ELEM/GEN: The World Turned Upside Down

“Yet let’s be content, and the times lament, you see the world turn’d upside down.” This is a line from an old English Ballad that dates back to the 1640’s when the English Parliament banned portions of Christmas celebrations. Later, it was rumoured to have been played by the English at the Battle of Yorktown during their surrender. Probably, the most famous recent quoting of this line is from the musical Hamilton in the song “Yorktown” by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Although historians have searched Revolutionary War records, there is no source that can confirm this tune was one of the songs that was played when the English surrendered. Whether true or rumor matters very little in 2020, as the legend lives on. Now we know that the world [is] turned upside down.

Learning and teaching continues in a way that none of us could have imagined just 6 months ago. While online learning has been in place for many years, most of us were not prepared for what we were asked to do just a few short weeks ago. I received my Master’s Degree from the University of Florida in 2016 through it’s online Music Education program. I feel lucky to have had exposure to the possibilities of online teaching and learning. However, very little of what I did actually transferred over to what I have been asked to do as an elementary music educator. The requirements from our Principals, Schools and Districts have been wide and varied. Some teachers have been asked to do very little so as not to overwhelm the parents, while others have been asked to deliver the same amount of instruction that the students would have received in the classroom by making and posting videos of themselves teaching. No matter what your school is doing, there are many wonderful resources to help you. Let’s start with a few.

The AMEA board is working to provide you with the necessary resources, professional development and lessons that might meet your needs through our website www.myamea.org. Here, you can access a database of online lessons grouped by teaching specialty: band, choir, orchestra, college and elementary/general. Each set of lessons if further categorized by topic or objectives. You can contribute to this database when you create something for your classroom. The process is very easy and user friendly and I encourage each of you to visit this site. NaFME is also offering professional development and resources on their website www.nafme.org . Some of these are even available for non-members. I encourage you to take advantage of these courses and to keep track of your professional development hours. I would also encourage you to reach out to your local Professional Learning Community. We should all strive to “meet regularly, share expertise, and work collaboratively to improve teaching skills and the academic performance of students” (www.edglossary.org) even during this time of school closure.

Speaking of professional development, the Fall Workshop is set for Saturday, October 17, 2020 at Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. This workshop directly follows our Elementary AMEA Choir Festival and will feature clinician, Jeremy Howard. The sign-up for the choir festival is open and the deadline is Friday, May 8, 2020. All sign ups must be completed online using the following link; https://forms.gle/svmHBCQ731QqbDLg9. Please email Melissa McIntyre for more festival information at ameafestival@gmail.com. The 2021 AMEA Professional Development Conference is coming up as well. We are currently accepting applications for presenters and performers. We would love to strengthen our Alabama PLC by having great sessions provided by you and your colleagues. Use the link on www.myamea.org to submit your session or apply to perform. I would also like to hear from you regarding sessions you’d like to see offered. Please email me at elementaryamea@gmail.com to suggest presenters or topics you like to see. The deadline for session proposals and performing groups is June 1, 2020 <Editor’s note. EXTENDED September 1, 2020>.

In closing, I would like to encourage you to keep the faith and stay the course. We are all gifted with many different gifts and are charged to use them to the best of our abilities. I believe we are stronger when we share what we know with others whether online or in person. Thank you again, for your hard work, dedication and continued support of the Elementary/General Division of the AMEA and the children of Alabama. I can’t wait to see you soon.

Sincerely,
Betty R Wilson, President
Elementary/General Division

Upcoming Dates:

  • NAfME In-Service Conference, Nov 4-8, 2020, Orlando, Florida. Elementary Music Festival, Friday, October 16th, 2020; Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • Joint Fall Workshop sponsored by Elementary/General Division of AMEA, AOSA, and
    SHAKE, Saturday, October 17th, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama featuring clinician Jeremy Howard
  • American Orff-Schulwerk Association, National Professional Development Conference, November 11-14, 2020, Kansas City. Registration begins July 1st.
  • 2021 AMEA Professional Development Conference, January 21-23, 2021, Renaissance Hotel and Spa, Montgomery, Alabama.

