Arizona Music Educators Association

September Newsletter

President's Message from Jennifer Hamilton

Our FIRST ARIZONA ASSEMBLY was held on Saturday, August 15 and was a great success! Attendees included the AMEA, ABODA, ACE, and AzSGM boards as well as all high school and elementary / junior high leadership. Modeled after the NAfME National Assembly (see your October AMN for more details), the goal of the Arizona Assembly is to work together to understand leadership responsibilities as well as the mission and vision of AMEA for the next two years. It included a powerpoint presentation that outlined our state and national structure, mission statement and strategic plan and fiduciary roles. The morning concluded with breakout sessions in which we gained valuable information and ideas from our constituents in the areas of communication, membership and professional development. The input and ideas gained from these sessions will help us move forward in some new and innovative ways as Arizona's thriving musical community!
Watch this video to find out ways that NAfME is working with AMEA to serve its members

More AZ Assembly Highlights


Our AMEA board has been working hard for you! After gaining your ideas during the AZ Assembly, we have been working to improve our communication, membership outreach, and pursue potential new professional development opportunities. This newsletter is one way of moving forward!

Other news related to these initiatives include:

  • we are proud to announce the appointment of our new Social Media Ex-Officio Jenny Nichols
  • AMEA Past-President Renee Shane-Boyd is working to pair new teachers in Arizona with experienced AMEA members that can speak about the benefits of membership.
  • VP of Collegiate Activities Mark Nelson has been busy planning for our Collegiate Kick-Off on November 7, involving NAfME collegiate members from across the state.
  • VP of Professional Development Amanda Mitchell is pursuing new professional development opportunities for our members including organizing local coffee-house style meetings for directors to share best practices, generate ideas and to find and offer solutions. In addition she is planning to organize workshops for teachers in the late Spring / Summer. Please continue to share your needs with us so that we can include them.


The AMEA annual in-service conference will be held January 29 - 30 at the Mesa Marriott Convention Center. We hope that you will join us for this year's exciting and innovative conference.

Did you know that there is a new LETTER FOR YOUR ADMINISTRATION available on the AMEA website concerning the educational value of conference

We have another exciting feature at this year's conference: OPEN FORUM CLINICS. These are clinics led by a panel of our own Arizona experts (based on your most requested topics from last year's conference surveys) that encourage group dialogue and questions. We look forward to seeing you at this year's conference. For details, click the link


  • NAfME President Glenn Neirman will be our keynote speaker for the conference and will also be involved with some of our open forum clinics
  • Lynn Tuttle will catch us up on the newly adopted standards and ideas for implementation
  • Our colleagues teaching orchestra should be very excited about one of our featured clinicians at conference, musician and composer Soon Hee Newbold.


Special thanks to Rebecca Cauthen (Pre K - 8th grade Music teacher at Maine Consolidated School, Parks AZ) for sharing how she is utilizing the new AZ standards in her classroom:

After offering to be on the team that went through the process of standards creation, I felt a bit overwhelmed when it came time to take them to my classroom. However, as we are ending our first quarter, I feel settled and happy with what's happening with my students. I embraced the opportunity to look at what I was already doing with fresh eyes and introduce new, different elements to my classroom. Most successful was a unit on Holst's “The Planets.” The project spanned grades 4-8 and covered many different standards and anchors, including:

1. Listen to “Mars” and discuss the composer’s intent and musical elements. ( Anchor #8 - Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.)

2. Create a fictional planet and a piece based on that planet. (Anchor #1, 2, and 3 - Generate, Organize, and Refine artistic work.)

3. Perform the creation. (Anchor #5 and 6 - Develop meaning and convey through the presentation of an artistic work.)

4. Further discussion of the planets and their elements lead us to science and students’ prior knowledge of planetary environments. (Anchor #11 - Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.)

While I am excited about implementing the new standards, I am also relieved to know that I am not recreating the wheel. I am looking forward to more lesson developments as we transition and continue to provide excellent music education to our students.

Please share your ideas for implementing the standards by emailing


Diamondbacks Band Night, featuring over 250 Arizona high school band students, under the direction of Nathan Johnston


325 Phoenix Children's Choir members sing at the Diamondbacks game under the direction of Troy Meeker


In May AzSGM conducted a make and take workshop presented by Joshua Block. Participants were able to get their hands dirty by making rain boards, homemade drums, and shakers. A good time was had by all!


Did you know that the NAfME national office (located in Reston, Virginia) has 36 full time staff members, including one full time advocacy expert, whose main responsibility is keeping NAfME members informed of any new or upcoming legislation related to music education??


ABODA Deadlines

  • State Marching Festival Registration 10/9
  • Fall Concert Band Festival Registration10/30
  • ABODA State Marching Championships Registration 11/2

ACE Deadlines

  • Fall Choral Festival Registration 9/25
  • All-State Jazz/ Show Part Registration 10/2


  • Southern AZ Honor Band Nomination Registration 10/7
  • Southern AZ Honor Orchestra Nomination Registration 10/7
  • 8th grade All-State Band Audition Registration 10/30
  • 6th/7th grade All-State Band Nomination Registration 10/30
  • All-State Choir / Orchestra Nomination Registration 10/30


  • High School Solo & Ensemble Festival Registration 11/1
Do you have NEWS OR IDEAS FOR THE AMEA NEWSLETTER? Please email Jennifer Hamilton at