TU Music Students: Connecting with Oklahoma Music Teachers

Iris Ramirez, TU NAfME-C President and others in the state collegiate meeting. Photo Credit: Katie Robertson

On Oct. 17 at the Oklahoma Music Educators Association (OMEA) conference, members of the National Association for Music Education Collegiate – TU chapter (NAfME-C) joined peers to learn latest trends. Students were able to attend clinics on topics such as band, choir, elementary school music and orchestra. Some of the clinics offered for each area of interest were:

  • Improving your Band by using Tonal Energy
  • Practical uses of Technology in the Choral Classroom
  • Circle the State with Song Reading Session
  • Deciphering the new All-State Adjunction Ballot

Senior vocal music education major and NAfME-C Vice President, Katelyn Baker explained, “My favorite part of the conference was simply being in the presence of so many music educators and future music educators. I knew that everyone in every room, auditorium and atrium values music education as much as or even more than I do myself.” She also spoke of the creative aspects of music learning. “It feels very reaffirming and gratifying to be part of such a wonderful event,” she added. “Participating in breathing exercises, sight-singing and just not being afraid to make a fool out of yourself in front of everything together in the choral sessions is a happy place for me.”

Speaking specifically about the guest performance by the University of Oklahoma Percussion Orchestra, NAfME-C Secretary Emma Dawson—instrumental music education major—highlighted how inspiring the conference was to attend. “I loved watching the percussion ensemble, and it made me reflect on my own experience [at TU]. I was reminded that the more effort you put into your ensemble, the more rewarding it will be.”

TU students at OMEA conference

After the conference, NAfME-C members and first-year music teachers were treated to lunch provided by the collegiate state officers. This was a time to reflect on being a music student and network with fellow undergraduate music education majors and first-year teachers. “I was able to reunite with old friends who are first-year teachers and hear about their transitions from being in the classroom to them running the classroom,” reflected NAfME-C President, Iris Ramirez. Baker also indicated that she “loved getting to bond with the TU Chapter” at this event.

Ramirez, who is a vocal music education major, explained that she learned qualities of being a great leader. “Being a leader in any of those positions [student, teacher, administrator, president of an organization] means changing your needs to your team’s needs as well as seeking guidance when life gets overwhelming.” She continued, “Each type of leadership requires different ways of communication and management.” Ramirez is excited about bringing these new lessons back to TU’s NAfME-C meetings.

Two TU NAfME-C Officers, Iris Ramirez and Katelyn Baker, will represent The University of Tulsa’s NAfME-C Chapter by attending the National NAfME Conference held in Orlando, Florida in Nov. 2019. All chapter members plan on attending the January 2020 OkMEA conference which is held at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa.

The TU chapter hosts monthly meetings, masterclasses and lectures on a wide range of music education topics. For more information, contact Iris Ramirez at itr9600@utulsa.edu.