ELEM/GEN: News and Conference Review

 

We recently had the opportunity to “sharpen our saws.” I hope you enjoyed the sessions from our wonderful presenters at the recent AMEA Professional Development Conference. Our featured clinician, Jim Solomon, brought many tried and true strategies for drumming and elementary music education, while Laura Butler and Janet Nelson helped us to expand our thinking with music games that enhance literacy. Reading sessions by Lea Hoppe and singing rounds with Deanna Bell filled our hearts as we participated in making great music. We experienced and were inspired by an amazing performance from Hillcrest Elementary’s Choir, In Harmony, directed by Sarah McLendon. From the youngest (Dr. Julie Bannerman-Preschool Music) to the oldest (Dr. Rob Lyda and Dr. Becky Halliday- Creating Musical Communities) there was something for everyone to enjoy and learn from. Most importantly, it was a time for you to renew your spirit and connect with other music educators who understand what you do and why you do it.

I would like to thank our amazing Alabama Music Educators Association Elementary Board for their hard work. Their teamwork and dedication is second to none! Thank you for your help in presenting a wonderful conference. In case you were not able to attend the conference, you may still view handouts and board meeting minutes through the Guidebook app and this link https://tinyurl.com/AMEAJan2020, respectively. District reports are also available through the link above. In case you don’t know what district you are located in, the District Chairs and Co- Chairs are by county as follows:

District I – Colbert, Cullman, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Morgan, and Winston

District 2 – Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Lamar, Marion, Pickens, Shelby, Tuscaloosa, and Walker

District 3 – Jefferson

District 4 – Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, DeKalb, Etowah, Marshall, St. Clair

District 5 – Chambers, Clay, Coosa, Elmore, Lee, Macon, Randolph, Russell, Talladega, and Tallapoosa

District 6 – Autauga, Chilton, Choctaw, Clarke, Dallas, Hale, Lowndes, Marengo, Montgomery, Perry, Sumter, and Wilcox

District 7 – Baldwin, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe, and Washington

District 8 – Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, and Pike

Your District Chairs are:
District 1: Lea Hoppe & Viktoria Truesdail District 2: Karla Hodges & Karen Morgan District 3: Deanna Bell and Kate Donaldson District 4: Kristina Sisko
District 5: Kari McIntosh
District 6: Christy Clark
District 7: Alicia Luttrell & Joylynn Ruffin District 8: Hilda Hagins

We would also like to welcome Erica Lutz to our elementary board. She will be filling the Hospitality Chair for the 2020 and 2021 school years. Feel free to reach out to your district chairs and executive board throughout the year to let us know what is happening in your school and school system. Please keep your email updated with us: elementaryamea@gmail.com. There are many important announcements in our Board Meeting minutes including information about grant opportunities and the upcoming AMEA board elections (Dr. Rob Lyda and Carrie Cruz) and all of the upcoming workshops (AOSA, SHAKE, Young Voices festival, etc). You may also connect with other music educators using our AMEA Elementary and the Alabama Music Educators Association Facebook pages. Remember, the 2020 Elementary Music Festival will be October 16, 2020 at Eastmont Baptist Church. Please tell Melissa McIntyre if you have suggestions for clinicians: AMEAfestival@gmail.com. The 2020 AMEA Joint Workshop will immediately follow on October 17, 2020, also at Eastmont Baptist. Please read those minutes and take advantage of all the opportunities Alabama has to offer its elementary music educators.

Thank you again, for your hard work, dedication and continued support of the Elementary/General Division of the AMEA and the children of Alabama. I can’t wait to see you soon.

Sincerely,

Betty R Wilson

President Elementary/General Division

ELEM/GEN: Developing Successful Habits

Developing Successful Habits

A few years ago, my school adopted the Seven Habits of Happy Kids as part of the counseling program. Every teacher in the school received a copy of the book by Sean Covey and was encouraged to incorporate the principles into the classroom. The seven habits are: 1. Be Proactive, 2. Begin with the End in Mind, 3. Put first Things First, 4. Think Win-Win, 5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood, 6. Synergize, 7. Sharpen the Saw. Students and teachers were trained on using these strategies in the classroom. We put them into action through our house system (based on the Ron Clark Academy) and through our Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies plan (P.B.I.S.). Students started taking ownership of their behavior and managing their time and tasks in a more efficient way than ever. Behavior referrals dropped as teachers practiced the win-win techniques in the classroom, showing students how being disruptive was a lose-lose for everyone involved. Of course, for many of us, these techniques started to bleed over into our personal lives as well.

