NAfME Welcomes New Federated Association Serving India

Mike Lawson • News • March 6, 2017

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During its most recent National Executive Board meeting in January 2017 in Anaheim, CA, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) approved the bylaws and constitution of the Western Music Education Association (WMEA) and formally approved affiliation with the organization, which serves music educators in India.

Through the NAfME/Western Music Education Association federation, music educators in India will be able to join both organizations and receive access to the same member benefits, such as professional development and information exchange, as U.S.-based NAfME members. A 110-year old association, NAfME is among the world’s largest arts education organizations.

“This new relationship is evidence of International interest in sequential, standards-based music education. In a learning continuum, the ancient and diverse forms of music in India will make a rich cultural exchange possible with U.S.-based educators,” said Michael J. Blakeslee, NAfME executive director and chief executive officer.

“We welcome the Western Music Education Association and look forward to their active engagement and knowledge exchange at our National Assembly in June,” said NAfME president Denese Odegaard.

“Establishing a relationship between NAfME and WMEA is significant towards securing a future of excellent music education in India. It might only be a first step, but it is a profound one. NAfME’s guidance and leadership will allow music teachers in India to reach the next level of professionalism in music education that supports generations of music teachers and students to come,” said Natalie Sarrazin, who will serve as WMEA’s founding executive director.

“WMEA will provide much needed support for teachers of Western music in India, focusing on music learning and teaching and improved working conditions. It will be a common forum for teachers and professionals where they will receive advice from experts. Slowly but surely we will move towards the all-round development and betterment of the Music Teacher,” said Anjli Mata, WMEA president.

“The Indian education system currently provides very limited support to teachers, musicians and students pursuing western music. There are no school/college courses in western music recognized by the Government with no formal courses for music teachers of western music. Teachers struggle gathering basic know-how of aspects relating to their profession such as copyrights, taxation, legal procedures, professional policies, etc. Western Music Education Association (WMEA) will not only support music teachers across our vast nation for these aspects but help spread awareness and bring structure to western music performance/teaching as a profession,” said Ritesh Khokhar, WMEA vice president.

To learn about all the membership opportunities with NAfME, visit

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