MTSU School of Music welcomes music educators to 3...

MTSU School of Music welcomes music educators to 34th annual conference

MTSU’s School of Music is opening its doors once again to current and future music educators statewide for its 34th annual Winter Music Education Conference this Saturday, Jan. 13.

The conference is set from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 13, and on-site registration begins at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby of the Wright Music Building on the MTSU campus. A campus parking map showing the Wright Building is available at

The Winter Music Education Conference at MTSU provides a full day of professional development for music educators and future music educators across Tennessee. Clinicians are nationally and internationally recognized experts in music education and related areas.

Dr. Jamila McWhirter

“Music educators travel from across the state annually to attend this event,” said Dr. Jamila McWhirter, coordinator of the event and an associate professor and coordinator of music education for the School of Music.

“Several make it a weekend adventure in Murfreesboro each year. Those studying music education at both MTSU and other institutions across Tennessee also regularly attend.”

The 2018 conference clinician is Mark Lawley, whose teaching career has spanned more than three decades and included students from kindergarten through university levels in choral, band and general music settings. His first 25 years were spent teaching secondary music, where his students consistently earned superior ratings at district and state music festivals and presented invitational performances at national and regional American Choral Directors Association gatherings.

Mark Lawley

After award-winning tenures at Drury University and Missouri Baptist University, Lawley currently serves as director of choirs and department chair at New Covenant Academy in Springfield, Missouri, and as vice president for the Southwestern American Choral Directors Association.

Past conference clinicians are a who’s who of music education, including MTSU’s own Cedric Dent, who teaches music theory, music arranging and vocal jazz and directs the MTSU Singers.

A full brochure and information is available here. Registration is $25 for educators and $10 for students from any university. High school seniors who are interested in music education may attend free with their music teachers.

“The Winter MUED Conference is a great way to bring fresh ideas into the music classroom and connect with other music educators,” said McWhirter.

For details on special events and concerts in the MTSU School of Music, call 615-898-2493 or visit

— Gina E. Fann (

MTSU School of Music professor Jennifer Vannatta-Hall, center, shows music education students some attention-getting tactics for teaching little ones during her “Music for the Young Child” course in the Saunders Fine Arts Building in this February 2017 file photo. Students shown dancing and singing with Vannatta-Hall include, from left, Savanna Hoover, Thikra Muhsin and Erin Green. The School of Music is hosting its 34th annual Winter Music Education Conference for current and prospective music educators Jan. 13. (MTSU file photo by ??)