Music Creativity Through Technology

What is it? The Music Technology Leadership Academy (MTLA) is designed to provide a highly select group of music education students the opportunity to immerse themselves in studying instructional strategies for using music technology to reach students in secondary schools who are non-participants in traditional music ensembles.   The strategy and philosophy of this initiative is aligned with the website and its focus on using technology to reach “The Other 80%” in secondary school music. Interns & instructors for the 2023 MTLA in San Antonio shown on the right.


  • Four-day event embedded around the TI:ME/TMEA music education conference starting on Wednesday evening.
  • Participant-only training sessions on technology tools, strategies, and research related to non-traditional music students (NTMs).
  • Attendance of conference sessions related to music technology and its application to instructional settings.
  • Social networking times for participants to share experiences.
  • Final capstone project tailored to NTM classroom lesson plans.
  • Follow up activities after the Academy experience


This project provides several unique experiences in support of music making, learning, and teaching.  The MLTA program offers:

  • A unique format for blending music technology study within a conference setting, thus giving student interns not only insights from the MTLA instructors but from music education and the music industry at large.  
  • An opportunity for student interns—chosen competitively from diverse music education programs across the nation—to network with their student colleagues as well as conference presenters and attendees.  
  • Training on instructional strategies for using technology to reach a critical student population within secondary music education, the nationally estimated 80 percent of students who do not participate in traditional music ensembles.


  • 2012: The MTLA concept was designed by Richard Dammers and David B. Williams and first offered with NAMM and TMEA support in Louisville, KY (January 2012) in conjunction with the TI:ME/Jazz Educators Network Conference: Eight interns selected. NAMM and TMEA support continued.  Founding instructors: David B. Williams (Illinois State University), Richard Dammers (Rowan University), and V.J. Manzo (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
  • 2013: San Antonio, TX (February 2013) with the TI:ME/TMEA Conference: Seven interns selected. NAMM and TMEA support continued.  Instructors: Same as 2013. 
  • 2014: San Antonio, TX (February 2014) with the TI:ME/TMEA Conference: Eleven interns selected. NAMM and TMEA support continued.  Instructors: Same as 2012. 
  • 2015: San Antonio, TX (February 2015) with the TI:ME/TMEA Conference: Sixteen interns selected. NAMM and TMEA support continued.  Instructors:  added Dr. William Bauer (University of Florida) to the instructional staff. 
  • 2016: San Antonio, TX (February 2016) with the TI:ME/TMEA Conference. Twelve interns participated in the Academy’s 5th year on February 10th.
  • 2017: Cleveland, OH (February 2017) with the TI:ME/OMEA Conference.  Twelve interns participated for the Academy’s 6th year.  Same instructional staff.
  • 2018: San Antonio (February 2018) with TI:ME/TMEA Conference. Twenty interns participated in the Academy’s 7th year.
  • 2019: San Antonio (February 2019) with TI:ME/TMEA Conference. Sixteen interns participated in the 7th year with the same staff plus Marjorie LoPresti, Jim Frankel, and Barbara Freedman as guest presenters.
  • 2020: San Antonio (February 2020) back with TI:ME/TMEA Conference. Thirteen interns participated with guest presenters along with the same leadership faculty included Marjorie LoPresti, Jim Frankel, Will Kuhn, and Barbara Freedman..
  • 2021: Virtual Music Technology Academy (May 2021) with TI:ME, NAMM, and industry support. MTLA interns from U of Southern California, SUNY Fredonia, UMass Lowell, U of Florida, Illinois State U, U of Tennessee, UMass Amherst, and SUNY Fredonia.
  • 2022: Virtual Music Technology Academy (May 2022) with TI:ME, NAMM, and industry support.
  • 2023: San Antonio (February 2023) with TI:ME/TMEA Conference.  Fifteen interns. See list of interns in right sidebar.


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