|| AGO NATIONAL COUNCIL APPROVES MENTORING PROGRAM FOR USE AMONG MEMBERS
New Program Offers Mutual Assistance Among Colleagues in Sacred Music
Nov. 28, 2005
NEW YORK CITY—The AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS (AGO) has developed a new membership program in the spirit of mutual assistance among colleagues in sacred music. It is not intended to replace informal collegial relationships that are already in place and that have worked in the past. However, even the most seasoned professionals in the sacred music field occasionally have questions relating to a wide range of subjects. Times change, as do duties and expectations. Persons who are new to the profession have an even greater need to seek advice from those more experienced on questions involving, among other things: AGO institutional matters; employment issues; technical vocal/choral concerns; performance practice; business and administrative skills; interpersonal relations; and spiritual and psychological support.
The structure for AGO MENTORING consists of general rules and guidelines for participants: mentors, members, and referring officers. All agree to observe fundamental principles of fairness and confidentiality which are designed to enable the system to function.
The system is supervised by the AGO National Committee on Career Development and Support. It maintains a list of all persons who volunteer their time in specific mentoring areas. There are three levels. A chapter mentor is available to mentor members in one or more specific chapters. A regional mentor is available to mentor members in one or more regions. A national mentor is available to all members. This system enables the mentors to limit their availability. Mentors volunteer their services in specific areas to chapter professional development coordinators, regional professional development coordinators or through the director of the national committee on career development and support. For informational purposes, the director maintains a complete list of all available mentors at all three levels.
Members may request mentoring through the appropriate chapter, regional, or national officer. The selection of the mentor is made by the referring officer, based upon the information furnished by the available mentors and by the member seeking a mentor. The member will make a good faith effort to consult and work with the mentor selected by the referring officer.
Mentors do not charge a fee for mentoring services. Members agree to absorb miscellaneous costs of mentoring when possible, such as initiating phone calls, utilizing e-mail and otherwise minimizing operational costs to the mentors and referring officers.
Members and mentors agree to sign and exchange a mentoring agreement, furnishing a copy signed by both to the referring officer. The agreement provides for mutual confidentiality and contains ethical covenants and a release of claims. It lists the subject matter and the period of duration.
Complete details, including the mentor application and agreement forms, can be found on pp. 116–117 of the October issue of The American Organist Magazine and online at <www.agohq.org>. For further information, please contact W. James Owen, AGO Councillor for Professional Development, email@example.com.
The AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS is the national professional association serving the organ and choral music fields. Founded in 1896 as both an educational and service organization, it sets and maintains high musical standards and promotes the understanding and appreciation of all aspects of organ and choral music. The mission of the AGO is to enrich lives through organ and choral music. The Guild currently serves approximately 19,000 members in more than 300 local chapters throughout the United States and abroad. The American Organist Magazine, the official journal of the AGO and the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, reaches an audience of more than 20,000 readers each month.
This information is submitted by F. Anthony Thurman, Director of Development and Communications at the National Headquarters of the American Guild of Organists and The American Organist Magazine. For further information, please contact Dr. Thurman by TEL (212) 870-2310, FAX (212) 870-2163 or E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org.