2016 NAfME In-Service Conference Information

The 2016 NAfME National Conference is right around the corner! Here is some helpful information about the conference!



The National Conference is the largest Music Education Conference in the nation, with thousands in attendance every year. The purpose is to bring students, future music educators, and music educators together to learn from each other, and bring new innovative techniques to your classroom from across the country. Last year, the conference took place at the Gaylord Hotel in Nashville, TN. IWU Music Education was represented by eighteen students.


Grapevine, TX. Howdy, y’all!


November 10th – 13th, 2016


As a future music educator, there is no better opportunity to connect and learn from professionals in the field. With hundreds of sessions to attend, professional development opportunities, around-the-clock performances, and networking events, this is an invaluable experience that expands the breadth of knowledge of any future educator. These conferences teach students how teaching is in the “real world”, and empowers atendees to expand their horizons and become more innovative and passionate about the incredible profession that is music education. Also – simply – it’s a TON of fun.


This year, IWU Collegiate NAfME Chapter is able to send 4 students to Grapevine. This will include the registration fee, airfare, and hotel expenses. Students will only be responsible for transportation from the airport to the hotel and food. The selection process will take place within the next few weeks.

Helpful Links:

National Conference Homepage: http://nationalconference.nafme.org/

Session Schedule: http://nationalconference.nafme.org/session-schedule-2/

FAQ: http://nationalconference.nafme.org/faq/

Student Testimonials:

Last year, eighteen students attended the conference in Nashville. It was a blast, and everyone walked away a knowing something they didn’t before. Here are some of our student’s favorite moments.

“After the music theatre session, I had a conversation with the two people leading it. They were some of the creators and workers for Broadway Jr. Shows that I performed when I was younger and will be music directing in the future. I talked to them about how this summer I will be music directing a Wizard of Oz Jr. Production which the man actually helped make! He gave me his contact information and told me to talk to him about our show and send him recordings and ask him whatever questions I need! It was extremely nice of him in general but also eye opening that you can make connections with people of whatever age and whatever career, and how they can actually help you in your life.”  

– Aaron Kahn, Sophomore BME

“At Naf-Ville, I had the opportunity to meet a young, second-year teacher who freely gave me advice and insight about some of the challenges she faced in her first couple of years. She is a petite white woman in a mostly African American school district, teaching K-5 general music, and beginning and middle school band. She said she has had to work really hard to prove herself and overcome other people’s doubts, but now she is feeling much more respected as a teacher. According to her, there is nothing more rewarding than watching her students grow. Her biggest piece of advice is to just go for it, don’t let other people- other teachers, students, parents, etc.- get you down. Trust in your abilities, but don’t be afraid to ask for help!”

–  Megan Koch, Senior BME

“Being at the Nashville In-Service concert as a senior music education student made me think about education in a different light. When I used to choose sessions at other conferences in the past, I would choose sessions that were only within my content area (band). After taking the methods classes junior year and becoming acclimated to general music and choral settings, I realized that this year I was picking sessions from a variety of areas now that I realize how relevant they all are to being a well rounded music educator!”

– Shaun Schaefers, 2016 BME Alumnus

“The NAfME conference was a wonderful experience. One moment that stood out to me was while my friend Minji and I were walking to one of the sessions. We didn’t know where we were going so we stopped an older man who looked knowledgeable about the conference and asked if he knew where we could find Delta Room B. He said he was on his way there to present the session. We talked with him on the way to the session and he turned to me and said, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It threw me off so I said, “I don’t know maybe a music teacher, but who knows?” He responded with,”I love that attitude! I always say just graduate first and then you can figure it out.” That really stuck with me. I am now just focused on doing the best I can in college and “just graduating.” 

– Brigid Broderick, Sophomore BME

“As a senior, one of my favorite parts of this conference was seeing the first year students take their first steps into becoming independent professionals within our field of study.  When we first arrived, the newcomers didn’t know how to approach something like this.  Some looked to the upperclassmen for guidance, wondering what to do and where to go.  There were several instances when I was asked for recommendations on what to do, and I would just say something to the effect of, “Go see whatever you want to see.”  After a bit of encouragement, they were going out and checking out the sessions that they were personally interested in, networking with educators and other collegiate students they didn’t know, and learning things on their own.  As our time in Nashville demonstrated, something as new and foreign as this conference significantly helps instill a passion for music education on a professional level.”

– JJ Novak, 2016 BME Alumnus

“My favorite presentation was entitled “The Best Job I Ever Had” by Mark Lane. Professor Lane spoke about his path he took throughout his career as a band director. He originally wanted to graduate and move back to where he grew up and get a job around that area where he could raise a family by the grandparents. He went into detail about the different jobs he actually ended up having (far away from where he grew up) and the transitions that happened moving from place to place. Every job he had was the best job he ever had. There were two message that he wanted to send to the audience. First, you cannot plan out your entire life. When you are in college, you must focus on graduating first. When you get first job, you simply must do your best and what ever happens, happens. Second, every job you have can be the best job you ever had if you want it to be. Your mindset  and work ethic is more important than anything. One quote he said was “The grass is never greener. It’s all the same and you make it greener.” That quote really stuck with me, and helped me learn that I can always try to do more to better my situation. Overall, the conference sessions were amazing and I hope to go again next year.”

– Dean Scopelliti, Sophomore BME

If there are any questions, don’t hesitate to ask Professor Dahan or any upperclassmen!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *