Ep. 144: Better Together – A #MusicEducationNation invitation from Scott Sheehan, NAfME President

Stronger together

Photo by Kayle Kaupanger on Unsplash

Learn more about what NAfME is, the resources it offers, and how to collaborate as part of the greater “Music Education Nation” to advance the benefits of music for all. NAfME President Scott Sheehan shares his vision for his presidency and lessons learned from the pandemic.


My guest today is NAfME (National Association for Music Education) President, Scott Sheehan. Scott is a nationally recognized advocate and leader for the advancement of music education; the Director of Bands and Music Department Chairperson at the Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School in PA; and is an Educational Clinician for Conn-Selmer.

Scott Sheehan


We discuss:

  • What IS NAfME?
  • What “music advocacy” means to Scott.
  • Scott’s goals for his two-year term as NAfME President.
  • Practical ways the musical community can be “stronger together” with less segmentation and more collaboration.
  • Scott has said: “Over the past few years I have observed that there are many silos under the music education umbrella. All of these associations and companies are well intentioned, and most offer the same message. I believe we can greatly expand our combined reach if we work together, rather than politely engaging in coopetition which results in the dilution of a powerful, unified message. NAfME must recognize what other organizations do well, and perhaps better than us, and focus of our efforts on how we can support each other. It’s time to start moving mountains, rather than just keep throwing snowballs at an iceberg! There is power in numbers and there is power in relationships. We must work together toward our common goal.”
  • Resources offered by NAfME for educators and for laypeople (parents, students, advocates).

Connect/Other Resources

Other episodes we mentioned or that you may enjoy:

In-Episode Promo

Ultimate Music Business Summit 2023


Scott shares a piece of music that was a 6 movement suite commissioned at his school called, “Small Town, Big Dreams.”  It was a very large project that took 2.5 years to complete and it captured the cultural aspects of the communities in each of the movements. Here is a recording of the first movement, “The Old Chief’s Lookout,” by Rick Hirsch.

Closing Words

And that is just a little bit of “The Old Chief’s Lookout,” which is the first movement of the 6 movement suite called, “Small Town, Big Dreams,” by Rick Hirsch.

Thank you Scott for serving our greater music community and our “music education nation” through your role as NAfME President; and thanks for coming on the show today to share your vision and invitation to collaborate.

If Scott’s message resonated with you, be sure to check out the links in the show notes where you can learn more about NAfME, access their resources, and connect with Scott. There’s also a list in the show notes of other episodes you may enjoy.

You can always connect with me on email (mindy@mpetersonmusic.com), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Until next time, may your life be enhanced with music.

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