Shenandoah Conservatory: National Association for Music Education (SC:NAfME) hosts a mini conference every semester, where Shenandoah’s music education students spend a Saturday learning from professors and educators about topics that might not be covered in the music education curriculum. This semester, it was the goal of the organization as an executive board to collaborate with another institution.
“We were grateful that James Madison University’s (JMU) collegiate Virginia Music Educators Association (CoVMEA) chapter agreed to come to Shenandoah to learn with us that day,” said Violet Neikirk ’24 (Bachelor of Music in Music Education). “Collaboration and making connections are essential in our field of work, and it’s important to build the groundwork of a positive relationship with experts in our field and other collegiate students who we might work with one day.”
The conference consisted of a session from Alison Kipp (Pearson) ’07, ’13 (Bachelor of Music in Music Education, Master of Music Education) titled “Jazz is Elementary”; a marching band session led by Director of Athletic Bands, Senior Coordinator of Conservatory Recruitment and Adjunct Instructor of Conducting Shaun Evans, D.M.A.; a vocal health session led by Adjunct Instructor of Voice-Contemporary Voice Marita Stryker ’23 (Doctor of Musical Arts in Pedagogy – Voice); and a panel discussing recruitment techniques with Loudoun County educators Erik Jacobs, Damaris-Lydia Odebode ’21 (Bachelor of Music in Music Education), Jared Eastridge, Kerry Mandley ’09 (Bachelor of Music in Music Education) and Andrew Manning ’12, ’20 (Bachelor of Music in Music Education, Master of Music Education).
“Organizing this mini conference taught our SC:NAfME executive board important collaborative, team working and networking skills that will be beneficial in our future careers,” continued Neikirk. “We would also like to extend our gratitude to the Winchester community, JMU’s CoVMEA chapter, Shenandoah’s faculty and staff, and our talented alumni. This would not have been possible without them!”