History of the New Directions Conference…


In 1997 Michigan State University inaugurated a series of conferences on emerging trends in music education.


Our musical world has changed rapidly in recent years. So rapidly in fact that it is often difficult for music teachers and scholars to keep up with the latest advances in music technology, methods, and research.


The New Directions in Music Education Conference is designed to provide a stimulating environment for sharing and learning the latest scholarly advances and best teaching practices from some of the world’s foremost teachers, researchers, and musicians. Join us on the beautiful campus of Michigan State University for three days of ear-opening presentations and clinics, exploring new ways to teach composition, improvisation, music technology, and performance.


This is a conference for elementary, middle school, and high school music teachers, and for collegiate faculty and students.


The purpose of New Directions in Music Education is to facilitate the sharing of information and ideas among eminent scholars, teachers, and musicians in new and developing areas of music education.


Conference Themes:


1997 – early childhood music education


2000 – teaching composition and improvisation


2003 – instrumental music education


2005 – teaching composition and improvisation II


2007 – elementary and secondary general music


2011 – revitalizing middle and high school music


2014 – teaching composition, improvisation, and the new musicianship


2017 - music education and social justice