of producing better future music educators than we had at the beginning of 2020. So, as the days at home go on, we will continue to learn, teach, and engage as future music educators.