Promoting General Music in Elementary Schools
NOTES DA CAPO – By John L. Puffenbarger
In October 1958, members of the WVMEA Executive Board expressed the opinion that programs at WVMEA meetings should include help and suggestions for elementary music teachers. The board passed a motion to organize an elementary music division during the WVMEA convention to be held later that month.
During the WVMEA convention, held on October 30, 1958, elementary music teachers were invited to meet at
September 1963, the WVMEA
Executive Board passed a motion to organize general music
teachers from Kindergarten through 12th grade in conjunction with the
purpose of the Elementary Division was to try to reach classroom teachers through WVMEA by increasing emphasis
on workshops and clinics to be held at regional and state conferences.
WVMEA members who were classroom teachers could attend the WVMEA conference each
spring as guests or upon payment of the conference registration
fee only. It was suggested that pertinent Notes A
Tempo articles could be reprinted in the
The Elementary-General Division (E/G) ofWVMEA in the 1960s and 1970s was active in the classroom and sponsored clinics at WVMEA conferences. At the 1978 conference, the WVMEA Executive Board designated Saturday as Elementary-General Day and held workshops on that day for the Division. The additional emphasis was a success, and plans were made to continue the workshops. Gail E. Looney, E/G president, recommended expanding the program for the next conference.
April 1986, E/G president Priscilla Wonkka attended the national conference at
For several years, general music teachers had discussed the possibility of organizing a General Music All-State Chorus. In 1986, a resolution was written to be presented at a future WVMEA Executive Board meeting. The proposal was adopted at the June 4, 1988 Board meeting. (See the Winter 2004 "Notes da Capo" article titled "WVMEA Fortunate to Hear Children's Voices" on the WVMEA Web site for more information.)
In 1990, SGM began building a video library for use by music teachers throughout the state. The first installments were Helen Kemp's Guiding Young Singers and Developing the Young Singer. (Kemp was the director of the 1990 All-State Children's Chorus.) Additional videos have been added over the years and are widely used. A current list of videos is available from Patty Moffett Austin.
held a mini-conference at
The first SGM
Teacher of the Year award was presented to
Felicia Berger-Westfall at the 2003 WVMEA conference in
Officers for 2007-09 are: Martina Norman, president; Lisa Reese, vice president; and Cathy Walker, secretary/treasurer. The Society for General Music continues to encourage the improvement of the quality of teaching in general music at all levels. SGM promotes active participation by general music teachers and students in activities and workshops that improve the teaching and learning of music.