Organization Spotlight – NAfME

AMY STEL | FEATURES EDITOR

There are over 80 student organizations on St. Norbert College’s campus. In this issue, we’ll highlight the National Association for Music Educators, also known as NAfME.

This organization strives to support music and believes that all individuals should be given an equal opportunity to learn music and share in musical experiences. Being one of the smaller organizations on campus, with only 25 members, it is often not known by students who do not belong to it.

The current president, Megan Schirger ’18, and treasurer, Elizabeth Dannecker ’19, are calling on any student on campus who is interested in the greater good of learners to not shy away from joining NAfME. The primary activity of this organization each year is to raise money for a different school’s music program.

This year, the members of NAfME are raising money for Syble Hopp School in De Pere. Members of NAfME can be found at every one of Saint Norbert’s band or choir concerts, where they have bake sales to raise money. Members of NAfME also usher at all band or choir concerts, as well as student and facultyrecitals.

The group organizes a silent auction and 50/50 raffle after the Festival of Christmas Concert every fall semester.  After the concert, people are invited to Michels Ballroom to listen to the campus jazz band and to bid on baskets made by every member of the organization, with each basket usually sponsored by a different community member.

So far this semester, NAfME members have raised about $750 and have accumulated auction prizes including a football donated by the Green Bay Packers, a gift box from Luna and a ukelele. The event this year will be held Friday, Dec. 1.

A major aspect of NAfME is raising awareness not only for music education but also for equality for all in the classroom. They believe that all students should be given an equal opportunity  to learn. The group brings in speakers from the local community come to their meetings to talk about different topics in music in relation to education.

According to the organization’s treasurer, Elizabeth Dannecker, “NAfME believes in the future of music education, not just the future of music educators.”

That is why this year students in NAfME are raising money for a wheelchair ramp for the stage in Syble Hopp School. With the ramp installed, all of the children who attend the school can have the same opportunity to perform on stage.

Each fall semester at St. Norbert College, the members of NAfME attend the organization’s annual state conference in Madison.

At these conferences, various music education majors and other music enthusiasts congregate to network and bond over shared experiences. The conference also features workshops in which students work with people in the music education field in both Wisconsin and the United States.

According to Schirger, the sessions are mostly geared toward music advocacy and how musicians can grow individually, not just as educators.

The St. Norbert College NAfME chapter helps education majors receive observation hours by inviting speakers to their meetings and also helps students who are music education majors on campus tp build relationships.

The National Association for Music Educators would love to see more non-music education majors join their organization in order to help spread music advocacy.

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