In our last Ala Breve, I talked about dreaming big and setting goals. This would be a part of habits two and three. In this issue, I want to mention Sharpening the Saw, which is habit seven. To sharpen the saw, you set aside time for yourself and you do the things that bring you the greatest enjoyment. Take time to enhance your physical health, your cognitive or mental health, your spirituality and your social health. Stephen Covey details each of these in his book for adults, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, but let’s focus on mental health and social health. What do you do to expand your mind? Do you like to read books and articles about teaching? Do you like participating in a hands-on training? Do you like to hang out with your music colleagues and enjoy enriching conversations about work and life over a good meal? Your elementary AMEA is offering a great workshop on October 19 and a yearly in-service in January for you to sharpen your saw.

The fall workshop on October 19th will be held at Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery and will feature two fabulous clinicians, Dr. Madeline Bridges from Belmont University and Dr. Becky Halliday from The University of Montevallo. Dr. Bridges will present the morning session which is entitled “Developing Core Singing Skills through Multiple Modalities.” Dr. Halliday will present the afternoon session on arts integration “Weaving a Tapestry: Collaborative Teaching Through Arts Integration.” In between, we are offering a catered “meat and 3” lunch that you can purchase when you register. This will allow you the time to sharpen your saw as you socialize with your fellow music educators. Please take the time today to renew your NaFME membership and register for the AMEA Professional development Conference. Visit www.myamea.org for more conference details. We would love to see you at both of these events.

Thank you again, for your hard work, dedication and continued support of the Elementary/General Division of the AMEA and the children of Alabama.

See you in October,
Betty R Wilson, President Elementary/General Division

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Workshops and Other Professional Development Opportunities:

East Alabama Music Workshop
Grace United Methodist Church, Auburn Tiffany English
August 24, 2019
Contact: lydarob@me.com

AMEA Choir Festival:
Friday, October 18, 2019
Eastmont Baptist Church, Montgomery Contact Melissa McIntyre, Festival Director Ameafestival@gmail.com

Fall AMEA Workshop:
Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Clinicians: Dr. Madeline Bridges and Dr. Becky Halliday Location: Eastmont Baptist Church, Montgomery Contact: elementaryamea@gmail.com

AMEA Professional Development Conference
Jan 16-18, 2020
Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa Featured Clinician: Jim Solomon. Details will be available soon at www.myamea.org

ELEM/GEN: Keep Calm and Move with the Cheese

Change is hard. Change is scary. Change is inevitable. We are reminded of this often. Many of us are facing changes this school year. Maybe we have a new job. Maybe we are teaching new grade levels. Or, maybe our principal sees so much potential in us that he/she has given us extra duties in our building. We all will experience changes with new classes as we prepare for the coming school year. In the book Who Moved My Cheese, Spencer Johnson details the woes of change on the job and how to deal with it. Here’s how the book characters Sniff, Scurry, Hem, and Haw, faced the changes in their lives.

Imagine the setting: a maze where the four characters search every day for their supply of cheese. They find great cheese and become comfortable eating it day in and day out. The problem is interjected when the reliable cheese supply is suddenly moved or extinguished. The mice in the story, Sniff and Scurry hurry out into the maze to find new cheese, while the “little people” Hem and Haw look around wondering what happened to their cheese. “While Hem and Haw were still trying to decide what to do, Sniff and Scurry were already well on their way.” (Johnson, p. 39). Finally, Haw realizes that if he does not change, he will become extinct. So he decides to venture out into the maze once again. One of the important questions that Haw asks himself as he tries to venture out again is “What would you do if you weren’t afraid” (Johnson, p. 48). What would WE do this year, if we were not afraid? Would we redesign a stagnant curriculum, finally participate in a choral festival, or take a new leadership position in our school? Johnson says that “When you move beyond your fear, you feel free” (p. 56) and that “change can lead to something better” (p. 59).

The Elementary Executive Board met recently to discuss the upcoming AMEA in-service, music festival, and fall workshop. Your elementary board has been faced with some difficult decisions this year. Many perspectives of music educators all over the state were weighed, and several options were considered. Rest assured the goal of your elementary board is to continue moving our organization forward toward the future. I believe, as Johnson says, “the biggest inhibitor to change lies within yourself and that nothing gets better until you change” (p. 71) and I believe, the handwriting is on the wall:

“Change Happens: They keep moving the cheese;”

We should, “Anticipate Change: Get ready for the cheese to move;”

We must, “Monitor the Change: Smell the cheese often so you know when the cheese is getting old;”

and, “Adapt to Change Quickly: The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy the new cheese,

Change: Move with the cheese;”

Furthermore, we should, “Enjoy Change! Savor the adventure and enjoy the taste of new cheese!”

