Radford’s NAfME chapter wins national award
Radford University’s National Association for Music Education (NAfME) chapter received a national Chapter of Excellence Recognition, one of five collegiate institutions to do so.
NAfME, comprised of professional music educators and music education students, addresses all aspects of music education and is present at the national level, but collegiate organizations at the local and state levels allow for a deeper involvement by students.
The award received by Radford University, the Chapter of Excellence – Service Award, was received in part because of the work by Music Education Professor Jennifer McDonel and student Charlotte Hargest. In January of 2016, McDonel took Hargest and James Nugent to Nepal, where they did various service projects to help music education in the country.
Upon returning to Radford, Hargest wanted to do more to help support the students and program in Nepal.
“Charlotte came up with the idea for Drumming for Drums, a drum circle fundraiser, and she shared the idea with members of the collegiate chapter,” McDonel said. “The chapter members were excited about the idea, and they all pitched in. They brought several tubano drums to the space by the Bonnie and invited everybody from the Radford family to play the drums and to make a donation to the fund.”
Through this project, Hargest and the collegiate NAfME chapter built awareness for music education issues in Nepal, McDonel said.
“They generated interest in supporting the Nepal mission through our chapter as a service project,” McDonel said. “Because of this service in the community, the chapter applied to Virginia Music Educators Association for the service award last fall, which we also won.”
Alex Lyons, current president of Radford’s NAfME chapter, and McDonel co-wrote the proposal to submit Radford University for consideration for the NAfME service award.
“The more people working collectively toward a cause, the greater the potential impact,” McDonel said. “it really snowballed as it progressed – from my work, to our music education students and to the surrounding community.”
That snowball peaked on Hill Day, a day that NAfME members show support for music education on Capitol Hill. It was announced that Radford University won the Service Award during that event.
Participation in NAfME – which is mandatory for Radford music education students – allows students the ability to stay connected to the world of music education.
“We have about six clinicians that we bring in each year, who bring their professional experience into our classrooms,” said Lyons. “The clinicians give us practical uses for the information that we are learning.”
“That’s why NAfME is so important for music education students,” Lyons continued. “It gives us that deeper understanding of the outside world and how music helps children. We also get exposed to a wide variety of music education knowledge.”
Additional opportunities include events at the local, state or national levels.