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MTNA as a public trust.

One of my morning rituals is to read the New York Times from cover to cover. Like you, the demands for my time usually exceed the availability. A publication like the Times provides enough breadth and depth of current events to keep me a relatively informed citizen without the necessity to read or watch multiple news sources.

Recently, the headlines have been dominated by the news of NBC's anchor Brian Williams and his "conflation" of the account of an incident he experienced (or, truth be told, he didn't experience) aboard a military helicopter in Iraq.

By now, you must be wondering what possible connection any of this has to music teaching. Well, the link came in a subsequent "Letter to the Editor" (yes, I read those too) regarding the Williams situation. The writer opined: "There are lots of places to go for information today. But finding trustworthy information is another matter." The writer's ultimate point was the news media is a public trust.

Ironically, the previous day, I was discussing with some of my staff an important responsibility of MTNA, which is to provide concrete, reliable information our members can use to improve their teaching. I remarked that the Internet and social media provide an unimaginable volume of information. MTNA's role is to be a "consolidator" of this information for our members--to winnow the overwhelming amount of information, some reliable--most unreliable, down to a manageable number of the very best of the best.

Like the news media, MTNA is also a public trust for our large and diverse membership. There are lots of places to go today for information on every aspect of music teaching. But finding trustworthy information is another matter. That's where MTNA as a public trust comes in.

As an MTNA member, you have direct and daily access to trustworthy information through the multiple services and programs provided by MTNA. For those of you who prefer traditional opportunities, there are the American Music Teacher magazine and the annual conference. For the more digital-minded, there is the MTNA website (, featuring the MTNA e-Journal and numerous resources you can peruse or download, as well as e-mail and phone support for any and all of your questions, answered by qualified music teachers and the MTNA staff.

MTNA will always strive to earn your trust. As an organization of and for music teaching professionals, it is committed to continually expanding your access as an MTNA member to reliable and trustworthy information--the very best of the best.

--Gary L. Ingle

MTNA Executive Director & CEO

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Title Annotation:Dear Reader; Music Teachers National Association
Author:Ingle, Gary L.
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2015
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