Music Educators Association of New Jersey

Serving teachers and students since 1927

President's Message

Danette Whelan

The 2022-23 season truly was action packed with new musical opportunities and experiences. And best of all…connecting in person!!! These are some of the high lights:

As Composition co-chair with Patricio Molina, I was happy to be a part of our exciting Original Composition Festival at The Randolph Performing Arts Center. All the students played beautifully. My congrats go out to our creative teacher members for their motivation and courage to teach composition. Thank you, Patricio, for organizing the OCF! It was a huge success!

I was thrilled to attend the beautiful APC Winners’ Recital at Leshowitz Hall at Montclair State University. The students’ performances were extraordinary and impressive! Bravo to all their outstanding teachers and to dedicated Program Chairs Barbara Landi Hause and Anna Katznelson for orchestrating this magical event.

Ingrid Clarfield, piano professor at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, was our delightful and educational May presenter. I thoroughly enjoyed her humor, passion and sharing her personal teaching experiences to help MEA teachers “Motivate Our Students.”

Our Young Artist’s Master Class, held at Elefante Music in New Providence, was another wonderful event. Juilliard Professor Aaron Wunsch was captivating as the master teacher clinician to our three immensely gifted, talented and virtuosic student performers. Kudos to their exceptional teachers and to enthusiastic Auditions Chair Lisa Casia and exceptional Programs Chair Sophia Agranovich. See our MEA-NJ page for video clips!

And finally, I had the joy and honor of presenting “How Mindfulness Can Revitalize Your Teaching” at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Lombard, Illinois, and connecting and reconnecting with so many marvelous piano teachers from all over the world!! I also had the pleasure of attending our Composers’ Corner Chair and my friend Nancy Modell’s superb and inspiring presentation titled “Creative Composing: Embrace Creativity, Nurture Musicality.”

I believe that the MEA Presidency has helped me to open musical doors to new paths and adventures this past year. I also realize that this imaginary door does not open by itself. These doors opened for me because I set the intention of connecting, learning and sharing with other piano teachers. I set the intention of... belonging.

So I invite everyone to set the intention of connecting, learning and sharing with music teachers and open a new musical door this coming year. Go to a mirror, look at yourself and ask, “What would I love?” “What do I want?” “How can I belong?”

Maybe the answer is right here within the MEA.


Danette Whelan


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