Greater Cincinnati AOSA Chapter President’s Message – Fall 2011
Greetings from Michael Merry, President
Greetings and Welcome to the 2011-12 school year!
For many, you are returning to your former classroom and in the process of beginning a new school year. This is always a great time because of the freshness of our approach after a much deserved break. It is also exciting to meet the students who are excited about being back in their school with their friends and teachers once again and, for us, eager and ready to learn new music skills and literature. Yet others may find themselves in a new classroom, a different music assignment whether by choice or by being placed as such because of budgetary situations. Yes, we are living in a difficult time when it comes to our music jobs. Budgets have forced many districts to reassign teachers to assignments and grade levels which they have never experienced or which they once filled and chose to transfer from at one time. Many different emotions surround these transitions.
Because the economic situation does not appear to be going away soon and the many school changes which impact music in particular will probably continue for a while, your GCAOSA has joined the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) in an attempt to connect with a strong arts advocacy element. At our first workshop on September 17 a representative from OAAE will be on hand to share some thoughts concerning advocacy during our first break. She will then be available for about another thirty minutes if you should wish to chat with her further concerning your situation. Several of your GCAOSA board members have had the opportunity to meet and hear from OAAE staff and we all feel that this organization has some ideas which may help us save our positions, however it will mean some work in ways you/we may not have thought of previously.
Speaking of our first workshop, this promises to be an exciting day for both art and music teachers. In this newsletter you will find a Guest Pass allowing you to bring along a teacher who has never attended an Orff workshop and at no charge for that person. We ask that you contact your art colleague and invite them to attend with you on Sept. 17. The topic will be Arts Integration. The presenter is a master at integrating music, movement and visual art. This, coming at the beginning of the school year, can be a great launching pad for you and your art colleague to plan some terrific and innovative art/music learning opportunities for the children at your school. You may also invite an administrator! Don’t worry that we may run out of snacks at the hospitality table, we can easily run next door to Kroger and restock. Also, don’t worry if you should wish to bring an art colleague and an administrator, I will work out the free Guest Pass situation if you have two guests. Of course you may also bring a music colleague who has never attended a workshop before as your guest as well! Please share with any potential guest, administrator or art teacher that they do not have to stay until 1:30, but perhaps they may want to earn the full professional CEU’s available and stay for the whole time.
Pittsburgh hosts Neighbors in Harmony, the 2011 national AOSA conference, November 9-12. Yes, you should strongly consider attending. It is about as geographically close as it ever gets, unless it were in Cincinnati again and it is not yet time for that to happen. As usual the program sessions are packed with outstanding presenters including many who have presented for our chapter workshops plus our own Lissa Ray is presenting. There is more information concerning the program and registration to be found at http://aosa.org/. Special preregistration rates expire on October 17. If you plan to attend, please let me know. I like to know who from Cincinnati is attending so that we may plan some Cincinnati events, dinners and the like. Once you attend a national AOSA conference you tend to become hooked and continue to make it an annual event. See you in Pittsburgh!
As I close I encourage you to read the remainder of this newsletter. Of particular interest may be the workshop schedule for the remainder of this year as well as the scholarship opportunities which our chapter provides. Do not hesitate to contact me or any of the GCAOSA board members with your questions and concerns. We are here to help and also serve you in your efforts to provide high quality music instruction for the children of our communities. I look forward to seeing everyone soon!
Michael Merry, GCAOSA President