The Music Educators Association of New Jersey is a nonprofit organization of independent piano teachers. Founded in Newark in 1927, its mission is to establish high standards statewide for private music teaching, while encouraging musical excellence and instilling a love of music in our students. To achieve these goals, we provide continuing educational and performance opportunities for our members through monthly lectures, workshops, recitals, and master classes. For our students, we offer auditions, competitions, recitals, and master classes given by artist teachers. In addition, the MEA scholarship program assists selected college students, precollege students, and music campers. Today, the MEA has close to 300 members. In addition to conducting private teaching practices, many members teach at local colleges, perform, and compose music. A board of directors, comprised of over twenty hardworking and talented volunteers, meets regularly to plan, execute, and evaluate all the wonderful MEA programs.
The Music Educators Association of New Jersey was chartered in Newark by dedicated music teachers to elevate the standards of private music teaching, to provide a forum for music education, and to offer opportunities for musical development for students of all levels. In its earliest years, collaboration with the Griffith Piano Company was vital. At first, meetings were held in locations throughout Newark, followed by the Maplewood Woman's Club, the Montclair Library, and now, the Madison Library. During the Great Depression, members gave class lessons to reduce costs to students. In the war years, benefit concerts were given to support the Red Cross and the war effort. MEA launched the Newark Library's Music Record Department with a gift of 100 records in the 1940's. This collaborative and community-centered tradition continues today. MEA student scholarships are an important part of this outreach. Rosalyn Tureck, Van Cliburn, Rosina Lhevinne, Roger Sessions, and Ruth Slenczynska are among the many celebrated artists who have been featured MEA presenters or MEA members.
Please note: All the following information can be found in detail on the MEA website. To read more about the listed programs, click on the hyperlinks which are noted in red italic and underlined.
Monthly Programs: At each general meeting September thru June at the Madison Public Library (except in December). A wide variety of topics relevant to teaching and performing are presented by world-renowned artists and pedagogues.
News: Our newsletter, The Glissando, is mailed to members three times a year, and our e-letter, The 32nd Note, is sent out periodically via e-mail. Members can share special events on our website, which is a treasure trove of information.
Scherzo Club: Monthly opportunities for playing and listening in the comfort of private homes of members.
Annual Auditions: The MEA's largest event, this program enrolls approximately 1,400 students! It is held in May and June at colleges throughout the state. A motivational program, not a competition, it provides students with written evaluations and certificates. Special recognition is given to longtime participants. For students of all ages, including adults, from Elementary to Young Artist levels.
Student Recitals: Held on Sunday afternoons at the Madison Library, these events afford students additional performance opportunities to present polished piano repertoire in an intimate setting, and the chance to listen to music presented by their peers.
Honors Recital: A competition for all qualified students based on categories/repertoire from the Annual Auditions Syllabus. Provides audition experience as well as a performance opportunity in a formal setting at the Randolph Performing Arts Center. Performers are awarded trophies.
Annual Piano Competition: Held in the spring at New Jersey City University, this high-level competition carries a new theme every year, with a required repertoire tied to age. A formal Winners' Recital is the culmination, with awards.
Eric Steiner Composition Competition: An adjudicated yearly event where young composers receive constructive written feedback on their compositions. All participants are encouraged to perform at The Original Composition Festival where certificates and awards are presented.
Original Composition Festival: Starting in Spring 2015, this newest addition to MEA's activities for students is designed to provide all young composers an opportunity to perform their works and network with their peers.
Young Artists' Master Class: At the June meeting, this Master Class features winning student performers from the Young Artist Category of the Annual Auditions.
Theory Tests: A valuable resource for teachers and students, this program coincides with the MEA Audition syllabus grades and levels. Teachers have the flexibility of administering the tests throughout the year. Grades are recorded for participation in an awards program.
Scholarships: Each year the MEA awards over $4,000 in Scholarships. Most of the recipients are selected by the MEA Scholarship Committee. In addition to the MEA Camp and College Scholarships, the MEA provides scholarship funds to Music Departments of affiliated local Colleges.
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