Music. It can give us goosebumps, drive us to tears, and even involuntarily nod our heads and tap our feet. There is no denying the emotional impact music has on humans. We’ve been creatively developing ways of self-expression for nearly 40,000 years through dance, song, music and the visual arts. Used as ritual, story, and as ways to communicate grief, as well as joy. That’s a lot of history!
As we progressed, so did our instruments and techniques. We developed sophisticated ways to read and write music, fine-tune and invent new musical instruments, and how to teach music, art and voice to others. In time, studies have shown that musical experience has proven to quicken brain development and improve math and literacy skills. Arlington ISD’s “All Arts for All” award-winning fine arts program completely embraces and embodies how music and art enriches the lives of students both culturally and academically.
With Assistant Director of Fine Arts, Michael Stringer, elected President-Elect of the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), the Arlington Independent School District has the chance to make an even bigger impact on the lives of not just local students, but students all over Texas.
“After two years of serving on the executive board as Vice-President and Chair of the Orchestra Division it is an honor to be selected by my colleagues to help lead this tremendous association into the future,” Stringer said. “As we move forward after the pandemic, I feel that the arts will be a key component in the social and emotional health of all students. TMEA has been and will continue to be a leader in the advancement of arts education to ALL children of Texas and I am humbled to be a small part of the mission and vision of the association.”
By nurturing relationships with policy influencers, testifying on important music education legislation, and acting as an advocate for teachers and students, TMEA works to ensure every student has access to high-quality music education.
Stringer began his career in the Arlington ISD in 2006 at Martin High School, leading the Martin High Symphony Orchestra to the finals of the TMEA Honor Orchestra Competition 11 times and winning the titles of 2015 TMEA HS String Honor Orchestra and 2017 TMEA HS Full Honor Orchestra. His dedication to music education has not gone unnoticed. In 2014, he was awarded the AWARE Award for Educational Excellence.
An elected position, Stringer will serve on the President Council for a three-year term, bringing a comprehensive perspective of arts administration to TMEA and first-hand experience to the capital of Texas to influence the future of musical education.
“As an arts administrator in the Arlington ISD, continued service on the TMEA Executive Board helps connect me to other parts of the state in order to help align our work as a district to that of other districts, learn the newest methodologies of instruction, and keep apprised of legislative items that may influence the arts in our schools,” said Stringer, who is only the second Arlington administrator to hold the position. “The Arlington ISD has a rich tradition of arts education for all and continued service allows me to showcase the outstanding work being done by students, teachers, and administrators in our amazing school district.