Tom Benoit Claire Boughton
Arts and Entertainment Editor Sports Editor
NAfME, or National Association for Music Educators, is a club within the music department that engages students in the field of music education.
“It’s currently probably the largest arts education organization, one of the largest arts education organizations. And it’s the only one that addresses all of the aspects of the music education profession. They advocate at the local level, the state level, national level,” said John Hart, the faculty advisor for NAfME.
“They provide resources for teachers, parents, administrators, they one of the big things is they host professional development events. So all of the state music education associations, they go through nationally as well,” said Hart.
Junior Madison Gubata, the president of NAfME, talked about the club and its activities.
“The main focus of NAfME is to basically prepare future music educators about advocacy for music education [and] prepare everybody for working in the actual field… it’s basically the how-to’s of how to be a music teacher” said Gubata.
Sophomore vice president Andrew Cropper also touched on the educational aspects of the club.
“We strive for music education, we want it to be at its best and we also have opportunities where we provide that towards others and around the state as well, especially when we go to our fall and spring conferences with all the music educators in New Hampshire,” said Cropper.
“There’s a class called Intro to Music Education, which is in the spring, and if you’re part of the music education degree you’re required to be in the NAfME program. I know some people who have come into NAfME just because it’s a requirement,” said Cropper, regarding how people get into the club.
Cropper went into his own experiences when first joining the club, “ I just joined because I wanted to be more social in my life and join more clubs and organizations. NAfME was perfect for me considering that I’m part of the music ed degree…I walked in and I was very nervous at first. But, seeing the people around me, the upperclassmen and lowerclassmen, who share the music ed degree as well, it made it such a bright group and a bright atmosphere because of… the similarities that we all had towards music education,” said Cropper.
NAfME, like most clubs on campus, does outreach to the greater community. Hart explained, “they have brought in, for example recently experts in the field.
Brent Talbot, from Gettysburg College is a expert on buddy is an expert on marginalized voices in music education, and promoting marginalized voices. So, they supported his guest lecture series as well.”
With the month of March being Music in Our Schools month, Hart explained, “There’s always a number of ways that we try to get our pre-service music teachers out into the field in some way, shape or form for a collaboration with local schools. Obviously, that’s problematic this year, and anything that we end up doing is going to be virtual.”
“Most of the conferences are on Zoom [now]. A lot of what we used to do in the past would be going to schools or hospitals and playing for [aspiring] students. A lot of people with NAfME will go to hospitals and play for special needs children, so unfortunately we can’t do any of that, so a lot has been affected [by COVID-19]. Plus music itself within schools and at Keene State is quite different from what it used to be,” Gubata further explained.
Aside from the outreach and education, NAfME also does social activities. “Personally, my favorite part [of being in NAfME] has been the activities that we do both on and off campus. I think my favorite has been our NAfME bowling nights that we do. Every year, we take our whole chapter and just bowl and have fun and talk with each other,” said Cropper.
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