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

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