NPM 2.0 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

.... and Answers!

 
GENERAL

No! Not only do we have a convention scheduled July 7-10, 2020 in Louisville, but we also plan for conventions to be a part of NPM in the future. But the vision also includes many other programming opportunities, plans, events, and more!
NPM 2.0 affirms that the best way of serving our mission of preparing effective musical and liturgical leaders is to focus on those who serve as leaders, those who have the most impact on making Sunday worship better.
Yes! NPM is for anyone who serves the Church as a pastoral musician. As we realize our vision in the NPM 2.0 process, look for new and revised membership categories that allow each of us to participate in the work of NPM in a way that is best suited for us. (And pay a level of dues accordingly!)
Absolutely! Included among those who exercise leadership in pastoral music are bishops, priests, and deacons. Also, we welcome seminarian members as they prepare for a vocation to liturgical music ministry.
No! While we may re-articulate it in fresh language, our mission remains the same: forming effective pastoral musicians to serve the Church.
NPM leadership has taken the bold step of outlining a vision, tracing the broad shapes of our future. It’s now time for NPM members and pastoral music leaders around the U.S. to help leadership fill in the blanks, coloring in the bright future of NPM.
NPM 2.0 is the name of a process that is just beginning. Over the coming months and years, NPM leadership will work on figuring out “HOW” to execute the vision put forth.
The Board of Directors, NPM Council, and other leaders have undertaken the hard work of articulating “WHY” NPM exists. Ultimately, our staff and member leaders (including chapter directors, national committees, and others) will be figuring out “HOW” NPM 2.0 can come alive. In the meantime, everyone in NPM is focused on “WHAT” the future of NPM must be. Give us your thoughts at board@npm.org.
If you are passionate about excellent musical worship in your parish, YOU are NPM. If you want to grow in your musical abilities to serve the Church, YOU are NPM. If you want to be part of the U.S. Catholic association of liturgical musicians, YOU are NPM!
Currently, NPM members come from less than 3,000 parishes in the United States. That means that over 10,000 parishes do NOT have an NPM member to provide effective leadership in music ministry for their communities. NPM needs to welcome those who serve ALL parishes into the association, so that together, we can ensure that EVERY parish in the United States has excellent music worship every Sunday.
As we consider the future governance of NPM 2.0, all aspects of our organizational structure are under consideration. This includes interest sections, committees, and other structural elements.
As NPM 2.0 focuses on those in leadership roles, we’ll consider how to best meet the needs of all music ministry leaders. A thorough analysis of our organizational structure will consider whether the current DMMD is the best way to meet the needs of leaders.
A. The vision for NPM 2.0 has been put forth by leadership but it can only be achieved by our membership. Make sure to share your feedback with us by emailing board@npm.org, or calling the national office. Just as important is each member making a special invitation to just one potential member; think about a friend, colleague, fellow choir member, neighboring pastor . . . then invite them to check out NPM again or perhaps for the first time.

CHAPTERS

No! NPM 2.0 is a national network of local chapters. Chapters are the heart of the association, and will have a greater role in shaping the future of NPM.
NPM chapters are the vehicle by which local and regional pastoral musicians gather, learn and share. Chapters are the way that members live their NPM-ness the other 360 days a year that there is NOT a convention.
NPM 2.0 seeks to:
● connect chapter and national membership;
● have a chapter in every diocese; ● standardize chapter structure and governance across the board; and
● give chapter leaders a much greater role in NPM national governance.
Visit for more Information on existing chapters, chapter resources and forming your own chapter.
By re-focusing our organization as a national network of local chapters, NPM can truly serve the needs of all parish communities because our programming and services can be targeted more appropriately to the members in each chapter. Instead of a “top-down” approach, NPM 2.0 envisions ideas for events coming from the “ground-up”, surfaced by chapter and diocesan leaders, perhaps in coordination with other chapters in their region.

 

PROGRAMMING

A. Fifty years ago, excitement about liturgical reform propelled us to gather, learn, and return to our parishes on fire.
Now, we have entered the stage of evaluating what has worked, what needs more attention . . . and we need to refocus our attention on different ways to interact with musicians, new ways to train and form members. The world learns in very different ways in 2019. And the costs of conventions, travel, and gathering together in person have skyrocketed.
Therefore, our programming will continue to expand online training options while developing In-person training opportunities of varying lengths and locations.
NPM 2.0 plans to develop regional skills training and formation opportunities that span all areas of the United States. By building strong relationships with diocesan leaders and closely connecting with chapters, NPM 2.0 will explore different models for new in-person programming.
● 2-day, 1-night local programs, especially geared towards youth and other topic-focused groups;
● 3-day, 2-night programs coordinated with diocesan leaders and chapters
● Retreats for our members
● Continued One Call Institute for youth, skill-based institutes, a refreshed Colloquium; and
● Yes, conventions when appropriate.
As NPM focuses on leaders in music ministry, an important group to recruit, serve, and nurture are emerging leaders. In addition to our annual Emerging Leader Institute, NPM 2.0 envisions new and exciting opportunities for young leaders to be trained and formed to serve the Church as music ministers.
The vision for Programming in NPM 2.0 includes a variety of offerings, including conventions, institutes, colloquia, webinars, on-line networking, and more

