North Central’s music education program and its student chapter of the National Association for Music Education (MENC) have been recognized by MENC with an award for outstanding growth. In the announcement to the College, MENC’s North Central president remarked, “Your dedication and commitment to the young students studying to be teachers is such a contribution to our profession. Your guidance and knowledge both inspire and mentor these young people.”
MENC is the largest organization of professional music educators in the world. North Central’s chapter is open to all students interested in teaching music. Its growth in membership and activities to enhance student academic and professional development has consistently expanded over the last several years.
“From the beginning of their time at North Central, our music education majors understand they are part of a larger profession, and our students’ involvement in MENC is a big part of that,” says Ramona Wis, Mimi Rolland Professor in the Fine Arts and professor and chair of music. “We’ve received this award for several years now and it recognizes not only the health of our chapter but continued growth of our program. Despite uncertain economic times, our enrollment has increased and our graduates routinely land great teaching positions.”
Students involved in the College’s music education chapter receive professional journals, which feature articles and resources that focus on teaching music, and are involved in hosting guest performing ensembles, speakers and other events. For example, students hosted Tom Gill, founder and facilitator of Rhythm For Unity, which leads music workshops for schools, teachers and businesses. They’ve also held panel discussions with area music educators, organized student performance workshops and all members attend the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Conference. This annual conference features performances by college, university and professional ensembles, various workshops and sessions, meetings and exhibits.
North Central College offers majors in music, choral and instrumental music education, and jazz studies. Students receive a strong liberal arts grounding and opportunities to perform in more than 20 instrumental and vocal groups, including large and small ensembles, opera, musical theatre and jazz combos. They also perform on varied stages, from a grand concert hall to intimate theatre settings.