And, “Be Ready to Change Quickly and Enjoy it Again and Again: They keep moving the Cheese.” (Johnson, p.74). Right now, we are moving with the cheese so we can continue to enjoy it again and again.

Years ago, when I was a consultant with Mary Kay cosmetics, I made a dream board. It was a way for new consultants to envision what they wanted out of their Mary Kay business. Although I gave up selling Mary Kay long ago, I never gave up the concept of dreaming big and envisioning what I wanted to achieve. I recently went back to school and completed my goal of obtaining my Masters’ degree. Consider this, another big question from the story is “What do we need to let go of and what do we need to move on to? (Johnson p. 83). What are your big dreams for this year, for your professional development, or for yourself personally? I challenge you to set goals and make a “dream board” with your goals written out and go for it. Let go of your old habits and reach for the “new cheese.”

Thank you for your hard work, dedication and continued support of the Elementary Division of the AMEA and the children of Alabama.

See you in September,

Betty R. Wilson
President Elementary/General Division

================

Workshops and Other Professional Development Opportunities:

East Alabama Music Workshop
Grace United Methodist Church, Auburn Tiffany English
August 24, 2019
Contact: lydarob@me.com

AMEA Choir Festival:
Friday, October 18, 2019
Eastmont Baptist Church, Montgomery Contact Melissa McIntyre, Festival Director Ameafestival@gmail.com

Fall AMEA Workshop:
Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Clinicians: Dr. Madeline Bridges and Dr. Becky Halliday Location: Eastmont Baptist Church, Montgomery Contact: elementaryamea@gmail.com

AMEA Professional Development Conference
Jan 16-18, 2020
Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa Featured Clinician: Jim Solomon. Details will be available soon at www.myamea.org

ELEM/GEN: “For Good”

In the final act of the Broadway musical hit Wicked, Elphaba and Glinda bid farewell to each other by singing the song “For Good”. One phrase expresses my feelings for this moment.

I’ve heard it said…That people come into our lives for a reason…Bringing something we must learnAnd we are led…To those who help us most to grow…If we let themAnd we help them in return…Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true…But I know I’m who I am today…Because I knew you. –Glinda

Over the past two years, you trusted me to lead the Elementary Division and while I hope I earned and sustained your trust, something unique happened: YOU changed me. Whether through our talks, our countless hours of singing and dancing alongside each other, or our sharing of great ideas, I believe we became better together. My personal growth is more apparent in how I teach my classes, seek out meaningful professional development and even how I interact with my colleagues and it’s all because of you. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to learn and grow with you. I truly have been changed For Good!

As the school year draws to a close, know that what you have done for your students, school and community has not gone unnoticed. Your dedication to the music discipline is apparent in everything you do, and you are thought of highly for it. How many times this year have you received emails from parents thanking you for what you do? How many kid notes and drawings have you found hidden in the strangest places in your room after a long and hard day? How many former students still run to hug you in public or send you social media messages of thanks? I’m sure these instances are innumerable, all because you came in to lives and changed them. How many students can you say changed you? Over the summer as you recharge your batteries, ponder these questions, remember these students, cherish each moment and prepare for the next school year as a new group of students will come into your life and change you For Good.

Speaking of For Good, I hope that you will continue your support of the 2019-2021 Elementary Board of Directors.

  • President: Betty Wilson
  • President-Elect: Sarah McLendon
  • Treasurer: Lori Zachary
  • Secretary: Rob Lyda
  • Hospitality: Kristi Howze
  • Past-President: Phil Wilson
  • Festival Director: Melissa McIntyre

Please continue support our Elementary Music Festival on Friday, October 18, 2019 at the Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery. Melissa McIntyre, our new festival director, has already been hard at work securing clinicians, preregistering schools and a host of other things. We are very fortunate to have as clinicians Dr. Madeline Bridges from Belmount University, and our own Dr. Becky Halliday from the University of Montevallo. Please see our Facebook page for the clinician’s biographies and to sign-up. For more information, contact Melissa McIntyre Ameafestival@gmail.com. Also, please make plans to attend our joint workshop on Saturday, October 19, 2019 where Dr. Bridges and Dr. Halliday will continue to instruct us.

