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The value of MTNA membership.

MTNA provides a wide array of benefits at each level of the organization. The more we embrace MTNA as our organization, the more we realize the benefits of membership. On the local level, teachers enjoy the benefits that the local association offers, as well as those of the state association. On the national level, teachers can utilize the MTNA Music for Everyone programs, MTNA Teacher Assessment Tools, National Certification, Legal Consultation Services, Professional Support Line, MTNA Conference, Insurance programs--the list could go on and on.

The health, well-being and the growth of our association depend upon each of us. The best way for an organization to grow is for each member to work within local and state associations to retain current members and to recruit new members. If each of us recruited one new member, our association would number nearly 50,000 members.

The need for solid membership recruitment and retention has never been more critical as MTNA membership continues to get grayer each year, and there are fewer volunteers to fill the job positions.

Where are the young, ambitious, energetic young teachers? Associations, churches and schools are demanding more of an individual's volunteer time, not to mention the desire for much-needed family time. Convincing young teachers, especially those with young families, to devote more time to the local association and their profession can be problematic.

Instead of simply listing the benefits of products and services MTNA provides to these teachers, let's think about the value of MTNA membership. According to Ed Rigsbee, CSP, head of Rigsbee Enterprises and author of The Member Valuation Process--Discovering the Yearly Sustainable RealDollar Value of Association Membership, associations today must emphasize the value of membership to prospective members and to returning members. Current and prospective members are looking for benefits that add value to their businesses and to their professional growth, not just products and services.

What does a member actually receive in value for an investment of membership dues? An average annual MTNA membership for local, state and national associations costs $100 per year. If a teacher chose to personally obtain the services provided by the association elsewhere, what would be the cost? Rigsbee says each networking and education opportunity needs to be assigned a dollar value.

Let's look at a few conservatively estimated average figures from local association activities:

* Local Association monthly programs: $50-$100 per month 6 months: $300-$600

* Local Association Joint Student Recitals including location rental, programs, piano tuning, and ASCAP fees paid by MTNA: $100-$200 per event 2 per year $200-$400

* Local Association Master Classes or Special Workshops: $200-$1,000 per event 1 per year $200-$1,000

* Local Association Student Participation and Competition Events: $100 per event 2 per year $200

* Local Networking and Mentoring (Value of knowledge gained from colleagues informally) $200 $200 per year

* Local Association Advertising and Publicity Value of newspaper articles with students/teachers names: $200 $200 per year

Just adding these local association activities and not considering state and national association opportunities, we already have a value between $1,300 and $2,600--for an investment of $100 per year in one's professional career. And this does not take into consideration the additional value of state and national membership.

The local association is at the very heart of MTNA. It is generally where the prospective teacher makes the first contact with the association. Every member of every local and state association needs to be a membership recruiter for MTNA. Think of our membership growth as being a lot like the game of tennis: "If we want to grow our association, we must master the basics of serving (our association) well" (paraphrased from an anonymous adage on success in business).

Joining MTNA is joining a community of committed music professionals who advance the value of music study and music making to society and support the professionalism of music teachers. MTNA provides the strength in numbers to speak out for the future of music and music making to society and to promote the professionalism of music teachers. It enables us to speak with one voice. It enables us to make a difference and enrich the lives of students everywhere. We reach across our nation and outreach around the world. Being a part of this world community empowers each of us to speak with conviction and support on behalf of music study and music making.

Phyllis Pieffer, NCTM, is MTNA's director of member development and past president. She has held volunteer positions within MTNA for more than 35 years. Pieffer frequently gives programs on parliamentary procedure and piano pedagogy.
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Title Annotation:Forum Focus: Local Associations
Author:Pieffer, Phyllis I.
Publication:American Music Teacher
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2008
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