Dynamic, energetic, exciting — these are the words used to describe Marcia Neel, one of the most knowledgeable professionals in the field of music education today. This began years ago when she was a secondary music educator whose ensembles were known for consistent quality and attention to artistic detail.
She has carried that philosophy and constant search for perfection into everything she does — particularly when it comes to the complex art of school- and district-wide program building, where all of the pieces relating to standards-based curriculum, including instruction, scheduling, recruitment and retention, professional development and student achievement, come together to form the ideal, sequential program.
Neel cares about serving schools and school districts by providing just this type of guidance. From building or refining course syllabi to organizing a K-12 Master Music Education Plan that results in increasing the numbers of students served through an enhanced, relevant curriculum, Neel has done it all as the Secondary Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator for the Clark County School District (CCSD), headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over the course of her 14-year tenure, she led the Secondary Arts Education program to an astounding level of growth and enrollment. The standards-based Mariachi Program, implemented in 2002 in the CCSD, has grown from 250 students to almost 7,000 today. Neel is currently president of Music Education Consultants and senior director of education for Yamaha Corporation of America.
Neel's enthusiasm for engaging more children in music-making is contagious, and providing these opportunities through an organized, well thought-out vision and unified approach is her passion.
Some of Marcia Neel's session titles include:
• "District-Wide Music Education Professional Development: Creating a Unified Message through the Establishment of a District-Wide Music Education Plan"
• "5 S.M.A.R.T. No-Fail Ideas for Retaining Your Beginners"
• "Making an Advocate out of Your Principal: Ten Things You Can Do 'On Monday'"
• "Bridging the Gap Between Middle School and High School: Tips for Ensuring a Seamless Instrumental Music Education Experience"
• "Analogy of the Band Director's Job . . . the CEO Approach"
• Sessions geared toward Music Education Majors, but available to all, such as "Interviewing Skills: the Rules of the Road" and "Crossing Over to the Other Side of the Podium: Lessons in Body Language"