Constructing and Writing an Article for MMEJ

MMEJ Editorial Policy | Constructing and Writing an Article for MMEJ

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We welcome your submissions to Massachusetts Music Educators Journal!

About the MMEJ

  • The MMEJ is the “official publication” of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association.
  • The MMEJ is published quarterly (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer).
  • The MMEJ reaches 1,700 MMEA members, as well as collegiate chapters and state, divisional, and national NAfME leaders.

The Purpose of the MMEJ

  • The Massachusetts Music Educators Journal prints news stories and articles that underline and help further the mission of the Massachusetts Music Education Association: “MMEA seeks to support comprehensive, quality music education for all students, through advocacy, professional development, and a commitment to lifelong learning.”

Additionally, the MMEJ will:

  • Support teacher development by publishing provocative articles that help readers to continually refine their skills as music educators and advocates for arts education within their school systems and communities.
  • Provide opportunities for professional growth by soliciting articles written by state educators and pertaining to music education.

Editorial Areas of the Massachusetts Music Educators Journal

We welcome articles geared toward music educators, in the following major editorial areas.

  • Advocacy
  • Classroom Music
  • Contemporary Music
  • Embracing the New Music Educator
  • Higher Education
  • Innovations
  • Instrumental
  • Last Words: A catch-all category for the editor’s choice!
  • News
  • Technology
  • Vocal
  • Voices of the Urban Music Educator

Suggested Steps in Writing an Article

  1. Determine the direction of your article.

    • Consider your “target audience.” This should consist of your primary peer group, and will evolve over time
    • Consider your strengths. What do you know about that others might be interested in learning?
    • Consider possible topics to share. Topic should be engaging to a large portion of your target audience.
    • Narrow your focus. Choose the exact topic. Plan to cover only some aspects so you can fully support your ideas with details.
    • Create a “thesis.” This one or two sentences crystallizes the point you will demonstrate (i.e. argue) in your article. Be sure that all your supporting details will enhance your opinion/thesis.
  2. Plan your article.

    • Plan the evidence you will use to support your thesis.
    • Create a topic outline. Decide how many paragraphs you will need, and where each piece of evidence will fall.
  3. Write!

    • Begin writing. Let your outline be your guide.
    • Review. Be sure you are using clear, conversational language.
    • Be engaging: Talk directly to the reader and use anecdotes when possible.
    • Share early drafts with a colleague for input and feedback.
  4. Gather artwork, illustrations, photos, and/or notated examples.

    • All images and artwork submitted should be in as high a resolution as possible. As a rule of thumb, an image that is about 1 MB or larger is usually enough. Jpeg files pulled from websites are often not of sufficient quality for print.
    • Be sure that you have permission to use any photos.
    • Provide photography credit wherever possible.
  5. Submit your work.

    • Be sure to check the MMEJ for deadlines and meet them (or better yet, be early).
    • Send your article as an e-mail attachment. (Be sure to save work with an extension such as .doc or .rtf.)
    • Let the editor know by e-mail if material is time-sensitive.
    • Send a follow-up e-mail if you do not receive confirmation.

Final thoughts:

  • Be prepared to edit work after it is submitted; don’t take this personally.
  • Send photos, illustrations, or musical examples (in finale/notepad or as pdf) if at all possible.
  • Consider contacting the department editors to write for a specific section or issue…your article will have a much greater chance of being included quickly.
  • Don’t be discouraged if your article is not printed right away…there are many submissions and a very limited number of pages.

Anatomy of a Well-Planned Article

  1. Opening Paragraph
    Engage! Engage! Engage!
    Background information about your topic
    Thesis Statement

  2. Supporting Paragraph
    Topic Sentence
    Supporting Details

  3. Supporting Paragraph
    Topic Sentence
    Supporting Details

  4. Supporting Paragraph
    Topic Sentence
    Supporting Details

  5. Closing Paragraph
    Restate Your THESIS

Massachusetts Music Educators Association

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Michael LaCava
Interim Executive Director
PO Box 920004
Needham, MA 02492