Remember that our 2020 AMEA Professional Development Conference is moving to back to Montgomery and will occur on January 16-18, 2020. Please consider applying for your choral group to perform at the 2020 conference. The deadline is June 1st. Also, we want to know about the great things you are doing in your classroom. Consider applying to present a session. Click here for both applications https://www.myamea.org/2020-amea-professional-development-conference/.

Thank you for all you do to make sure the students in Alabama are receiving the best music education possible. For questions or updates, please contact us at elementaryamea@gmail.com.

See you in October,

Phil R. Wilson, President

Elementary/General Division Elementary Calendar of Events

2019 Young Voices Festival
April 26-27, 2019
University of Alabama
Contact: meredithcdevore@gmail.com

World Music Drumming Level I
Crestline Elementary, Hartselle
June 3-7, 2019
Contact: gregory.pearcy@hartselletigers.org

Orff Level II and III
Samford University
June 17-28, 2019
Contact: lhardin@samford.edu

Kodály Levels I, II & III
University of Montevallo
July 8-19, 2019
Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Mountain Brook Contact: ahalliday@montevallo.edu

East Alabama Music Workshop
Grace United Methodist Church, Auburn August 24, 2019
Contact: lydarob@me.com

ELEM/GEN: Learning Together Makes Us Better

Fred Rogers, creator and host of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood once said,” Imagining something may be the first step in making it happen, but it takes the real time and real efforts of real people to learn things, make things, turn thoughts into deeds or visions into inventions.” This, my friends, is exactly what WE did! During the 2019 AMEA Professional Development Conference we learned new things, made music, thought deeply about things and hopefully, when you returned to your schools, turned those thoughts into new exciting experiences for your students. We were inspired to use music as a vehicle to make our neighborhoods a better place and learned how to play rhythms on yoga balls. We celebrated Alabama’s birthday, strummed guitars, learned how to record our students and even how to put on a show. Beth Ann Hepburn challenged us with new and innovative activities while also touching on some traditional ones as well. We composed, weaved our way through music classes through creative planning, and transitioning and explored ways to engage hard to reach students. All of this, and much much more, happened in just three days. WHEW!

Thorpe (2014) stated,” Within the United States and across nations, there seems to be consensus that teacher quality is the most important school-based variable in determining how well a child learns” (Thorpe, 2014, p. 1). Barrett (2010) says the key to improving teacher quality, and improving student learning, is for teachers to engage in professional development. In study after study, researchers agree that participating in professional development activities improves teacher quality which in turn elevates student’s learning. Continue to renew and refresh yourself by participating in quality professional learning opportunities throughout the year. Our students deserve it!

During our business meeting, we elected the 2019-2021 Elementary/General Division Executive Board:

  • President: Betty Wilson
  • President-Elect: Sarah McLendon
  • Treasurer: Lori Zachary
  • Secretary: Rob Lyda
  • Hospitality: Kristi Howze
  • Past-President: Phil Wilson
  • Festival Director: Melissa McIntyre

As you continue to create and develop new exciting lessons in your classrooms, consider sharing those ideas at our 2020 AMEA Professional Development Conference which will take place in Montgomery. Speaking of Montgomery, we will also be moving our Elementary Music Festival to Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery. Our new festival director Melissa McIntyre, and the festival committee, has already been hard at work planning the festival and Fall workshop More details to come.

Thank you for all that you do to make our musical neighborhoods better places. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please contact us through the division email at elementaryAMEA@gmail.com. Remember to follow and post pictures and videos of things you are doing in your classrooms on our AMEA Elementary Facebook group page.

Thorpe, R. (2014). Sustaining the teaching profession. New England Journal of Public Policy, 26(1), 5.

Upcoming Events

ALABAMA CHAPTER OF AOSA SPRING WORKSHOP March 2, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Lorelei Batislaong
Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church

Sweet Home Alabama Kodály Educators (SHAKE) Free Spring Workshop
Dr. Michele Paise
April 6, 2019, Vestavia Hills Elementary East, 9-3

2019 Young Voices Festival
April 26-27, 2019
University of Alabama
Contact: meredithcdevore@gmail.com

World Music Drumming Level I
Crestline Elementary, Hartselle
June 3-7, 2019
Contact: gregory.pearcy@hartselletigers.org

Orff Level II and III
Samford University
June 17-28, 2019
Contact: lhardin@samford.edu

Kodály Levels I, II & III
University of Montevallo
July 8-19, 2019
Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Mountain Brook Contact: ahalliday@montevallo.edu

East Alabama Music Workshop
Grace United Methodist Church, Auburn August 24, 2019
Contact: lydarob@me.com

Elementary Music Festival
Eastmont Baptist Church, Montgomery
October 18, 2019
Clinician: Dr. Madeline Bridges, Belmont University Clinician: Dr. Becky Halliday, University of Montevallo Contact: mcintyrem@vestavia.k12.al.us

From the ELEM/GEN President: It Takes a Community

In the book, What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do, published by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the five core propositions which govern the process of certification are explored and explained. The core propositions are:

1. Teachers are committed to students and their learning.
2. Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students. 3. Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.
4. Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.
5. Teachers are members of learning communities.

