Meadows Dean Receives National MTNA Achievement Award

Sam Holland co-founded Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy

Left to Right: Dr. Gary Ingle, Executive Director, Music Teachers National Association Leslie Owsley, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy Samuel Holland, Dean, Meadows School of the Arts, Founder, Trustee, and former Executive Director, Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy Dr. Jennifer Snow, Executive Director, Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy Dr. Scott Price, President, Board of Trustees, Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy Dr. Scott McBride-Smith, President, Music Teachers National Association

The Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy, a New Jersey-based nonprofit co-founded and led for the past 20 years by SMU Meadows School Dean Samuel Holland, has received the 2018 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Achievement Award. The annual award, MTNA’s highest honor, is given to an individual who has made significant and lasting contributions to the music teaching profession. Holland accepted the award on behalf of the Clark Center during the annual conference of the MTNA held in March in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

MTNA AwardIt is the second major MTNA award Holland has received. In 2015, he was named Teacher of the Year, an award given annually by MTNA to a music teacher who goes “far beyond the call of duty to exemplify excellence in music teaching.”

“To be recognized by one’s peers at the national level is especially rewarding, particularly since much of the work for the Frances Clark Center has been under the radar—building an organization and creating conditions in which others thrive and enjoy the spotlight,” said Holland. “I’m more confident than ever of an impactful and sustainable future for this unique institution.”

At the awards ceremony, Leslie Owsley, chair of the center’s board of trustees, said, “Sam has been part of the brain trust and heart of the Frances Clark Center for many years. As co-founder and longtime executive director, he has been central to everything that has happened at the center over the past two decades. The purpose of the founders was to extend the influence of Frances Clark’s inclusive and revolutionary philosophy of music education, and to carry on her work and legacy. We are proud of what we have accomplished, and even more excited about our future!”

Founded in 1998, the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy trains piano teachers and is based on the philosophy of music educator Frances Clark (1905-98), whose life work revolutionized the field of music education in the 20th century. Dr. Clark believed passionately in the transformative power of music-making in the life of every person—not just the young, gifted or privileged. What set Clark apart from her predecessors, however, was her recognition that the quality of musical experience is directly related to the quality of the music teaching-learning experience. She therefore placed singular importance on the preparation of teachers. The Clark Center advances its goals and serves local, national and international audiences through The New School for Music Study in Princeton, N.J., the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, Clavier Companion magazine, the Piano Pedagogy Forum and several print publications.

Founded in 1876 and based in Cincinnati, the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) is a nonprofit professional organization for the support, growth and development of music-teaching professionals, with some 22,000 members in 50 states and over 500 local affiliates. MTNA offers a wide range of member resources, from leadership, teaching and personal health support to insurance, financial and legal services. It also comprises two subsidiaries, the MTNA Professional Certification Program, and the MTNA Foundation Fund, which supports a variety of programs that include music competitions and commissioning of composers.