OU’s National Association for Music Education chapter receives recognition


Photo courtesy of OU Magazine.

Kasey Julian, president of the Oakland University chapter of the National Association for Music Education.

Rachel Yim, Senior Reporter

Oakland University’s chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) was selected as the 2020 NAfME Collegiate Chapter of Excellence Recognition recipient for the Professional Development category.

According to nafme.org, the professional development recognition acknowledges chapters that demonstrate a successful project to further the professional development of its members. Last year, OU NAfME chapter mainly focused on confronting racial injustice and disparities. From educating themselves about the topic to researching and presenting to each other about inequity in music education, the chapter has dedicated their year to developing music education programs.

Kasey Julian, the president of OU NafME chapter, received the 2020 NAfME Collegiate Professional Achievement Award for her commitment and dedication to NAfME and music education.

“We are so honored and excited to accept these awards, and to continue the great work we have done,” Julian said.

With over 60,000 members teaching millions of students nationwide, NAfME is one of the world’s largest arts education organizations, it addresses all aspects of music education. Although it is currently active in all 50 states, OU’s chapter has an emphasis on community involvement that sets it apart from other schools. All events are free and open to the public, according to Julian.

“This benefits us all as there is a greater variety of perspectives at our events and we all learn from each other,” she said. “Because of our community involvement, we have been able to network and provide accessible [and much needed] conversations in our field.

During the summer of 2020, OU NAfME chapter created the NAfME media club that holds weekly meetings. Over this summer, the 38 members of the chapter –including OU students and faculty across the country – worked on a project about racial injustice by utilizing a variety of media sources.

Not only did they research and educate themselves about injustice, but they also held discussion series with guests to share their passion for cultivating inclusivity in the classroom at OU.

Julian said that the series has been valuable for her and other members as they consider the needs of students and their responsibility to cultivate a safe, inclusive and equitable learning environment.

“I would credit a lot of our success to this committee structure that allows all members to have a title and responsibility,” Julian said. “To me, this cultivated an environment that was inclusive to all members and filled with empowerment through responsibility. This grants everyone to take ownership over their roles and find a sense of belonging in the organization that fits their comfort level, taking into consideration their time constraints as music majors are already incredibly busy.”

Starting in August, the new president of the chapter, Hannah Combs, will replace Julian. Comb said that the primary goal for the upcoming year is to extend what they’ve learned into helping the local communities. By expanding the media club and dividing into research, they plan on addressing more aspects of inclusion and diversity.

Every year, OU NAfME chapter strives to take a forward step into achieving its mission — “to advance music education by promoting the understanding and making of music by all.”

For more information about the OU NAfME chapter, follow them on Instagram, Facebook, snapchat and Twitter @nafmeou.