The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
Debbie Laferty Asbill
Monday, September 19, 2016

Music Education: It's a Win-Win-Win

Music education is a win-win-win: for students, teachers, and system. If you believe that all students deserve to have access and opportunity to active music-making in his or her scholastic environment, then watch this short animated video to hear more about the many benefits of music education.

Presentation References

Music for All thanks to Dr. Jeremy L. Earnhart, Director of Fine Arts, Arlington I.S.D. Arlington, Texas for permission to use portions of his research and presentations. and National Association for Music Education,

Benham, J. L. (2011). Music Advocacy. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Jensen, E. (2001). Arts With the Brain in Mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Jensen, E. (2009). Teaching With Poverty in Mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Kraus N., Slater J., Thompson E., Hornickel J., Strait D., Nicol T., & White-Schwoch T. (2014). Music enrichment programs improve the neural encoding of speech in at risk children. Journal of Neuroscience. 34(36): 11913-11918.

Pink, D. H. (2006). A Whole New Mind. New York: Riverhead Books

Pink, D. H. (2010). Drive. New York: Riverhead Books

Pink, D. H. (2012). To Sell is Human. New York: Riverhead Books.

Robinson, K. (2009). The Element. New York: Penguin Group.

Texas Music Educators Association. (2013). Students enrolled in fine arts courses score higher on the SAT than those with no fine arts coursework [Data file]. Accessed October 9, 2014, from Texas Music Educators Association Web site:

Texas Music Educators Association. (July 25, 2014). Fine arts participation data [PowerPoint presentation]. Available July 25, 2014, Web site: resources/advocacy/materials

White-Schwoch, T., Carr, K., Anderson, S., Strait, D. L., & Kraus, N. (2013). Older Adults Benefit from Music Training Early in Life: Biological Evidence for Long-Term Training-Driven Plasticity. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(45), 17667-17674.

Lyons, L. (2003). Americans want music students to play on [Online article]. Retrieved from the Gallup Organization website:

Harris Poll. (2007, November 12). Those with more education and higher household incomes are more likely to have had music education [Press release]. Retrieved from website:

Harris Poll. (2014, July 24). The Glee Effect? More Americans Say Music Education Prepares People for Their Careers and Problem Solving Than in 2007 [Press release]. Retrieved from Web site:


Music for All is proud to announce its partnership with FloSports and the launch of FloMarching, a new site dedicated to covering the world of competitive marching bands and the marching arts.

Beginning this fall, FloMarching will live stream all 21 Bands of America marching band championships, including all Regionals, Super Regionals, and Grand Nationals, America’s the largest and most prestigious national high school marching band event. In addition to live streaming and event coverage, FloMarching will produce an educational series designed to enhance and compliment Music for All's educational programming.

The live streams will be available to FloPRO monthly or yearly subscribers.

"We are delighted to partner with FloSports, a leader in live sports production and storytelling, to further our vision of affording every child across America the access and opportunity to engage in active music-making in an educational environment,” Music for All President and CEO Eric Martin said. “This endeavor combines Music for All's decades-long leading-position in school music education and performance opportunities with FloSports' pioneering approach in media. Our partnership will allow us to tell our participants’ stories and expand our vision to a vastly larger and broader audience.”

“We’re proud to launch FloMarching and announce our partnership with an outstanding organization in Music for All,” FloSports co-founder and CEO Martin Floreani said. “There's a massive, passionate community that already exists here. We’re excited to help grow their sport and feed their passion with a level of coverage that’s simply unprecedented in marching arts.”

In addition to its event coverage, FloMarching will produce original documentaries on the marching arts elite ensembles, designers, educators and performers, as well as technique videos from expert instrumentalists and marching instructors.

VFEditorialMFA 72dpiMusic education surely is a demanding career. Do we need any obstacles to make it harder? How about if I told you that there is significant data and articles supporting the argument that marching band causes hearing loss? Does that seem too strong of a claim? The fact is, those claims are being made and that really is something we all ought to be seriously concerned about!

As musicians, there may not be anything more important than our hearing. At Vic Firth we have long believed that hearing protection is of crucial importance to musicians of all ages and disciplines. We have a responsibility to the musicians we serve – whether they are behind a drum set, on a football field, or in a concert hall.

Expanding upon our highly successful line of isolation headphones, we have now designed new High-Fidelity Earplugs in collaboration with Etymotic Research; some of the brightest minds in the field of professional hearing protection. With the portability of this product, it is very easy to use for all participants in marching band, drum corps and indoor marching percussion to practice and perform, safely. With such a product, we are able to better promote the importance of hearing protection among young musicians and music educators.

Learn more at


"The VAE Rehearsal System is outstanding – my students can actually experience playing in a performance environment: maintaining rhythm, tuning and pitch across the band," explains Joel Ashbrook, Band Director at Central High School in San Angelo, Texas.

Ashbrook chooses different acoustic settings to work on improving balance and precision with his students. He believes the VAE technology is a great teaching tool.

Before Central's band room was renovated, Ashbrook found it challenging to instruct students effectively about attacks, releases and articulation. Like most school rehearsal rooms, Central's was acoustically dry, lacking any resonance or ambiance. The VAE Technology now provides alternatives.

"If I know our marching band is playing at a large football stadium, I'll select the sports arena setting," Ashbrook states. "It improves precision, balance and blend issues, such as from the percussion battery to the upper brass."

