NAfME Releases New Strategic Plan Moving the Music Education Profession Progressively Forward

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The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is proud to introduce to the association’s members and the wider music education community a new Strategic Plan that will move the association and the music education profession forward in an intentionally progressive direction to ensure students from all walks of life, identities, backgrounds, and needs receive equitable access to music education.

Strategic Plan

NAfME Strategic Plan with Cornerstones and Keystone

NAfME has a new Strategic Plan that is unlike anything our association has created in its 115-year history. This new plan not only sets our direction for the future, but it also serves as a conceptual framework that outlines who we (NAfME members) are and why NAfME exists.

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is proud to introduce to the association’s members and the wider music education community a new Strategic Plan that will move the association and the music education profession forward in an intentionally progressive direction to ensure students from all walks of life, identities, backgrounds, and needs receive equitable access to music education.

On November 5, 2022, NAfME President Scott R. Sheehan introduced members to the new Strategic Plan at the NAfME National Conference which took place in National Harbor, Maryland, where it was well received. “After two years of conversation, soul-searching, and deep introspection,” explained Sheehan, “NAfME has a new Strategic Plan that is unlike anything our association has created in its 115-year history. This new plan not only sets our direction for the future, but it also serves as a conceptual framework that outlines who we (NAfME members) are and why NAfME exists. What excites me the most about this plan is that it amplifies the advocacy work we’re known for while also lifting up the voices of music educators, collegiates, and our higher education communities. Although our efforts will never be finished, our new plan sets a course for real progress.”

The Mission and Vision Statements bear this out. The Mission Statement indicates: NAfME is a collaborative community that supports music educators and advocates for equitable access to music education. And the Vision Statement describes an intentional ideal: NAfME is an association where all people are heard, seen, and feel they belong throughout their lifelong experiences in music.

The Belief Statement describes the association’s approach to music education:

Music is unique to the human experience and is essential to our humanity.

  • Music communicates and connects people across all time and cultures.
  • Music unlocks human creative expression and is a lens to the experiences and interpretations of the world.
  • Music is basic to human wholeness through our emotions, intellect, and physical and spiritual well-being.

In a ten-page document, the Strategic Plan expounds on these statements with three Cornerstones: Advocacy and Public Policy; Professional Learning and Growth; and Music Research and Music Teacher Education. Each Cornerstone has three to four related explicit goals and related action plans.

And the Keystone of Equity in Music Education is the lens through which the NAfME Strategic Plan operates:

Equity must remain a cornerstone from which decisions are made, plans are developed, and programs are designed to ensure accessibility to all students at the local, state, and national levels.

NAfME is committed to defining, developing, and promoting resources and frameworks that expand equitable access to music education. This equity work will not only support diverse curricula, repertoire, and musical opportunities, but will also provide a lens through which to examine policies, procedures, and practices. The creation of a NAfME Equity Resource Center will be an invaluable resource towards achieving these goals.

NAfME invites all music educators, supporters, and advocates to familiarize themselves with the new Strategic Plan and join us in moving the music education profession forward in this exciting and crucial direction.

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National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century. With more than 50,000 members teaching millions of students nationwide, the organization is the national voice of music education in the United States.

Follow NAfME on Twitter and on Facebook @NAfME. For additional information, contact Catherina Hurlburt at catherinah@nafme.org or 571-323-3395.

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