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2001-2003 biennium agenda completed. (In Unison).

As we approach the end of the biennium, in this, the final column from this MTNA president, it seems appropriate to assess MTNA's accomplishments with regard to the agenda the Board of Directors adopted at the very beginning of this biennium.

In July 2001, the Board approved a seven-item biennium agenda, and I would like to report briefly on each of the seven points. Item 1: Assess and adjust services to the membership as indicated.

With the assistance of Vice President Kathryn Hull, NCTM, and her task force, comprised of Louise Beckstrand, NCTM, Philelle McBrayer, NCTM, and Virginia Koun, NCTM, the Board evaluated the current services and suggested services to the Board. Notable among the new services to members MTNA has established during the biennium is the insurance and financial planning program offered to the membership through The Robert H. Clarkson Insurance Company. Insurance programs include professional liability, secondary medical and prescription drug discount options. Many have said that the services offered through Clarkson alone are worth the price of MTNA membership.

Item 2: Establish the "practical" music teacher's library.

Again, Kathryn Hull is the leader who has brought this to fruition. In this effort, Kathy was assisted by MTNA members Jerry Davidson, NCTM, Peggy Lewis, NCTM, and Ellen Shapiro. The thoughtful results of their work may be found on pages 46-49 of the December/January 2002/2003 AMT.

Item 3: Continue to improve MTNA programs that recognize and reward excellence in the music profession.

Perhaps the largest initiative undertaken in this area was the task force chaired by MTNA Treasurer Paul Stewart, NCTM, and comprised of Board members Ann Fernandez, NCTM, and Scott McBride Smith, NCTM. This task force was charged with bringing to the Board suggestions for simplifying the MTNA Student Competitions Program. Their work was thorough and comprehensive. The Board at its December 2002 meeting, assisted by MTNA Director of Competitions Linda Stump, addressed the suggestions and approved a considerably simplified and improved document concerning the competition repertoire, as well as the rules and procedures. The results of this momentous effort will appear in the April/May 2003 issue of AMT.

Item 4: Complete the organizational structure and the procedures documents for the new Certification Plan.

At this writing the certification initiative is nearing completion thanks to the thoughtful work of the Certification Commission chaired by Pat Tuley, NCTM.

Item 5: Increase minority membership.

Under the leadership of internationally renowned pianist Leon Bates, a diversity task force met in Philadelphia last October and drafted suggestions to the Board of Directors for increasing the African-American membership in MTNA. Present were Myrtle David, Jacqueline Faulcon, MTNA President R. Wayne Gibson, MTNA Executive Director Gary L. Ingle, MTNA Director of Meetings and Special Projects Jennifer Martin and, of course, Chairman Bates. Tobizena Williams, also a member of the task force, was unable to attend. The Board of Directors received the report at its December meeting, and appropriate action will be taken.

Item 6: Prepare a national leadership-restructuring proposal for Board consideration.

This item has been accomplished and the restructured plan will go into effect at the beginning of the new biennium in March. Updated job descriptions for all officers and directors have been drafted and approved, and many of the committees that serve segments of the membership (Independent Music Teachers, College Faculty, Collegiate Chapters and so forth) have been converted into forums that will be chaired by Board of Directors members, giving those constituencies direct representation on the Board.

Item 7: Find more and better ways to serve that large segment of our membership teaching mainstream students not bound for the music profession.

This is the item that has been most central to this Board, and with the assistance of task force leaders Ruth Edwards, NCTM, and Joan M. Riest, NCTM, as well as IMT Aurelia Campbell, NCTM, the Board has established several new programs for the "Everyday Student" and his or her teacher. The Music Study Award, the Studio Festival Program and the Music Achievement Award are detailed on page 93 in this issue. Also, on page 69 of this issue you will find "Polyphony," the column by Jane Magrath devoted to teaching questions and concerns of the membership. Finally, on the MTNA website are the "Tip of the Week," by and for the membership, as well as "Websites for Kids," contributed by IMT Rachel Kramer. The Board and I urge you to help publicize these new programs so they may be fully utilized by our members.

In closing, I wish to thank the membership, the Board and the staff for the support I have experienced during this biennium and to wish our new president, Phyllis Pieffer, NCTM, the very best as she begins her term of office in March.

--R. Wayne Gibson President
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Author:Gibson, R. Wayne
Publication:American Music Teacher
Date:Feb 1, 2003
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