“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” – Confucius, Book of Rites.
As a former music educator of 29 years, I live by these words. Currently, as a state association music administrator at the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA), we strive to provide outstanding music education opportunities for our young musicians.
The KSHSAA has a very good relationship with the Kansas Music Educators Association (KMEA). The KSHSAA listens to its music directors through the KMEA Festivals Committee, which meets one to two times each year. This advisory committee includes band, choir and orchestra leaders from across the state and includes all school classifications. These beneficial meetings provide opportunities to discuss many aspects to improve our KSHSAA music festivals system.
The KSHSAA music administrator writes one to two articles each year for the Kansas Music Review, which is the KMEA online publication, http://kansasmusicreview.com/. These articles include: 1) KSHSAA music updates and manual rule changes, 2) overviews and web links for applicable NFHS Learn courses https://nfhslearn. com/courses and 3) contact information for the KSHSAA staff http://www.kshsaa.org/.
The KSHSAA music administrator sits on the KMEA board of directors as the KSHSAA advisor. I submit an annual KMEA board report and present this material at the annual board meeting at the KMEA In-Service Workshop in February. The KMEA Executive Council makes a presentation to the KSHSAA Executive Board each April with rule change proposals and a PowerPoint presentation with updated KMEA news. The KMEA president (or designee) is a voting member on the KSHSAA Board of Directors.
Being visible and available to music teachers at various events throughout the year is very important. During the three-day KMEA In-Service Workshop in February (6,000-9,000 attendees), I present two to five sessions and have the opportunity to speak during the first-year music teachers breakfast and the retired music teachers luncheon . During these events, we address current and relevant music topics, and also listen to key individuals to gain ideas and suggestions to enhance our programs.
“M & M” miles and madness is how we refer to February- April each year. The KSHSAA offers five regionals and one state piano festival in February, 17 regional solos and small ensemble festivals; 18 state large group festivals; and six state solos and small ensemble festivals in March and April. I attend 20-25 music festivals on a rotation basis each year. The KSHSAA is here to support our festival host site managers and staff, music teachers and students. Being onsite helps to create and further our mission as a student-centered organization.
As an activities association, the KSHSAA believes in rewarding excellence for performing arts. The NFHS Music Association Outstanding Educator Awards are extremely important for honoring each state’s finest music educators. State association music administrators should submit the appropriate forms on time and present the award personally at a school assembly or appropriate school event.
In 2018, a Kansas school was chosen as the NFHS Performing Arts School of Excellence. The KSHSAA has continued the NFHS model for this award and annually presents its KSHSAA Performing Arts School of Excellence award to deserving high schools in Kansas.
The KSHSAA continues to stand ready to help promote and enhance school music education programs. We listen to our teachers. We are visible, available and encourage music student participation. Through our extensive music festivals program, the KSHSAA promotes the improvement of our student musicians and musical ensembles through positive adjudicator feedback.
Craig L. Manteuffel is assistant executive director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.