Magazine article American Music Teacher

Globalization, Governance and Generational Issues

Magazine article American Music Teacher

Globalization, Governance and Generational Issues

Article excerpt

In today's fast-paced world, there are three major areas that affect associations like MTNA: globalization, governance and generational issues. In order to remain a strong, viable association, MTNA has to look beyond its borders for opportunities and partnerships, streamline its governance so it can respond quickly and utilize its volunteers effectively, and provide benefits and services for the different constituencies within our membership.

MTNA has been involved in globalization over the past quarter of a century, often inviting guests from other music associations to attend our national conference. MTNA is partnering with the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Associations for an exciting joint 2007 conference in Toronto, Canada. MTNA Executive Director Gary Ingle and I also have had the opportunity to be the invited guests of the Beijing Music Festival, sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Culture in the summer of 2004, and to attend the European Piano Teachers Association Conference in Rome, Italy, in October 2004. Both of these were extraordinary music events that broadened not only our personal horizons, but also communicated the importance of MTNA as the association for music teachers in the United States, and opened the door to future collaborative possibilities. The potential for international relationships and partnerships with other countries or organizations is expanding rapidly.

A second issue is that of governance. The MTNA Board of Directors is continually revisiting its identity and defining itself. In order to strengthen its relationship with state leaders through the divisions and hence to our membership, a new paradigm was developed. Since one of the primary functions of the Board of Directors is to represent their constituencies, this more efficient structure utilizes the elected directors from the divisions in an expanded role.

The lines of communication with the states through the division structure are of primary importance to the board. Prior to 2001, the immediate past presidents of the divisions automatically advanced to the board of directors. During the time from 2001 to the present, two important changes took place in regard to the responsibilities of the division officers: 1) the division competitions were removed from the division president and president-elect's job descriptions and 2) directors on the board were elected in a national election rather than advancing to the position automatically.

The bylaws proposal that the board will present to the membership will replace the existing division president and the division president-elect with a director and a director-elect. The director will serve as director on the board and as the director of the division. The director-elect will automatically become director of the division and director on the national board upon the conclusion of the term as director-elect. …

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