Unifying Educators to Shape the Future of Music Education


It takes a village – this could not be truer especially as you work on behalf of young people. We work to foster collaboration among everyone we interact with. We believe our network to be extensive but only effective if we are utilizing the expertise and knowledge of the community. As a facilitator and convener, we relish in finding solutions and discussing the critical issues facing our community.

Unified Voices for Music Education (UVFME) is a collective effort from music teachers throughout our country. The idea took shape after seeing the need and appetite for teachers to be informed while simultaneously having a desire to be creative, as they imagine the upcoming school year. Make no mistake, teachers are guiding, implementing, and executing this program. The CMA Foundation is simply hosting and providing the necessary resources to see it from start to finish.

We are thankful to also have the involvement and consultation of Dr. Derrick Fox, Director of Choral Activities at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, as a key member of our team. His insights have been invaluable as we fleshed out a national plan for all music teachers.


Currently there are two opportunities to be involved with our UVFME program.

  1. You can simply join the collective by subscribing to our mailing list below to receive details throughout the program about lesson plans, concepts, online meetings, etc…. AND/OR
  2. Submit a Future Teaching Practice (FTP) which will help provide meaningful instruction and lesson plans for music teachers as we resume classes in the fall. These plans will be shared broadly with our grantees, education partners and of course our Unified Voices for Music Education collective during the summer months.

We all have a responsibility to deliver the very best to our students. Help us shape the future of music education.


Get the latest news on Unified Voices for Music Education by joining our mailing list


Content Lead: Dr. Derrick Fox

Dr. Derrick Fox is the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.  He earned degrees from Arkansas State University, the University of Missouri – Columbia and Michigan State University. Dr. Fox has conducted, presented and held residencies throughout the U.S. and internationally. His professional workshops focus on assessment in the choral classroom, building classroom community, rehearsal strategies, choral conducting techniques and shape note singing in the African American community.
Dr. Fox conducted the 2019 National ACDA Middle School/Junior High Mixed Honor Choir. He recently traveled to South Africa as a 2019 ACDA International Conductor Exchange Fellow where he led choral workshops and rehearsals in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Potchefstroom.
He has held teaching residencies at the Latvian Academy of Music and Syracuse University, led performance tours through Lithuania and Estonia. He is a published author and contributed to the Hal Leonard/McGraw Hill Voices in Concert textbook. His compositions/arrangements are published by Hal Leonard and Brilee Music and his book, Yes You Can: A Band Director’s Guide to Teaching Choirs is published by Carl Fischer. He launched The Derrick Fox Choral Series with Music Spoke to highlight works by and about marginalized/underrepresented people.


Content Lead: Dr. Jennifer Campbell

Dr. Jennifer Campbell is entering her fourth year as Coordinator and an Assistant Professor of Music Education at The College of Saint Rose, where she facilitates the growth of preservice music educators at every level. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Baldwin Wallace Conservatory and earned her MM and PhD degrees from the University of Mississippi. Her courses on elementary and secondary general music draw from her three levels in the Orff-Schulwerk approach and her level II certification in Kodály pedagogy. She also teaches preschool and pre-K music at the St. Rose Nursery School where preservice educators join in through observation and co-teaching. She serves as the advisor of the Collegiate NAfME chapter and supported her advisees’ in hosting the 2020 Collegiate-NYSSMA Advocacy and Professional Development Conference in February.
Jennifer has presented her research on female music educators of the nineteenth century at the 2017 Oklahoma Symposium on the History of Music Education and her research on early childhood singing at the 2016 NAfME Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference. She is a member of the National Association for Music Educators, the Organization for Kodaly Educators, and the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.


Content Lead: Dr. Brandon Robinson

Dr. Brandon E. Robinson is a devoted music educator, clinician, drill designer, music arranger, and composer (devmusicpublishing.com) with more than twenty years of service.  Robinson is currently the Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, MS.  He has presented workshops across the United States including The Midwest Clinic, the Music For All Summer Symposium, and the Texas Music Educators Association Annual Conference.  Robinson received his Bachelor of Music Education and Masters of Music in Instrumental Conducting from Arkansas State University and completed his graduate studies with a Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education from the University of Mississippi. For additional information, visit BERmusic.net.


