Popular Music Education

Singer/Songwriter and Music Producer Showcase

NCMEA Singer/Songwriter and Music Producer Showcase
Click the image to apply for the showcase

The North Carolina Music Education Association’s Singer/Songwriter and Music Producer Showcase is designed to encourage individual musical creativity, the development of music writing skills, and collaboration with professionals from the music industry to enhance musicianship and creativity.

Students are encouraged to submit their original songs for the experience of sharing and learning ways to develop their songs with professional singer/songwriters and music producers from the music industry at the annual NCMEA’s state conference.

General Guidelines:

  1. All North Carolina students in grades K-12 are eligible to participate. Students must, however, be nominated by an NCMEA member teacher.
  2. Students can enter one of three divisions: elementary (k-5), middle school (6-8), or high school (9-12).
  3. Students should plan to submit their work individually (as a singer/songwriter or music producer in a DAW environment)
  4. Each student can only be involved in one submission.
  5. The submission deadline is 5:00 pm EST on October 1, 2024.

Submission guidelines:

  • Submissions should be original songs written by the student and are fixed media (songs that are completely pre-recorded).
  • Songs should be no longer than 4 minutes in length.
  • A wide range of styles or genres of music are encouraged. Students are encouraged to submit any musical style or combination of musical styles.
  • Students will have no more than eight minutes of setup time and four minutes of take-down time for personal equipment.

Submission Process:

NCMEA member teachers may nominate as many students as they wish. Each nomination must include the following:

  1. A video recording of a live performance or audio recording of their song.
  2. A brief description of the student’s musical experiences.
  3. The online application will ask for: teacher name(s) and email(s), school name(s), principal name(s), email contacts, song title, listing of instrumentation and equipment used, student name, email, school name, year in school, and uploaded video/audio files of the song.

The submission deadline is 5:00pm EST October 1, 2024. Only applications completed by this time will be considered. Students whose works are selected for presentation at the annual NCMEA Professional Development Conference will be notified by October 30th.

Singer/Songwriter and Music Producer Showcase Application


We Need Your Help

We would love to make contact with teachers across North Carolina who are teaching popular music as we grow our program! Please fill out the interest form and our committee leaders will be in touch periodically to help build our network and to share resources and opportunities so we can better support you.

Popular Music Interest Form:


Popular Music Committee Proposal
North Carolina Music Educators Association
January 4, 2023
Updated: June 1st, 2023

Mission Statement

The popular music committee is committed to recognizing, embracing, and advocating for popular music at the state music education level in ways that contribute meaningful, relevant, and innovative opportunities for all students and teachers who desire to learn, perform, or teach popular music in their classrooms.

Purpose Statement

As a committee, we recognize and acknowledge popular musicians and performance mediums that include popular music. We seek to provide professional development opportunities for popular music educators at the state level and create inclusive and diverse music learning spaces, where wider conceptions and understandings of music making in the music education community can exist that align with NCMEA’s goals for equity and inclusion at the state level. We stand for expanding notions of pedagogy, providing place/space for music educators to learn from innovative popular music educators in community, and support meaningful popular music learning spaces within their school/workplace. We believe that all students should have access to a well-rounded music education, which includes popular music education. We recognize that systemic injustices continue across our society, including in music teaching and learning. Our committee seeks to counteract systemic injustices and promote a culture of belonging for students and teachers interested in learning and performing popular music.


  1. To offer a place and space for popular music educators to learn about emerging pedagogies;
  2. To advocate and provide place for popular music to exist within the state music education conference;
  3. To advocate and provide support for emerging popular music educators, or music educators interested in teaching popular music;
  4. Advocate for equitable access to high quality, comprehensive musical experiences for all students in North Carolina;
  5. To be more inclusive of musics beyond the Western-European Art canon;
  6. To advocate for marginalized musicians and music educators, who are often outliers in the profession of band, orchestra, and choir;
  7. To offer affordable or free online resources for current or emerging popular music educators;
  8. To offer scholarships and funding opportunities so that popular music educators and their students are able to attend NCMEA PD and performance opportunities;
  9. To offer a community for popular music educators to come together, share with one another, and learn from each other.


The activities of this group include:

  • Proposing and presenting special sessions or round tables at NCMEA’s annual state conference.
  • Holding a special meeting for all popular music educators at NCMEA’s annual state conference.
  • Maintaining a website and a community page for networking and promotion of ideas related to popular music in PK-12 and higher.
  • Supporting the development, implementation and maintaining a popular music honors band at NCMEA’s state conference.
  • Proposing and presenting special sessions (Webinars) for popular music educators around the state.
  • Outreach to music educators who are not a part of NCMEA who are popular music educators and need community, professional development and support for teaching in their school(s).

Chair: Jonathan Kladder, Ph.D.
[email protected]