Music Educators Association of New Jersey
Serving teachers and students since 1927

Welcome to Music Educators Association of New Jersey

Celebrating 85 Years+ of Music Excellence

Support MEA of NJ

The Music Educators Association of NJ is a non-profit organization of private piano teachers founded in 1927. Our mission is to raise the standards of private music teaching throughout New Jersey, while encouraging musical excellence and instilling a love of music in our students. To achieve these goals, we provide continuing education opportunities for our member teachers through monthly lectures, workshops, recitals and master classes. For our students, we offer auditions, competitions, recitals, scholarships and master classes given by artist teachers. Our current President is Nancy Modell, 2016-2019. Messages from the President can be found under Membership on the main menu.

We invite you to browse our website and discover the exciting world of music MEA offers. Please note that hyperlinks are noted in Bold Red and when clicked will bring you directly to related pages or forms.

The Four Arts of Music: A New Paradigm for Music Education

Someone with command of a language can talk, tell stories, read, and write. Likewise, a whole musician can improvise (speak spontaneously), arrange (restate traditional themes in a personal way), read and interpret the compositions of others, and compose (write musical essays).

Modern music pedagogy is focused on the art of interpreting, usually to the exclusion of the other three arts. To become fully expressive in music, we need all four arts. 

In this presentation, Forrest Kinney will give an overview of the Four Arts of Music and how to learn them and teach them. He will demonstrate ways to include all the arts in the weekly piano lesson and use the various arts as vehicles for teaching technique and theory in musical, creative ways.  If time allows, he will also touch on techniques of creative practicing.

Forrest Kinney, NCTM, (Nationally Certified Teacher of Music designated by the Music Teachers National Association), teacher of music for nearly four decades, has built a multifaceted career: pianist, performer, composer, arranger, instructor (individual and class instruction and workshops), and public speaker. 

Forrest Kinney’s goal is to help others become creative, complete musicians capable of fully enjoying the Four Arts of Music: improvising, arranging, composing, and interpreting. He has conducted hundreds of workshops, master classes, and teaching demonstrations in addition to having presented concerts and lectures for music educators at major conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.  His speaking topics include The Four Arts, (his most frequent subject), performance anxiety, piano technique, songwriting, the history of music, and creative practicing.

Forrest authored nineteen books on music and creativity, and has written articles for such publications as American Music Teacher, Clavier Companion, and Music Matters. He composed hundreds of songs and piano pieces. In addition, his arrangements for the piano and a variety of instruments are included in 40 publications by Frederick Harris Music. Also an inventor, he was awarded a U.S. Patent for a new kind of computer key system.

 For more details see


Be sure to join us after Forrest Kinney's presentation on October 17 for our annual Potluck Luncheon. This is a great opportunity for new members to introduce themselves! Email with your culinary offering. For those of you who will not be able to prepare a dish, we ask that you donate $5.00 toward the Hospitality Committee the day of the event. Thank you and hope to see you there!

 Creative Composing: 
Embracing Creativity, Nurturing Musicality 

Nancy Modell has explored ways to introduce composition to students of all levels, and has presented her approach at various teachers’ forums, including the SAA, NAfME, and NJMEA, and, most recently, in a workshop for MSU music majors. Her private students have succeeded in composition competitions in the USA and internationally.

This presentation will embolden piano teachers with ideas and practical tools to help students realize their creative impulse to compose. Attendees will discover that all children can compose and this activity is enjoyable and enriching for both student and teacher.  Teachers will explore their comfort zones for developing their students’ creativity, imagination and musical storytelling.  Teachers will learn concepts for integrating composition into lessons and adapting their approach to each individual student’s performance and reading level, thus making self-expression through composition a gratifying and joyous experience. Attendees will be inspired and ready to ‘try this at home!" 

Nancy Modell, an Ithaca College School of Music graduate in piano performance and education, is a Suzuki piano teacher and Suzuki Teacher Trainer. Nancy pioneered the Suzuki Piano method in Israel in the 1980s where she taught students and trained local piano teachers in Jerusalem. Since 1992 she has been teaching in her Springfield, NJ studio, inspiring students to reach their potential through innovative learning opportunities, including original composition, music events and field trips. Under a MTNA Teacher Enrichment Grant, Nancy studied how to employ the Taubman Approach to enhance Suzuki Piano Pedagogy.  She has trained Suzuki piano teachers in college courses, Suzuki Summer Institutes, and privately.  She is an Assistant Director of the New Jersey Suzuki Workshop and President of the MEA-NJ.

Annual Piano Competition 
2017 Comeptition

The Annual Piano Competition Committee did a fantastic job presenting the music for the 2017 competition at the September general meeting. If you have not gotten a syllabus you can download it Here. (It is listed on the website under Forms/Downloads.) For more information contact the competition co-chairs, Barbara Landi Hause and Anna Katznelson at

The Place for Discussions Written For
and By MEA Members

New Topic Qustion:
How do you include elements of music history in lessons?

To answer a topic question and/or suggest a new question, please contact friendlyforum@mea-nj.orgDeadline is November 15, 2016 for the January/April Glissando.

Be sure to check out the responses to the following topic question published in the September/ December Glissando: How do you teach or develop good technique from beginners to advanced students? Are there particular books that you recommend?                                             



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