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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2013 GMU NAfME Officers Elected

On behalf of the music education faculty and staff, we would like to congratulate the 2013-14 GMU NAfME officers. We are looking forward to a great year and an unprecedented turnout at VMEA in the fall. If you haven't had the chance to see updated chapter bulletin board you need to stop by the third floor in deLaski hall. Great job Sara!

President: Kyle Harrington
Vice President: Sara Martin
Secretary: Hannah Tucker
Treasurer: Nick Kraemer

Friday, February 22, 2013

Practice Time!

A constant dilemma for parents is how to get their kids to practice. As a society we tend to focus on the fun factor of idle-time activities such as sports and music. However, we still want our  children to be able to demonstrate a skill in return for their time spent on these activities. A recent story was aired on NPR by Anastasia Tsioulcas describing her own experience as a parent trying to tackle this common problem.

Getting Kids To Practice Music — Without Tears Or Tantrums


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Alumni Spotlight

Name: Vincent Prinzivalli, Class of 2012
Endorsement Area: Instrumental Music: Band
School: Stonewall Middle School, Manassas, Virginia
School Population: 1100
Number of Students in Band: 300 (170 students in beginning band)

Biggest challenge so far: Administrative tasks that involve turning in reports by posted deadlines all due at various times. For example, there are reports to the administration, to VBODA, and to the school district arts office to name a few. In addition, letters have to go home to parents regarding field trips to our music assessment. We are also taking a trip to Kings Dominion where we will perform for contest. We also hosted all-county band and that required a lot of organization and paperwork as well. Finally, it was tough trying to get to know all the students and figuring out who they were. I had to rent out about 100 school instruments at the beginning of the school year. Fortunately I will know about 70% of the students next year because they all pretty much plan on staying in band.

Best thing to happen so far this year: Kids are staying after school to practice and often stay until 5:00 pm for what have come to be known as Practice Parties. This is definitely new and was not a part of the culture prior to this year. The administration and other teachers in the department are real happy to see this and support this 100%. More importantly the students are excited. I remember at the beginning of the year the eighth graders struggled to play a Bb concert scale together. There was no formal system in place for teaching rhythm. I have been using an amplified metronome and the rhythm cards that we learned about in the Instrumental Methods class on a regular basis. Now the students can perform their music with much better precision.

Advice for undergraduates pursuing a career in music teaching: Don’t complain, show up to class, and pay attention. Don’t take the education classes for granted. Even though there are times some of that information seems dry or boring, it really is important to know about teaching diverse populations of students. My principal was really impressed when he discovered that I knew about IEP, AYP, NCLB, and other trends in education practice. In addition, don’t lock into any one idea of what it is you think you will be teaching. For example, don’t just think you will only teach high school band or elementary school band because you never know what skills you will need to fall back on. I think another important bit of advice is for music education majors to start networking with each other as well as teachers in the area as soon as possible. It’s really important to be personable and get out there and shake hands. It’s not enough to think that you can just sit in a classroom and figure out how to teach. You have to learn by doing, that’s definitely a big part of it, applying what you learn in class to real world teaching situations.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Job Opportunity

The Bach to Rock School in McLean is hiring teachers. For more information contact Jennifer Gregor at or visit their website at


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Time to Vote!

In order to be procedurally correct when electing our NAfME officers there has been a change in part of the voting method. To be eligible to vote for our 2013 officers, you must be a paid/active member of NAfME (you will be asked to provide the last 3 digits of your NAfME id # along with exp. date to verify membership). If you have already taken the survey, you must retake the survey and provide the additional information for your vote to count!!

Our nominees have provided their bios and now it is up to you!  Please go to the following link in order to vote:

You have until Tuesday, February 19th at 9pm to vote, after that time the survey will close.  Results will be posted before lab ensemble on Friday, Feb. 22nd.   Good luck to all our nominees.

Lab Ensembles Underway

It's that time of year when the sounds of music education majors preparing their lab ensemble music fill the hallways of the Performing Arts Building. Each semester, students enrolled in woodwind, brass, string, percussion, and voice technique classes join together on Fridays to participate in band, chorus, or string orchestra. Each lab ensemble is led by student conductors enrolled in Instrumental and Choral Methods classes.

Lab ensembles provide an important link between theory and practice where the student conductors gain valuable podium time prior to their student teaching experience. The Lab Ensemble concert will be held this semester on Friday, April 26th at 12:30 pm in deLaski Hall.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Student Teaching Application Deadline 2/15

Students who plan to student teach in the Fall 2013 semester must submit three copies of the Music Education Application for Internship to Lauren Clark in the Field Placement Office located in 1708 Thompson Hall on or before 2/15/2013. For more information refer to the following:


Applications must be previewed and signed by your endorsement area instructor BEFORE submitting to the Field Placement Office.

Vocal General and Choral Music Education majors see Dr. Billingham for authorization.

Instrumental Music Education (Band and Strings) majors see Dr. Wuttke for authorization.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Welcome to Music Ed @ Mason

If you are currently in the music education program at George Mason University, are thinking about pursuing a degree with us, or are simply interested in finding out more about our program you have come to the right place! Please take a moment and subscribe to this site so that you can receive all the latest updates. If you have a smart phone you will be able to access this site 24/7 in a convenient mobile format. In addition to posting important information about our degree program, we will also feature topical current events and news stories pertaining to education. We welcome your feedback and comments.