The National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) is a professional organization for singing teachers, and it is the largest association of its kind in the world. There are more than 6,500 members, mostly from the United States. Additional members are from Canada and over twenty-five other countries around the world including: Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
Driven by its mission statement and Code of Ethics, NATS offers a variety of lifelong learning experiences to its members, such as workshops, intern programs, master classes, and conferences, all beginning at the local chapter level and progressing to state, regional, and national events.
NATS also supports the growth and enrichment of its members through the publication of the Journal of Singing, a scholarly journal with articles on all aspects of singing and the teaching of singing, written by distinguished scholars in their fields. Originally titled the NATS Bulletin, it has been published since the formation of the organization in 1944.
NATS was founded in 1944 in Cincinnati, Ohio. As an outgrowth of the development of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) in the early years of the twentieth century, a group of singing teachers incorporated the association in the state of New York on November 27, 1906. The first annual meeting of the new organization was held on January 7, 1908 at Steinway Hall in New York City. In 1917 it changed its name to the New York Singing Teachers' Association (NYSTA). In 1922 the Los Angeles Guild of Teachers of Singing was chartered, and two years later it published a Code of Ethics that was later embraced by the national organization. The Chicago Council of Teachers of Singing was organized in 1930.
These local organizations began the process of becoming a national organization in the early 1940s. During the 1944 MTNA Convention, members of the various groups met on Thursday, March 23, 1944, at the Netherland Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati to create the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
More recent historical highlights are given on the organization's web site.
The association has a national office in Jacksonville, Florida, and is governed by a national Board of Directors. Members belong to one of 14 national Regions, depending upon which state they reside in:
- Cal-Western Region
- Central Region
- Eastern Region
- Great Lakes Region
- Intermountain Region
- Mid-Atlantic Region
- Mid-South Region
- New England Region
- North Central Region
- Northwestern Region
- Southeastern Region
- Southern Region
- Texoma Region
- West Central Region
A Regional Governor serves as the head of each national region. Individual states and localities also have independent chapters, with State Governors and chapter presidents leading them.
Members are invited to attend a National Conference (convention) every two years, sponsored by a different city and Region each time. Recent conventions include:
- 2016, Chicago, Illinois
- 2014, Boston, Massachusetts
- 2012, Orlando, Florida
- 2010, Salt Lake City, Utah
- 2008, Nashville, Tennessee
- 2006, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- 2004, New Orleans, Louisiana
- 2002, San Diego, California
The 2018 National Conference will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The National organization also provides several National Workshops each year for teachers to learn new ideas and teaching strategies In addition, there are many Regional, state, and chapter meetings held at regular times throughout the year. These are usually a workshop on a specific topic or a variety of topics, and some include masterclasses and student auditions/competitions.
"To encourage the highest standards of the vocal art and of ethical principles in the teaching of singing; and to promote vocal education and research at all levels, both for the enrichment of the general public and for the professional advancement of the talented."
Code of Ethics
NATS members are charged with honoring a national Code of Ethics. This list of proper behaviors for voice teachers was established to encourage honesty and professional standards. The current Code, written in 2006, is divided into three sections:
- I. Personal Ethical Standards
- II. Ethical Standards Relating to Students
- III. Ethical Standards Relating to Colleagues
Students of NATS members have access to one of the organization's most widely recognized activities: Student Auditions. They also have the opportunity, along with members, to compete at a national level through the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards (NATSAA). The national Artist Award program began in 1955 as the Singer of the Year Scholarship Auditions.
The NATSAA competition is designed to assist singers prepared to launch a professional career, and to that end substantial monetary and performance prizes are offered. The competition takes place every other year, in conjunction with NATS Conferences. Preliminary competitions are held regionally, and semifinals/finals take place at the NATS Conference. Throughout its history the purpose of this [NATSAA] competition has been to select, through a series of elimination rounds on the district, regional, and national levels, singers whose artistry indicates that they are ready for a professional career and to encourage them toward that goal with a cash prize and the opportunity for performance engagements.
- NATS web site
- NATS web site
- "Siri navigates her way to Hobart". Retrieved 2015-10-10.
- Shepard, p. 324
- Shepard, p. 324.
- Ringel, p. 1
- Ringel, p. 2
- Ringel, p. 2
- Ringel, p. 3
- Ringel, p. 11
- Section "Who is NATS?" www.nats.org
- Names of current board members is listed on the NATS web site, www.nats.org
- Current National workshops are listed at http://www.nats.org/programs/national-workshops.html
- The complete text is given at: http://www.nats.org/who-is-nats/code-of-ethics.html
- Shepard, p. 324
- Ringel, Harvey (1990). History of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Jacksonville, Florida: NATS, Inc. ISBN 0-932761-01-1.
- Shepard, John (1986), "National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS)", in Hitchcock, H. Wiley and Stanley Sadie (ed.), The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, III, London: Macmillan Press, pp. 324, ISBN 0-943818-36-2
-  NATS official web site