These propositions serve as the anchor of what National Boards consider accomplished teaching. Though many of you may not be board certified, you still may exhibit many, if not all, of these propositions. I could use my space here examining how you measure up against each of these propositions, but instead I’ll focus on proposition five, teachers are members of learning communities.

In a study about professional development, Darling-Hammond and McLaughlin (1995), found that teachers need opportunities to “share what they know, discuss what they want to learn, and connect new concepts and strategies to their own unique contexts” (p. 1). These are perfect descriptors of what professional learning communities should be. This year, your elementary board wants to ensure your voice, your experiences and your musical wants are represented in every workshop and session we plan. It is our goal that your professional learning through AMEA continues to be positive and meaningful.

Our professional learning communities begin in just a few days at the 13th Annual Elementary Music Festival at Samford University’s Wright Center on Friday, October 12th. Approximately 400 elementary students representing over 40 schools across the state have registered. The clinicians for this event will be Dr. Damian Womack and Dr. Sara Womack. This music festival is a great opportunity for our students to learn and grow. Although registration for this year’s festival has passed, please consider including your students for next year’s festival. The following day, Saturday, October 13th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. we will have our joint Fall Workshop sponsored by the AMEA Elementary/General Division, AOSA and SHAKE. This year our clinician will be Orff specialist Sara Womack. The workshop will be held at Vestavia Hills Elementary Central 1289 Montgomery Highway, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216.

The 2019 AMEA Professional Development Conference will convene at the BJCC in Birmingham. Many rich professional learning opportunities await you. This year we are honored to have Beth Ann Hepburn as our featured clinician. She will be presenting four sessions for us ranging from developing part-singing to using body percussion with songs and rhymes. We will also have several member guided sessions including bucket drumming with Viktoria Truesdail and learning new ways to put on a show by Kristi Howze. Kodaly specialist Jeremy Howard will clinic on musical make-believe while Rob Lyda will help us celebrate Alabama’s Bicentennial. Jennifer Canfield will show us how to create music for the elementary classroom, Art Williams will present on the Fred Rogers approach to teaching elementary music, and Stephanie Porter will demonstrate reading in music and recording on a budget. Our friends

from Quaver and Chord Buddy will be there and other clinics and vendors you will not want to miss. Please be sure to reserve Friday night for an evening of fellowship and music sharing fun. We look forward to seeing you in Birmingham on January 17th -19th. Be sure to check the AMEA website (www.myamea.org) for details about preregistration and hotel information.

We hope to see you all at the Fall Music Workshop on October 13th, and at the 2019 AMEA Professional Development Conference in Birmingham in January. Please contact us at (elementaryamea@gmail.com) for questions or concerns.

Phil R. Wilson, President,
AMEA Elementary/General Division

Darling-Hammond, L., & McLaughlin, M. W. (1995). Policies that support professional development in an era of reform. Phi delta kappan, 76(8), 597-604.

Upcoming Dates:
13th Annual Elementary Music Festival, Friday, October 12th, Samford University’s Wright Center

Joint Fall Workshop sponsored by Elementary/General Division of AMEA, AOSA, and SHAKE, Saturday, October 13, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.

NAfME In-Service Conference, Nov 10-14, 2018, Dallas, Texas
2019 AMEA Professional Development Conference, BJCC, Birmingham, AL, January 17-19.

American Orff-Schulwerk Association, National Professional Development Conference, November 7-10, 2018, Cincinnati, Ohio

SHAKE Spring Workshop, April 6, 2019, with Dr. Michele Paynter Paise.

From the ELEM/GEN President: Passion!

A few years ago, a teacher friend gifted me with a rustic sign for my home. At the top of the sign in all capital letters was painted the word PASSION. The rest of the sign reads, “There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” The friend wrote in an accompanying card that these words exemplify who she saw me to be. I was very moved by her gesture and the words on the card and sign. This sign hangs in a prominent place in my home to remind me of what I should consistently seek after when working with children; taking their dream worlds and introducing them to reality.

