April FEMEA Newsletter

Celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month

A message from our President, Joani Slawson

Spring is in the air! It has been wonderful to see Elementary All-County Music Ensembles springing back up in our state! It is so special to see students making beautiful music together again. The joy on the students and teacher’s faces has been heart warming to me. These events would not be possible without all your hard work, teachers! I commend you on your dedication to the students of Florida.

We are excited to announce that the FEMEA Summer Conference is returning. It will be on Thursday, July 28th at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy Pineda Campus. Please mark your calendars now! It was great to meet in person in January and I hope to see you this summer.

I am pleased to announce the conductor’s for our 2023 All-State Ensembles. Karen Benson and Chris Judah-Lauder will conduct All-State Orff and Sophia Papoulis will conduct the All-State Chorus. We know All-State will be an outstanding experience with these top-notch educators.

This is an ideal time to identify some of your most talented and dedicated students and to begin talking with them (and their parents) about auditioning for All-State in the fall. We are planning to have the All-State Chorus and Orff materials released on May 1st.


I wish you well on all your upcoming spring events and as always please contact us if you have any needs we can address.

Jazz Appreciation Lesson Ideas For Lower Elementary

FEMEA Board Member Spotlight

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Our FEMEA Board Member Spotlight is our District 6 Chair, Shannon Stem! Shannon serves as the Music Specialist at University Academy in Panama City, Florida and is a graduate of Troy University. She loves spending time with her family, traveling, serving on the worship team at her church, and attending sporting events!

Below are some words from Shannon's heart about music education and our organization:

"I believe that all students have the ability to learn. It is my job, as a music educator, to create an environment in which a student can reach their full potential! This includes making sure that students feel comfortable to step outside of their "comfort zone" to express themselves. When this happens, I believe that true learning occurs. I would like for my students to, after completing my class, independently be able to make sound musical decisions.


One of the best things about our organization is that it empowers music educators to do exactly that, to make an impact in music education by reaching the students that we teach! I encourage all of you to reach out to your district chairs, get to know the FEMEA Executive Board, and get plugged in to our organization. The resources that are available to us by simply connecting with one another are incredible!"



We are so thankful to have Shannon serving our state's elementary music teachers in this position and we look forward to how she will continue to serve our organization, our teachers, and most importantly our students in the state of Florida!