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Celebrating certification: why should a music teacher become a nationally certified teacher of music?

"MTNA's Professional Certification Program provides a visible recognition of achievement that unites us in our ultimate task of music education, whether we perform and teach in collegiate settings or in the' extremely important field of pre-college experience."

--Cheryl Coker, voice

Cheryl Coker is an assistant professor of music and voice at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. She completed a D.M.A. in vocal performance at the University of Minnesota in 2001, studying with Clifton Ware, and maintains an active performing and teaching schedule.

"The MTNA Certification Program provides national recognition for promoting professional competence in the music teaching profession. Certification enhances public identification, prestige and opportunities for professional growth. A Certified Music Teacher Certificate is an endorsement that would benefit independent teachers, as well as teachers employed by institutions."

--Jane Dillard, voice

Jane Dillard received B.S. and M.A. degrees from East Carolina University, with postgraduate study at the Music Hochschule in Munich, Germany and New York University. While assistant professor at the University of South Florida, she also coached with Thanos Mellos and the famous Greek mezzo soprano, Elena Nickolaidi. President-elect of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Jane has concertized and sang with orchestras in Europe and in the United States.

"The uniform standard of National Certification is particularly important today, when many of our students are part of a mobile society. Knowing what to expect in a new city gives our students a unequalled level of confidence in us"

--Jim Cook, organ

Since joining the Birmingham-Southern College faculty in 1977, Jim Cook has taught organ performance and music history classes. He has played recitals throughout the Southeast and has been organ consultant to many churches in the state. Cook also is director of music at Birmingham's First United Methodist Church, where he has served on the music staff since 1974.

"A strong certification program should unify music teachers in such a way that the public will view our profession in a similar manner to other highly regarded fields such as medicine and law. For this to happen, all music teachers must support certification and a large public relations campaign will be required."

--E. L. Lancaster, piano

E. L. Lancaster is vice president and keyboard editor-in-chief of Alfred Publishing Company. He formerly was on the faculty of the University of Oklahoma, where he founded the graduate program in piano pedagogy. Prior to joining Alfred, he and his wife, Gayle Kowalchyk, operated a large independent piano studio in Norman, Oklahoma.

"Music teacher certification through MTNA strengthens the music teaching profession by asserting the validity of teaching credentials in the public eye. What could be more important to preserve and announce than our credentials as music teachers of excellence?"

--Jane Magrath, piano

Jane Magrath is internationally known as a pianist, author, clinician and teacher, and serves as professor and director of piano pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma. Magrath's work in the area of the standard classical teaching literature has been central to the current revival of interest in this music throughout the United States. Her music editions are used worldwide.

"Doctors and dentists have medical board exams and licenses; lawyers have bar exams and licenses; plumbers and electricians have exams and licenses; pharmacists and veterinarians have exams and licenses. Music teachers have certification exams and certification certificates."

--Carol J. Nelson, voice

Carol Nelson is a retired voice teacher who resides in Oak Brook, Illinois. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in music from Northwestern University in addition to participating in post-graduate studies in piano and voice at the American School of Fine Arts in Fountainebleau, France. Nelson taught voice for many years at the Conservatory of Music at Christ Church of Oak Brook. Former chair of the MTNA FOUNDATION Board of Trustees, Nelson has been active in MTNA for more than thirty years.

"The MTNA Certification program results in students and parents expecting that music teachers will approach their work with a high level of professional commitment. Music teachers can demonstrate and certify that they are highly qualified professionals whether they are now teaching five students or fifty students each week!"

--Barbara English Maris, piano

Barbara English Marls is professor emerita of The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., where she coordinated CUA's graduate degree program in piano pedagogy. She served as AMT's editor of articles and reviews for six years.

"One of the privileges of being a member of MTNA is the assurance that the organization is dedicated to encouraging excellence in the teaching of music. Nothing speaks to this more eloquently than the National Certification Commission. I know of no other program that offers this degree of professionalism to prospective students"

---Nelita True, piano

Nelita True, professor of piano at the Eastman School of Music, has performed extensively worldwide. Appointed in 1989 as a visiting professor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, she also has been invited eight times to the People's Republic of China. She has served on many international piano competition juries and has recorded more than 100 works. She received the 2002 MTNA Achievement Award.
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Publication:American Music Teacher
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2002
Words:847
Previous Article:2003 grant guidelines and forms now available. (Foundation News).
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