 

COMMUNICATIONS

Yes! Pastoral Music is our flagship publication, a key part of our identity and NPM’s contribution to liturgical music scholarship and practitioner formation for the last 40+ years. Look for Pastoral Music to continue alongside other NPM communications media to help connect our members with the Church and with each other.
Yes! The NPM website will continue to grow and develop, with current efforts focused on re-organizing content to improve its ease of use. New content will also be added on an ongoing basis, especially concerning the NPM 2.0 process and its resulting initiatives. The website will becomes a virtual space for all national and chapter communications and will serve as a resource center for both members and non-members.
NPM 2.0 envisions a comprehensive marketing plan that integrates all forms of NPM communication for members and non-members alike. NPM will better accomplish its mission when our communications connect us to each other and to the Church.
One of the five focus areas of the NPM 2.0 vision is Communications; NPM needs to continue enabling its members to connect with the Church and with each other. In addition to our existing media (website, social, podcast, etc.), we’re exploring digital learning and networking opportunities as ways that we can serve our members and more effectively serve the Church at sung prayer.

 

GOVERNANCE

NPM 2.0 proposes that at-large members of the NPM Council come from each of the fourteen Episcopal Regions of the United States, as defined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This guarantees a greater geographical diversity than is currently represented on the NPM Council, and gives members in the South and West a greater voice in governance. It also allows for new voices to help shape the future of NPM 2.0.
Existing governing documents (Constitution & Bylaws) will be radically simplified to a minimal set of bylaws, which serve only to define the organization’s essential characteristics, including the formation of the board and council. All other governance stems from the board’s policies, to allow for greater flexibility and agility, keeping up with the change and growth in our association.
A Board of Directors oversees and governs the association through policies. An advisory council, representative of membership, elects the board and advises the board on governance of the organization. Committees of members address various areas of organizational life. The advisory council is composed of at least 14 regional representatives at-large – one from each region of the United States as organized by the US Bishops. The council also includes other NPM leaders in their official capacities. This ensures that the cultural diversity that exists around the country will be represented among our leaders. The structure of committees and interest sections will be revised, to better represent members and our particular interests, while also allowing for the work of the association to be done by member-leaders.
The board employs an executive director (no longer a president & CEO) to oversee the daily operations and management of the organization. Along with their staff, the executive director is responsible for member services, programming and planning, event management, supervision of other staff, communications, and financial management. A Latin-rite Roman Catholic bishop, representing the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, serves as Episcopal Moderator, and official link of the organization to the hierarchy of the Church in the United States. This bishop serves as unofficial “pastor” of the organization.
The vision for Governance in NPM 2.0 includes an Executive Director who is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the association, including supervision of other staff, financial stewardship, programming, communications, member services, and more. NPM 2.0 is also led by its members, so the vision and direction for the association comes not from a President, but from its board, council, committees, and other member leaders. An Executive Director is a member of the board of directors, bringing the vision of member leaders to fruition.

 

MEMBERSHIP

With the current state of the Church, we note declining numbers of parishes and a subsequent decline in Director of Music Ministry positions. This is reflected in total NPM membership and also for DMMD membership. As we move to identify a broader understanding of who liturgical music leaders are we feel that a tiered level of responsibilities, skills and formation may be more appropriate than the current division structure. New and revised categories of membership allow members to engage in the organization at levels and in ways appropriate to their roles. There are also financial and business plan implications for the whole association that would lead to a better allotment of resources to serve the whole membership.
Leaders in music ministry have one or more of the follow characteristics:
• If you are the “person in charge” of a choir, ensemble, or an entire parish music ministry program, you are a leader.
• If you are responsible for repertoire selection, you are a leader.
• If you are the “principal instrumentalist” at liturgy, you are a leader.
• If the bishop, pastor or person who leads your community holds you responsible for musical and liturgical decisions prior to or during the liturgy, you are a leader.
• If you play a role in the formation of music ministry leaders, you are a leader. If you self-identify with any of these categories, NPM 2.0 considers you a leader!
Absolutely. NPM 2.0 envisions tiered levels of membership that would provides an appropriate membership level (and related cost) for all pastoral musicians.
Yes! NPM is for anyone who serves the Church as a pastoral musician. As we realize our vision in the NPM 2.0 process, look for new and revised membership categories that allow each of us to participate in the work of NPM in a way that is best suited for us. (And pay a level of dues accordingly!)
Absolutely! Included among those who exercise leadership in pastoral music are bishops, priests, and deacons. Also, we welcome seminarian members as they prepare for a vocation to liturgical music ministry.
The vision for NPM 2.0 is a chapter in every diocese of the United States. To make this happen, our organization needs to be in dialogue with diocesan and regional leaders, learning from partners in new parts of the U.S. about the needs of pastoral musicians whom serve their churches.