MENC: The National Association for Music Education

Sue Rarus , Director, MENC Information Resources and Publications
The National Association for Music Education
1806 Robert Fulton Drive
Reston, VA 20191




Web Address:
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National service organization for music specialists

NAMM, The International Music Products Association
In Tune Partners
SAGE Publications
Americans for the Arts
National School Boards Association
Walt Disney World
Mrs. America, Inc.

Founded in 1907, MENC is the service organization for a national network of more than 142,000 people involved in or interested in the teaching of music. MENC and its affiliates in every state, in the District of Columbia, and in the Department of Defense schools provide dependable, ongoing opportunities for individuals to network with similar colleagues and to share information through book publications, periodicals, and other media.

Purpose: To advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all.

Guided by its membership, MENC uses committees, boards, and links to its state associates to create a national and state network supporting music educators. The National Executive Board, made up of six elected representatives from geographic divisions of the nation and three nationally elected officers, governs. Including all states, DC, and the European Music Educators Associates, the 52 federated state associations serve as independent networks serving local and state needs in each area. State association activities include in-service conferences and seminars, festivals, and competitions. National Activities include biennial conferences alternating with division conferences, publications, and numerous projects. MENC’s Advisory Council helps MENC engage members of both the public and private sectors. Council members offer advice and assistance in fundraising.

MENC Professional Development Services Include: 

    Frameworks and policies.
  • MENC developed the National Standards for Music Education and administered the development of the National Standards for Arts Education (1994). These frameworks have influenced the development of state arts standards across the country.
  • MENC is involved in presenting the views of music educators to legislators and other decision-makers on the national level. MENC does so in cooperation with other organizations involved in arts and education.
  • A number of MENC position statements on issues such as alternative certification are available on the MENC web site at
Bringing together the music educator communities: 


  • MENC’s weeklong summer event brings music educators together from across the country.
  • Offerings include workshops, performances, lectures, and industry exhibits.
  • Linking people to information
  • Journals for Music Educators: including Music Educators Journal, Teaching Music, Journal of Research in Music Education, General Music Today, Update, and Journal of Music Teacher Education
  • More than 100 books, videos, and compact discs to inform those interested in music education on theory, techniques, research, and practice.
  • Mentoring discussion forums on MENC website, 2002 until present
  • MENC maintains a central web site for members,; a site for friends of music education (, and a site for the MENC National Anthem Project ( In addition, MENC cooperates with NAMM: International Music Products Association in the site for advocates.

Findings :
Evaluation data from 2004 national conference :

  • The conference is dependable: Most sessions met most attendees expectations for this national network.
  • The career center is a particularly helpful as music educators chart their paths ahead and seek to obtain or change jobs. (MENC)
Eastern Conference findings:
The Network.
  • The opportunity to network with colleagues is critical, for personal, professional, and political reasons
  • It helps the individual who teaches music develop their own personal address book of colleagues they can call upon for advice, guidance, and opportunities. (MENC)
  • People attend to become better teachers/ musicians
  • Well-focused opportunities to learn something new about teaching music help attendees bring home new skills
  • Helps people be exposed to areas new to them or the field.
  • The evening concerts, Sunday Gospel Breakfast, Pre-conference special focus, and student performances were rated excellent on a four point scale.
  • Respondents rated general sessions, educational sessions, and external company sponsored workshops as very good.
  • Resource center and collegiate events for networking were also very good.
  • Technology labs and exhibits had room for improvement
Respondents would like to see more:
Top 6 highest interest areas from most to least:
  1. Rehearsal techniques
  2. Curriculum development
  3. Hands-on clinics
  4. Specialty sessions focusing on particular instrumental needs
  5. Classroom management issues
  6. Interdisciplinary curriculum and teaching

Lessons Learned:
See Great Beginnings for Music Teachers: Mentoring and Supporting New Teachers 
By Colleen M. Conway, assistant professor of music at the University of Michigan. 2003

Description: This practical guide covers the challenges faced by beginning music teachers, district and state -sponsored mentoring and induction programs, alternative certification, and ideas for ongoing professional development. Based on the latest research, this book includes first-person accounts written by beginning music teachers and a state-by-state list of mentoring policies and programs. Edited 

Useful Tools:
State Music Educators Associations – links to contact information. Visit your state’s and discover local resources and professional development opportunities

MENC Subdivisions:

Society for Music Teacher Education

Society for Research in Music Education

A Career Guide for Music Education

Teacher Education for the Arts Disciplines (Boston)

Links to MENC journals

Online lessons and resources to help educators teach music in a cultural context that includes the other arts and history
Examples range from guide to teaching guitar in the classroom to a collaborative and historical resource on Duke Ellington.

Spotlight on Transition to Teaching Music. The latest title in the popular Spotlight series, this timely book focuses on issues involving recruitment and retention of music teachers, a crucial issue in these days of budget constraints. Arranged chronologically, it features a collection of articles from state journals focusing on issues such as mentoring, teacher shortages, burnout, and professional development options. 2004. ISBN 1-56545-162-7. 160 pages. #1696

Teacher to Teacher: Music Educator’s Survival Guide. Another new title addressing the issue of teacher retention, this practical guide is full of “real-life” strategies and suggestions for coping with the challenges facing teachers today. An excellent resource for beginning teachers, it includes chapters on classroom management, relationships with colleagues and students, setting goals, curriculum, training, working with parents and the community, and the importance of staying musical. 2004. ISBN 1-56545-161-9. 144 pages. #1679.

Link to MENC national and regional conferences, symposia, and related music education conferences

Mentor Forum:

Advocacy and Government Information:

Boston, Bruce O., editor. "Teacher Education for the Arts Disciplines: Issues Raised by the National Standards for Arts Education."book. VA: Music Educators National Conference, 1996.

MENC. Conference Numerical Data: Eastern.: MENC.

---. MENC Biennial National Conference, Minneapolis, MN April 2004.: MENC.

Robinson, Russell. "Preparing to Teach Music in Today's Schools.", 1993. 3-66.

Target Population:
Arts Administrators

Arts Specialists

Classroom Teachers

Education Administrators



Arts Discipline:
Interdisciplinary arts and other subjects


Entry Points:



Education Thread: