The Fort Lewis College Music Department is a gem in the Four Corners region, but the program’s ambitions stretch beyond just southwestern Colorado. With the recent election of FLC Professor of Music Dr. Mark Walters as president of the Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA), the reputation of the program will only grow.
“[Serving as CMEA president] gives me and gives Fort Lewis College statewide recognition,” Dr. Walters explains. “So often we go to the Front Range and we visit schools and they're not as aware of Fort Lewis College as we would like to think they would be.”
“One of my goals in the next few years is to see the name of Fort Lewis College marketed more aggressively in the area of music.”
CMEA’s mission is to serve the educational needs of the nearly two thousand statewide membership that encompasses vocal, instrumental and general music teachers. This membership spans elementary school through college instruction and also includes retired members. Dr. Walters will serve as the 38th president of CMEA, a position that is a six-year commitment, with his first two years serving as president-elect, two years as president, and his final two years as immediate past president.
A goal for Dr. Walters is a statewide strengthening of mentor programs for young teachers along with exploring ways to implement the latest technology into the music classroom. He believes these two platforms can complement each other by using seasoned educators to advise new professionals entering the field while the same young, tech-savvy professionals are exploring the rapidly changing resources that are evolving each day.
With teacher shortages projected across the country, developing young teachers will be valuable, especially in the arts, which are often threatened when budgets tighten. Training college students to be teachers is another important task. Among the options for Fort Lewis College music students is the Music Education Option, a rigorous program designed to prepare students to become licensed K-12 teachers.
Learn more about the Fort Lewis College Music Department at www.fortlewis.edu/music.