The Seton Hill University (SHU) chapter of the Pennsylvania Music Teacher’s Association (PMTA) won the first ever Collegiate Chapter Award for leadership,
scholarship and significant musical creativity in 2011-2012.
The group was honored at a banquet held during the PMTA State Conference at West Chester University and was awarded $500 towards attending the conference.
The Collegiate Chapter Award was given based on participation and creativity regarding chapter activities. The SHU chapter submitted activities such as bake sales which were held during choir concerts, and master classes by professional musicians.
“Bringing so much of the community (non-PMTA members) into workshops and master classes helped solidify our chances,” said Matthew Colson, senior and president of PMTA.
“Without participation from the other students and faculty at our workshops, we would not have a chapter,” said Kellie Johnson PMTA treasurer.
“Members and non-members attend our events which encourages us to organize more and more. Also, with the support of the community in our fundraisers, PMTA will hopefully be able to continue our annual trips to conference,” said Stephen Harvey, a junior and vice president of PMTA.
Johnson and Harvey both attended the PMTA State Conference June 8-10. While there, they learned about private music instruction and networked with other professionals in the field.
“In our events, in our conferences, and between our members’ personal experiences, there is a constant state of learning. With all of these educational experiences, myself and other members of the chapter have no choice but to grow as musicians and teachers,” said Harvey.
“It is always a treasure to have the opportunity to talk to so many intelligent and wonderful people, people who share the same vision and love that we do,” said Johnson.
According to Colson, PMTA promotes the importance of music education by educating the future instructors.
“PMTA is a group which gets people involved with knowledge of owning, running, or working in a private studio to teach private lessons in their primary instrument. Music ed. is just as important as any education; it involves a lot of social work, and can be like learning a new language,” said Colson, who aspires to teach piano lessons.
PMTA’s conferences and workshops are a large part of how the group brings together future music educators.
“I love traveling and listening to the thoughts of others from around the state. I always learn something new or discover a new way to teach something. I value my education, but the workshops and sessions really enhance my education. It is the sessions and workshops that will help me continue my education after Seton Hill,” said Johnson.
The group has plans to further their involvement in the coming year.
“We are looking forward to holding another workshop as well as looking into completing a nursing home or Christmas caroling activity,” said Johnson.
“Community outreach, Music Teacher’s National Association Conference, and more informational sessions are definitely a must. Hopefully student membership will increase and our presence at conferences and PMTA events will grow. The class of 2016 is coming to Seton Hill, and upperclassmen are always welcome to join,” added Harvey.
“This group has had it’s ups and downs, and we have lost members, but I plan on bringing this group back in full-force next semester. We have great officers. I’m excited to see where we will be heading next semester,” said Colson.