I was recently a member of a commission that examines professional learning in our state with the purpose of improving what is offered to educators. As is customary, we went around the room introducing ourselves. The facilitator asked us to name something fun we’ve done for the summer. Member after member stated professional learning opportunities they engaged in during the summer to improve their practice, while only a handful spoke of actual vacations. The sense that I got from the room could be described with one word; PASSION.

As we are in the preparation phases of returning to school, our PASSION goes out ahead of us and starts the engine that will soon become a charging choo choo on track to making dreams realities. Not because of the money, recognition or pride do we do anything that we do. (Well….maybe a little money). Instead, it’s the smiles on the faces of students who are exercising their PASSION through music making. It’s the feeling that we are sharing our dreams with students who will share with others and the circle continues. It’s the knowing that when melodies leave our lips or our instruments, they become tangible reality dipped dreams. PASSION!

During the summer months, your elementary division board has been hard at work planning professional development opportunities for you over the course of this next school year to assist you in educating the children of Alabama. It has been my honor to serve you as President of the Elementary Division along with Betty Wilson, President-Elect, Dr. Rob Lyda, Secretary, Lori Zachary, Treasurer and Cliff Huckabee, Past-President and Choral Festival Director.
This year, several professional development opportunities are available for you to attend beginning August 25. The East Alabama Music Workshop will be held in Auburn, AL at Grace United Methodist Church from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (8:30 – 9:00 registration and refreshments). The guest presenter will be David Row. We will explore fresh new ways to use folksongs. There is no cost for the workshop. Four hours of professional development will be offered. Contact Dr. Rob Lyda for more details at lydarob@me.com.

The 13th Annual Elementary Music Festival will take place at Samford University’s Wright Center on Friday, October 12th. Students will learn from two outstanding Alabama music educators as we celebrate the Alabama Bicentennial. Dr. Damian Womack, choral, and Rhonda Tucker, Orff, will be the clinicians. This music festival is a great opportunity for our students. Thank you for your continued support of this festival.

Saturday, October 13th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. we will have our joint Fall Workshop sponsored by AMEA Elementary/General Division and AOSA. This year our clinician will be Orff specialist Rhonda Tucker. Stay tuned to the myamea.org webpage for further details as they become available.

The 2019 AMEA Professional Development Conference will be at the BJCC in Birmingham. This year we are honored to have Beth Ann Hepburn as our featured clinician. She will be presenting four sessions for all grade levels spanning multiple subjects. We will also have member guided sessions ranging from bucket drumming to dancing to folk songs. Be sure to renew your NAfME membership, so that you can take advantage of these rich learning opportunities.
We want to stay in touch with you and reach out to those who are not members of AMEA. Please email us at elementaryamea@gmail.com to update your information and please share this address with those who you know are not members. Also, join us on Facebook AMEA Elementary page.

Congrats to those who attended and earned Kodaly and Orff certification. Also, congrats to those who submitted your National Board Components. BRAVO!!
PASSION! A word that you exemplify each day of each month of each year. You share it, your students see it and feel safe to share their own passions with the world. I challenge you this year to be fearless in your choices, knowing that they are good for your students. I challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone and explore new avenues of music learning. I challenge you to renew your PASSION!

 

See you in October,
Phil R. Wilson, President
Elementary/General Division

ELEM/GEN: NEWS!

Dear Elementary Friends,

Abraham Lincoln, 16thPresident of the United States once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” President Lincoln was “sharp” enough to realize that a dull axe would not effectively do the job he was aiming to do. The same can be said for us. After more than nine months of planning, teaching, smiling, wiping tears and noses, clapping, singing, dancing, learning, playing instruments, laughing, and collaborating, it is time for you to sharpen your saw. In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey suggests that highly effective people spend time Sharpening Their Saw,meaning they take time to rest, rejuvenate and begin making plans for the new year. As you enjoy the summer months, take time to reflect on who you are as a music educator, and how your students benefit from your presence in their lives. A little reflection will surely inspire you to return to your school in the Fall with a renewed purpose to educate as you never have before….because your students deserve it.

