60th Anniversary

Celebrating 60 Years of Musical Excellence

For sixty years the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association has promoted musical excellence throughout the Virginia suburbs of our Nation’s capital. Established in 1950 as a chapter of the National and Virginia Federation of Music Clubs, NVMTA became affiliated with the Music Teachers National Association and the Virginia Music Teachers Association in 1978. The small group that began meeting in private homes has become a vibrant professional association of approximately 400 members. In 2004 NVMTA was chosen as the Local Association of the Year by the Music Teachers National Association.

NVMTA sponsors exciting events that motivate students to deepen and broaden their knowledge of music. NVMTA teachers have developed over a dozen first place winners in national competitions in piano, voice, woodwinds, brass and composition, arguably more than any other local association in the nation.  Non-competitive music festivals in fall, winter and spring provide practice goals and constructive comments for thousands of students each year. In pursuit of well-rounded musicianship NVMTA holds theory and skills tests, and hosts an original composition festival that features the orchestration of winning compositions.

Besides their work in independent studios, NVMTA members enjoy performing as soloists and in orchestras and chamber groups, teaching at local schools and colleges, directing church music groups, composing new music, and serving as leaders in its state and national affiliates.  A 2006 survey reported that NVMTA members average over 25 years of experience. Six percent of those who responded had Doctorates, 43% had Masters and 50% had Bachelors as their highest degrees.

We take pride in research by members who have published books and articles, led workshops, and participated in community outreach.  One member established and directs a national foundation for linking students unable to afford private lessons with volunteer teachers. A former president has pioneered advancements in the business aspects of music teaching and published a textbook for student teachers. Many have received recognition for their achievements in performance and pedagogy.

Over the past decade NVMTA has awarded more than $70,000 in scholarships based on both merit and need. These funds come from NVMTA’s Scholarship Endowment Fund (established 10 years ago to honor beloved teachers and now worth more than $75,000) and proceeds from sales of used music and pecans, ads in our newsletter and listing fees for our Teacher Referral Service.

NVMTA values its professional ties with George Mason University, the venue for a number of events. GMU pedagogy students observe NVMTA teachers in action as part of their coursework. NVMTA maintains its own Steinway B piano and a Steinway D piano on long-term loan. Both are housed at the Woman’s Club of Arlington, the site of regular meetings and several events.

As we complete our 60th Anniversary year NVMTA is modernizing financial accounting and communications. We look forward to continuing our tradition of stimulating musical growth and encouraging musical excellence, while utilizing 21st century technology.

December 1, 2010

Juliana Kuo, Julie Slingerland, Martha Smith