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Special moments be prepared to succeed.

The indomitable Winston Churchill, the master statesman and one of the most brilliant figures of the 20th century, wrote: "To every person there comes that special moment when he is tapped on the shoulder to do a very special thing unique to him. What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared for the work that would be his finest hour."

Each of you reading this column today is the embodiment of Churchill's prediction. You have been tapped to do a very special thing--to be a music teacher. As a member of this noble profession, you have the special opportunity to make unique contributions to your students, your colleagues and your community. And, as Churchill implied, this work should be your finest hour.

But, as Churchill also reminded us, we must be prepared if we are to succeed and fulfill our destiny--that "special thing unique to us that would be our finest hour." It would be, as Churchill remarked, a tragedy to be unprepared at this special moment in our lives.

MTNA exists to prepare you for your special work as music teachers. We have been doing this since 1876, longer than any other music teacher association in the country. Since the beginning, our members have found MTNA to be essential to their professional well-being, as well as an indispensable partner in their growth and development as music teachers. MTNA provides many opportunities for, among other things, continuing education and professional development. And one of the most vital ways we accomplish this task is through the American Music Teacher magazine.

Every issue of AMT is developed with your needs in mind. The best and brightest writers in our profession contribute their insights in thoughtful and often provocative feature articles, reviews and commentary. In addition, with AMT you can keep up with news and activities of the association and the industry. And our columnists opine on everything from pedagogical methods to repertoire to business practices to arts advocacy to wellness to recreational music. AMT is vital to your professional well-being. And through it, you will find yourself prepared for the work that will be your finest hour.

You will find the feature articles in this issue to be quite entertaining. Janet Bass Smith discusses ambiguous meter signature and pedaling in "Solving Performance Problems in Debussy's La Cathedrale Engloutie." Deborah Yardley Beers details how refining the skills of setting and reaching appropriate goals can aid performance in "Goals for Practice and Performance: A Mind-Body Approach." In "Having a 'Ball' With Staccato," Michele Boulet and Jacqueline Herbein tell how they use different balls to explain staccato notes. And finally, Leslie Spotz tells of her trip to the Imagina School in Le6n, Mexico, in "The Miracle in Mexico."

In these busy days, I urge you to make reading AMT a priority--set aside time to read the feature articles, news and columns. I am confident you will find many items that will help you as you make your unique contribution to society.

I wish you another year of accomplishment and fulfillment as a music teacher.

--Gary L. Ingle MTNA Executive Director
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Author:Ingle, Gary L.
Publication:American Music Teacher
Date:Aug 1, 2006
Previous Article:The year in review.
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