Clovis music teacher honored

By Douglas Clark
Staff Writer

CLOVIS — Throughout the years Doris Tankersley has impacted legions of music students, adeptly aiding pupils in maximizing talent and potential. Her efforts were recently lauded by the Professional Music Teachers of New Mexico, which dubbed Tankersley as the organization’s 2016 Teacher of the Year.

“The (PMTNM) Board of Directors, which includes about 15 members, meets to select a teacher whom we think is representative of our values and standards as professional music teachers,” PMTNM President Jan King said. “There were several contenders and Doris was selected from among those nominated. Her participation and involvement in Professional Music Teachers of New Mexico for many years was certainly one of the criteria for selection. She has been active in many recitals, seminars and church activities while influencing so many students over the years, that we felt she was an outstanding candidate for this honor.”

Tankersley has been active as an independent teacher since she began teaching in 1958, attending local Clovis-Portales music teacher’s meetings and then state music teacher sessions.  Additionally, officials said Tankersley has attended every workshop offered at West Texas A&M University and Eastern New Mexico University, as well as any event or workshop that would nurture professional growth as a teacher.

“I was pleasantly surprised to learn I had received the honor,” said Tankersley, who has been a member of the organization since 1963 and teaches jazz, gospel and improvisation genres, among others. “I’ve had several students compete in state and district competitions and had several winners over the years. It’s been a labor of love to work with so many students.”

PMTNM officials said the organization’s overarching goal is to further the art of music teaching through activities and programs that encourage and support performance, composition and appreciation for students, teachers and communities.

“Patience is key, especially with young students and sometimes adults,” Tankersley said with regard to keys to being an effective music teacher. “Practice is also vital. It’s sometimes difficult to get students to understand that progress takes time and effort, but I have found students develop a feel for that work ethic. I try to get a feel for where they are in the instructional process and meet them there.”

Officials said the Professional Music Teachers of New Mexico was formed in 1950 as the New Mexico Music Teachers Association. The name of the organization was changed to the Professional Music Teachers of New Mexico, Inc. in 1998. PMTNM is affiliated with Music Teachers National Association.