July 13, 2020
5:00PM - 6:00PM CT



Content Lead: William Earvin

William J. Earvin is the Director of Bands at Baker High School in Baker, LA. He is a native of Atlanta, GA and is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music. After graduating from Clark Atlanta in 2000, he began his music education career teaching in Georgia. He later pursued his graduate studies at Mississippi Valley State University where he earned a Master of Arts Degree in Education (2006). While at Mississippi Valley he served as a graduate assistant in the Fine Arts Department and Assistant Director of Bands. While in Mississippi he also secured a position as the first African American Director of Bands at Mississippi Delta Community College.

Dr. Earvin later returned to Georgia to teach, and his ensembles consistently earned Superior Ratings at the GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluation and were selected to perform at numerous regional and national festivals and conferences. Dr. Earvin has been honored as an “Outstanding Music Educator” by the Berklee College of Music (2009) and a “Distinguished Music Educator” by the Yale University School of Music (2013).

Dr. Earvin is a 2019 graduate of Northcentral University where he earned a degree in Higher Education Leadership. He is also the Vice President of Education Programs and Development for the Devmusic Company, LLC.


July 13, 2020
5:00PM - 6:00PM CT



Content Lead: Bryson Finney

Bryson Finney, educator, songwriter and musician happily resides in Hermitage, TN. A music educator at heart, he has served as a General Music Teacher, Piano Instructor and Choir Instructor primarily in the Elementary setting for 9+ years. Bryson then continued supporting a diverse array of educational efforts as a Learning Technology Specialist, serving Nashville Schools. This role involved researching, training and modeling best practices around effective technology integration for all content areas. In addition to his work in education, Bryson is a local, Founder and Program Director of the “We Are Nashville” annual Music Festival, and serves weekly as a worship leader at his local church. Recently he has joined the Nashville Symphony’s Education staff as the Accelerando Coordinator, a program geared at diversifying the American Orchestra.


July 14, 2020
6:00PM - 7:00PM CT



Content Lead: Jose Antonio Diaz

Recently named as Country Music Association Foundation’s Music Teacher of Excellence, José Antonio Diaz is the founder/artistic director for the award-winning organization Diaz Music Institute in Houston, Texas. Diaz is a Grammy Nominated Music Educator Top 10 Finalist, winner of Berklee College of Music’s John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year Award, LULAC Educator of the Year Award and recipient of the Mayor’s Hispanic Heritage Award. Recently inducted into DownBeat Magazine’s Jazz Education Hall of Fame, Diaz's success was the subject of a featured cover story in SBO Magazine, Band Director's Guide Magazine, the Houston Chronicle, and selected by FOX 26 and Univision Television stations as a Hispanic Hero. Jose was inducted into the Texas Christian University Band Hall of Fame and received the prestigious Jefferson Award for his work with Diaz Music Institute. Jose’s leadership has led Diaz Music Institute to become internationally recognized as a premier organization for presenting, developing, and teaching Latin jazz and salsa music.
Jose is a graduate of the University of Arkansas (BSE) and Texas Christian University (MME). He is on the board of Directors for The Midwest Clinic and Jazz Education Network and is a member of NAfME, TBA, TMEA, Phi Beta Mu, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Phi Mu Alpha fraternities.


An expert in the area of instruction they are assigned to. We chose leaders who are well known and have a reputable knowledge of their instruction area (ex. Choral, Orchestra, Jazz, Technology, etc.) These Instruction Leads will work with focus groups of music educators to develop strong lesson plans that will be turned into online training resources.
The focus groups will be comprised of music educators to review and discuss each future teaching practice that is chosen by the instruction lead. Our focus group members will work together to make sure all future teaching practices are well thought out and developed before sending them out into the world to be used.
A future teaching practice is a lesson plan that can be used now and in the future to assist your music education colleagues. These are meant to be proactive in making sure students and teachers are prepared to go back to school. Every future teaching practices may not work for every situation – that's why we want a wide variety of school sizes, demographics and economic statuses represented in our instruction leads and focus groups.