News From NYSSMA, Winter 2019

The NYS School Music Association is YOUR state professional organization. . . PLEASE JOIN!!!! will lead you to membership!

The NYSSMA Zone 12 calendar will be available on the Zone 12 area of the NYSSMA website. It will also be on the MEANYC website, and sent out through the borough arts supervisors' offices. If you have any questions about registration for NYSSMA Spring Adjudication Festivals, please contact me at

Monday March 4, 2019 is Joe Sugar Day in Albany, a day of advocacy for music education. Please consider joining me in Albany to meet with legislators regarding music education. We also have two students performing in our NYSSMA All-State Jazz Ensembles. The day includes visits to the legislative offices, performance by the All-State Jazz Choir and All-State Jazz Ensemble, lunch, and an early evening reception for our legislators and participating teachers, parents, and NYSSMA representatives. For more information, please e-mail me at by Maria Schwab

Many teachers wonder, “why should my students play a solo at a NYSSMA Adjudication Festival,” and “why should my major ensembles play at a NYSSMA Adjudication Festival?” Here are some thoughts from former Zone 12 representative and retired NYCDOE music teacher Richard Klingensmith.

  • Thousands of student throughout the state participate in the NYSSMA Evaluation Festivals and are evaluated by trained adjudicators. The process documents achievement using a reliable and valid criteria through the use of outside evaluators.

  • Students are motivated by a desire to improve their performance through constructive criticism rather than by competition with other students or a need to “win”.

  • Having your students practice for a solo performance will have a positive effect on their musical accomplishments and therefore positive effects on the ensembles in which they perform.

  • Teachers of ensembles need valid and reliable evaluation of their best work if they are to continue to improve instruction and raise the quality of music learning and performance.

  • Assessment helps you motivate and reinforce learning, raise the quality of instruction, improve planning and curriculum and reward hard work and success.

  • Many music teachers throughout the state have o in-house help, no music chair or ongoing help from the district level. Parent’s applause for little Johnny and Suzy at an evening performance while necessary and important, is not an evaluation which is useful to either the teacher, administration or Suzy or Johnny.