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Greetings! I am excited and honored to serve as editor for the Michigan Music Educator (MME), and I look forward to working with the Michigan Music Educa- tors Association (MMEA) to provide our readers with a quality state journal. My thanks to colleagues Col- leen Conway, Lisa Furman, and Marie McCarthy for serving as guest editors during the past year allowing me to clear my plate in preparation for taking on the new responsibilities as journal editor. Thanks also to previous editors for setting the bar high – the MME is a publication to be proud of! Finally, thanks to Cory Michael-Mays, executive director for MMEA, for his patience and assistance guiding me through this first issue.

The MME, the official publication of the Michigan Music Educators Association, serves music educators throughout the state. The purpose of the journal, of course, is to offer articles that inform, communicate, provoke, challenge, inspire and uplift. The journal in- cludes regular columns for general music, instrumen- tal, and vocal/choral teachers in addition to publishing featured articles intended to stimulate thinking, share knowledge, and raise awareness of critical and timely issues. The journal also publishes rotating columns focusing on a wide array of topics: technology, spe- cial learners, higher education (SMTE), early child- hood, adult learners, policy and advocacy, cultural diversity/urban issues, world/ethnic music, composi- tion, and jazz.

The journal is published thrice yearly – in the fall, winter, and spring/summer, both online and in print. It is my hope that you, our readers, will find nourish- ment or “food for thought” in each issue of the MME.

In this issue you will find a variety of articles. While there was no attempt to provide a unifying theme or “special focus” issue, the need to consider our respon- sibilities as educators, and to take action for the bet- terment of our profession and ultimately the students we teach, appears as a recurring theme. I am remind- ed of the discussion held last week in my Introduction to Music Education class where we explored what it means to be a member of a profession. The dialogue focused on responsibility, acting with integrity, ethical behavior, and working together for the greater good. These characteristics make us strong and give mean- ing to what we do. They are one of many reasons I am proud to be a music educator.

This past June marked an important “first” for music education in Michigan. The Michigan Partnership for Music Education Policy Development (PMEPD) hosted a summit meeting for educators and policy makers to initiate dialogue amongst all stakeholders regarding educational policy and its effect on music education. Ryan Shaw, editor for the policy and advo- cacy column, reports on this seminal event. Two top-

ics, teacher evaluation and the need for a state policy mandating elementary general music, were the focus of conversation. Senator Rebekah Warren, one of the invited speakers, reminded us of our responsibility for bringing our concerns to lawmakers. Our voices must be heard before we can hope for change. In a related article, Andrea VanDeusen shares PMEPD founding member Colleen Conway’s perspectives on policies and strategies for promoting the needs of music education. Conway emphasizes the importance of continued advocacy for music education. While organizations such as PMEPD serve as advocates for music education at the state level, Conway points out that efforts at the grass roots level are equally as im- portant, a call to action echoed by MMEA President, Kelli Graham. (See the President’s Message in this issue). These articles highlight the need for action, both individually and collectively, in order to effect positive change.

Cynthia Taggart’s article, Room at the Table, a reprint of her keynote address for the Research Symposium hosted by the Michigan Music Conference in Janu- ary, speaks about the value of using multiple research paradigms to investigate pressing issues. Taggart’s emphasis on the need for all music educators to ask and answer questions resonates with Senator Warren’s reminder that as music educators, our responsibilities extend beyond our classroom. As professionals, we strive to improve, to learn, and to stretch ourselves, and our students.

As the academic year kicks in, those of you seek- ing inspiration, words of wisdom, or just some fresh ideas will want to check out the journal’s regular columns. Looking for something new to use in your general music classes? Veteran teacher, Kathy Fox, shares her experiences teaching ukulele in the general music class. In promoting the ukulele as a classroom instrument Fox discusses benefits and challenges while offering suggestions for getting started. In the Choral Musings column, Chuck Norris reminds us of the importance of selecting repertoire that stimulates musical growth for singers and conductor. To illus- trate his ideas, Norris takes us straight to the music, using exemplars from choral standards. Adam Kruse, editor for the instrumental column, shares with us a reprint from Robert Woody’s Blog. Woody challenges us to pay attention to the value of using accurate and specific feedback to promote learning in our classes and rehearsals.

In closing, I want to wish you all a successful and productive year. If you have suggestions for topics, content or the structure of the MME, I would appreci- ate hearing from you. Your feedback matters!

Abby Butler, Editor 2

From the Editor

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