Good evening fellow music teachers here in Southeastern PA!
Like all of you, I and the rest of the board have been neck deep in figuring out how to fully reinvent our teaching discipline for a combination of hybrid and virtual teaching platforms.
We want to be able to support all of you as well, and have come up with some concrete, specific plans that can provide you what you need.
During the month of September, we will be sponsoring a couple of webinars specifically devoted to the concept of online teaching. These are not going to be music specific, but are going to be from vetted leaders in the field of online education.
Starting in October, we are going to be hosting a regularly scheduled series of happy hour chats for each strand of teaching. These are meant to serve two purposes: for you to check in with your colleagues to get some ideas on teaching practices, but also for our members to share with their peers any positive teaching experiences and lessons!
These will take place in the afternoon and evenings, and should be considered as standing invites: we hope that you can add them to your calendar and join in when you are able to.
Finally, we are not going to be sponsoring a one-day conference in November as in previous years. We hope that this ongoing professional development will be more effective for you!
This is just the beginning of what we want to offer all of you, and will continue to provide this service through the school year. As you’ve heard many times this summer, We are changing the “how” not the “what”. If you’ve run into any type of roadblock in helping to support your re-opening plans, PLEASE REACH OUT! Contact Erin Kauppila at if you are in need of anything to help you with your Pandemic School Reopening. We may be able to provide you with human resources or materials that can aid in this new way of teaching.
Student Event Updates
Even though the state is suspending all in-person events for this school year, we are still planning on providing an opportunity for recognizing the outstanding musicianship of our students here in D12.
We will still be holding auditions for our high school events through the Submittable platform.
- Students will still audition on the posted material on the website. Sightreading will not be a component of the audition this year.
- The window of audition submissions will be released a later date. We are aiming for a window either immediately before or immediately after the Winter Break.
All directors who have a student submit a video for the audition will be a part of the review committee. Our goal is that each student will not only receive numerical feedback, but also written feedback on their performance.
The cost for the auditions will be more than previous years – we are hoping for somewhere between $10 and $20 per student. This is meant to only cover the costs of Submittable. The board feels comfortable in doing this since there will be no festival costs for schools this year.
Once the auditions are complete, we will release a list of “district” level musicians in each genre through a public relations plan. From there, the top musicians in both District 12 and 11 will then be eligible to apply for All-State Recognition.
For our students in grades 5-8, we will still be planning on recognizing students in the various genres. This will be by director nomination and will function as a replacement for our traditional fests. Our goal is to get these nominations from you in January and February so that we can recognize these students during March – Music in Our Schools Month!
Finally, we are also in the initial stages of planning a virtual “Solo & Ensemble” MPA for sometime in the spring. We know that large ensembles aren’t going to be a realistic possibility for many of us this year, but we want to be able to provide a platform for your smaller ensembles to showcase themselves. Our goal is that this will be a performance opportunity for April & May.
All of these student events are open to any students in schools in District 12 and must be sponsored by a current member of PMEA.
Our new Facebook group is where music educators from all levels across District 12 can unite online to support each other, share learnings, and develop a network of peers.
Join today and invite your colleagues at facebook.com/groups/pmea12
You can also follow us on Instagram for more ideas and content sharing.
Follow today at https://www.instagram.com/pmea12/ or by searching @pmea12 on your Instagram app.
This is a good time to remind you all to start the membership renewal process through the member portal. If you need any assistance in getting this approved within your district’s budget, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Our colleagues in other education disciplines have multiple teachers in their building that they can rely on to bounce ideas off of. For the vast majority of us, we are the only person teaching our specific subject in the entire district…and that can be very daunting. I know that through collaboration across districts and disciplines, we can provide some amazing musical experiences in our classrooms!