For your planning purposes, we are pleased to announce that our annual Elementary Music Festival will be on Friday, October 12 on the campus of Samford University. In honor and celebration of Alabama’s Bicentennial, our festival director Cliff Huckabee has arranged to have two directors with deep Alabama roots. Dr. Damion Womack, assistant professor of music at Huntingdon College, will be directing one ensemble with a choral emphasis, while Mrs. Rhonda Tucker, retired Alabama educator, will be directing the Orff emphasis ensemble. Your students are sure to gain great knowledge in either ensemble. There is limited space available for your students, so be sure to sign up early at www.tinyurl.com/ameafestival2018.

 We are also excited to learn from Mrs. Rhonda Tucker at our joint Fall Workshop on Saturday, October 13. This workshop is a great opportunity for music educators to learn together under the leadership of an expert. Stay tuned for details on time and location.

 Other activities to sharpen your saw this summer include:

 Orff-Schulwerk Levels I and II Certification will be June 18-29 at Samford University. The instructors are Erika Bridge, Brent Holl, and Rachel Aupperle. For more information, please contact Larry Hardin at lhardin@samford.edufor more information.

 Kodaly Levels I and II will be July 9-20 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Mountain Brook.  For more information, please contact Dr. Becky Halliday at ahalliday@montevallo.edu

 The East Alabama Music Workshop will be held at Grace United Methodist Church in Auburn August 25,  9 a.m. till 1 p.m. Contact Dr. Rob Lyda at lydarob@me.comfor more details.

 We are working to provide meaningful opportunities for you. If you have ideas or suggestions, please be sure to share them with us. We will also be updating our email database soon.

We want to hear from you! If you have not been receiving emails from us, please send an email to elementaryamea@gmail.com, and we’ll be sure to add you to our mailing list.

 Happy sawing and well wishes,

Phil Wilson, President

Elementary/General Division

ELEM/GEN: NEWS!

Scholar Jean Piaget once said, “The goal of education is not to increase the amount of the knowledge but to create the possibilities for a child to invent and discover, to create men who are capable of doing new things.” During the 2018 AMEA Professional Development Conference, we hope you gained possibilities to take back to your students for them to invent and discover new music making opportunities. This year we discovered unique music opportunities with Valerie Diaz Leroy and Quaver, drummed on buckets with Viktoria Truesdail, learned about the magic of stories and traveled around the world with recorders courtesy of Darla Meek. We discovered more stories that sing with Jeanette Shorey, learned about more modern ways to compose with our students with Adriana van Rensburg and learned how to utilize the Chord Buddy apparatus with Deanna Bell, her students and Chord Buddy. Lorelei Batisalong taught us wonderful new ways to use our ukuleles, Steve Campbell lead us in drumming and Roger Sams inspired us to sing, play and dance with our students. We also heard an outstanding performance by the Mitchell Elementary Honor Chorus directed by Doris Day. This spectacular event occurred in the midst of an uncommon Southern snow storm, which did not stop or deter us.

Thank you elementary division for your positive enthusiasm as we charted new territory at the BJCC. A very special thank you to Garry Taylor and the elementary board for your hard work in making this conference a success! We will be back at the BJCC next year and look forward to new opportunities to bring learning to our students. If you have further suggestions to improve our experiences, please let us know.

There are great things happening in your classrooms every day that need to be shared with the division. Please consider applying for the 2019 conference to share those ideas. Also, consider applying for your choirs to perform at next year’s conference. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at elementaryAMEA@gmail.com. Remember to follow and post pictures and videos of things you are doing in your classrooms to our AMEA Elementary Facebook group page.

Respectfully Submitted,

Phil Wilson, Elementary/General President

Upcoming Events

Alabama Chapter of AOSA

Spring Workshop, Jim Solomon, Clinician
March 10, 2018, Samford University 9-3
Band Room

 

Sweet Home Alabama Kodály Educators (SHAKE)

Free Spring Workshop
Jeremy Howard, “Happy Endings and New Beginnings”
April 14, 2018, Vestavia Hills Elementary East, 9-3

 

2018 Young Voices Festival
April 27-28, 2018
University of Alabama

 

Kodály Levels 1 and 2
University of Montevallo
July 9-20, 2018
See the SHAKE Facebook page for updated information

 

Orff Levels I and II
Samford University
July 18-29
See the Alabama Chapter of AOSA’s Facebook page for more information

 

East Alabama Music Workshop
Grace United Methodist Church, Auburn
August 25, 2018

 

Music Festival
Friday, October 12, 2018
Samford University

 

Joint Fall Workshop
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Time and place to be determined

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