Conference for music educators to last until Saturday afternoon
MSU College of Music is hosting a national music educators’ conference to explore current trends and ideas within the music industry. The conference began on Thursday and will run until Saturday at noon.
The conference has drawn music educators from 21 states and different countries such as Finland and Brazil.
The goal is for them to come together to find better ways to musically connect with kids of this generation.
The conference will feature 55 presentations and 90 presenters over the course of the weekend.
MSU music professor John Kratus started the conference 17 years ago because no forum for music educators existed before.
The conference takes place every two to three years. This year, Kratus chose to focus on the concept of “new musicianship.”
The theme is meant to create a discussion on ways to integrate new technology into music education.
“We’re in a world in which technology and social media and popular music has changed so radically but music education has just not kept up pretty well,” Kratus said. “It’s nice when we can share a little piece of the puzzle with each other.”
Attendees range from college professors, students, K–12 teachers, composers, disc jockeys and others.
With three presentations going on simultaneously in different rooms, attendees have the opportunity to learn a wide range of new ways to stay hip in music education.
The topics on Thursday included ways to improve music in school bands and music production on iPads among many other discussions.
MSU alumnus Rodney Page said it is important for music teachers to be on top of new cultures to appeal to their students.
During one of the sessions on Thursday, Page, who attended the Juilliard School for conducting, was a part of a question and answer discussion panel on how to integrate hip-hop into schools and band rooms.
“For many students, it’s a part of their life—it’s a part of pop culture,” Page said. “(Hip-Hop) doesn’t have to be used to play clarinet but it can be used to teach multiplication.”
MSU alumnus Parks Peyton attended the sessions as a spectator on Thursday. Peyton, who graduated from MSU in December, is still on the hunt for a job as a music teacher.
He said the conference has taught him new ways to approach music while providing a networking opportunity.
“It’s nice to hear the new ideas of music education and meet the people who have the ideas,” Peyton said.
The conference will run from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday. It is free to the public.
“The conference helps to spread ideas among a very diverse group of people—you never know what flowers those ideas are going to grow,” Kratus said.