April 11, 2017
A message from your president:
I have returned from the MTNA national conference in Baltimore, and I would like to give you some highlights of the sessions.
First off, there were three teachers from New Mexico who registered and attended: Jeanne Grealish as Young Artist Coordinator, Tatiana Vetrinskaya, and me as your president. Congratulations to Southwest Division winner Stefan Biller of Albuquerque, who competed in the Senior Voice competitions. His teacher, Jacquie Zander-Wall, came to support him and hear his performance.
Also two of our members received a Teacher Enrichment Grant from MTNA. Congratulations to Jacque Zander-Wall and ENMU faculty member Anna Hersey for receiving these awards for summer projects.
This is probably the 20th or so National Conference that I have attended, and I am always amazed at how energized I become after attending one of these events. Not only do you interact with teachers from all over the country, but you get to see all the latest innovations, software, and music presented by nearly every publisher and manufacturer in the United States. If you have never gone, I would encourage you to do so.
Some of the discussions we had with other state presidents included:
1. Journal and announcements: email versus snail mail. Most states are doing what we are doing and eventually going to go all on-line for notices and applications. However, in the meantime, all members who do not have email accounts will continue to receive a printed directory and a printed newsletter. Some states charge extra for this to cover postage. Others do not. Currently, we do not.
2. Engaging Young Members. One of the more interesting conversations I had was with the California representative who described how they were engaging the younger people to join the membership. They have a group called the Young Professionals where they meet once a month on campuses to discuss anything from how to start a studio to teaching methods. It’s an open forum, and it encourages younger members to get involved.
We recognize the need in our state for an ITMF (Independent Music Teachers Forum) chairman, and would like to see a committee formed who could contact the various colleges the the state. We would like to see if we can’t get more involvement from the college professors to encourage these students to join MTNA.
3. State Conference. One of the things I would like to see in our Conference in November is a return to sessions in which the members share their expertise. I would like to have a call for proposals for sessions to be held on Saturday during the Honors competitions. I would also like to see a return of an evening concert on Friday night. Here again, perhaps one of our members could do that. If you would be interested in presenting a session and/or know of anyone who would like to perform on Friday evening, please let me know.
4. Engaging More Members. One of my aims as president is to engage more members in the administration and running of the organization. We have several positions open including the ITMF. Some of our officers are doing double duty. We need your help. A few hours a month will do it. Please let me know if you would be willing to become involved.
5. Finances. And lastly, most of you have received the letter from Jeanne Grealish, our secretary-treasurer regarding the condition of our budget last year. Please be assured that we as an organization are solvent, we’ve just gotten off track during the last few years. Our operating budget is suffering from year to year because of rising costs to put on the conferences and competitions, and we don’t have as many members paying dues. We will be having a budget meeting soon for next year, and at our spring board meeting will address this problem to avoid future mishaps. We need to increase our income and control our costs so that we come out even. In the meantime, if you can help with fund-raisers or contributions, we will appreciate your help.
We need to ask State district vice presidents to send out letters to membership to please pay dues on time. It is hard to plan a budget when renewals come in so slowly. Membership dues are due by June 30.
And as we go into our spring round of recitals and activities, happy music making. We do make a difference in our students’ lives. Please feel free to contact me with any ideas or concerns.
Sincerely, Jan King President, PMTNM