The custom setting enables Ashbrook's groups to play every day in a hall that sounds like the stage they'll compete on. "That can't help but give us an advantage," he notes.

Ashbrook considers the VAE technology's record-playback function extremely beneficial to learning. "It's been an eye-opener for my students. I might explain something a thousand times, but hearing it makes the light bulb go on.

"The VAE Rehearsal System really helps my day-to-day teaching," explains Ashbrook. "Initially I thought the system was just a way to show students how they would sound onstage. But as soon as I was given a demo, I realized how I could use it as a teaching tool."

Visit Wenger at

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Yamaha is proud to offer a number of used drumlines along with individual marching snares and multi-toms. Whether you are a high school looking to replace an older drumline or a student looking for a custom marching in a custom color, Yamaha has a number of options that fit a variety of needs.

Click here to see a complete list of both used drumlines for your program as well individual marching drums.

Check back often for the latest specials.

The United Sound National Ensemble, comprised of 98 students from across the U.S. who are involved in their school's United Sound program, performed at the 25th Annual Music for All National Festival during the Honor Band of America concert on March 12 in Indianapolis.

video unitedsound thumbMusic for All is a proud sponsor of United Sound. United Sound operates as a mentorship program that pairs New Musicians (those with special needs) with Peer Mentors to learn to play an instrument of their choice and perform together in concert once a semester. The organization is also dedicated to providing educators with the tools for creating their own United Sound ensembles through training, support, and organizational resources.

The United Sound National Ensemble performed the world premiere of Richard Saucedo's new composition, "A Celebration for My Three Best Friends," commissioned in honor of the ensemble and their first performance at the Music for All National Festival.

"The opportunity for United Sound students to perform on the national stage with some of our country's finest music educators and student musicians is truly an honor, " said United Sound Founder and Executive Director, Julie Duty. "As we work together to include all children in music, we believe that performances like this are the first step in truly making music for all. "

"Music for All was thrilled to include this ensemble on the National Festival stage," said James Stephens, Director of Advocacy and Educational Resources. "It was an incredible and memorable experience for performance and audience members alike."

Music for All is a proud sponsor of United Sound.

Watch the video feature on the United Sound National Ensemble from the Music for All National Festival.


Four years after the inception of Be Part of the Band, Be Part of the Orchestra and Be Part of the Music were launched in 2015. The newest part of the program is Stay In Music, aimed to speak to teens, their parents, and stakeholders.

Be Part of the Music is a K-12, cross-curricular band, choir, and orchestra recruitment and retention solution. There are currently 33 videos and 52 supporting documents on the site, which have been viewed in all 50 states and 10 countries. Flash drives with program resources are also available.

Stay In Music is the most recent launch. "We took the successes of our previous resources and gave them a powerful and sleek new look that’s sure to resonate with teenagers and their parents," said Scott Lang, creator of Be Part of the Music.

The Be Part of the Music project is made possible generous support of corporate partners Music for All, Yamaha Corporation of America, American String Teachers Association, Jupiter Instruments, NAfME, and St. Louis Music.

Learn more about Stay in Music.

MarinesLogo"The Commandant's Own," The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps stepped
into the New Year completing their annual Spring Tour and is excited to have
performed in exhibition at the 2016 WGI World Championships in April. The
2016 Music in Motion show, entitled "A Celebration of Heroes," is a source
of pride for the Marines and includes powerful selections from Ottorino
Respighi, Vienna Teng's moving ballad 'The Hymn of Axiom' and John Philip
Sousa's patriotic classic 'The Stars & Stripes Forever.'

The Marines continue their pursuit of musical and marching excellence,
performing more than 400 ceremonies and concerts while traveling over 40,000
miles annually. Notable performances for the ensemble include concert
series' with the New York Philharmonic, a military tattoo for the Queen of
England, a performance for the Sultan of Oman, and ceremonies for the
President of the United States and American Ambassador in Paris, France.

This year the Drum & Bugle Corps is excited to continue valued partnerships
with Drum Corps International and Winter Guard International at select
Regional and Finals events, in addition to a growing partnership with Music
for All. The Marines of "The Commandant's Own" look forward to seeing you at
upcoming performances this summer and fall and should you find yourself in
the National Capitol Region over the summer months, we invite you take in a
Tuesday Sunset Parade at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, VA or a
Friday Evening Parade at historic Marine Barracks in Washington, DC.

Semper Fidelis
"Always Faithful"

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1. Our goal is to provide a positively life-changing experience for you and your students.

2. Bands of America Championships emphasize the pursuit of performance excellence and the educational experience of participation.

3. Participation offers students the chance to be placed on the nation’s highest pedestals, alongside their peers. Bands of America’s national promotional and social media programs shine a spotlight on your program and students to be recognized by band programs nationwide.

4. You’ll receive written and recorded evaluation from the Bands of America adjudication panel of respected music educators and marching experts.

5. All bands receive a Bands of America award, all students receive a recognition package of personalized certificate and participation patch.

BONUS REASON! Sunday morning clinic for directors and staff of participating bands – meet with members of the adjudication panel for private feedback on your BOA performance. Space for these optional, add-on clinics is limited, spots offer on a first-come, first-served basis. Watch this video to hear directors and judges talked about the clinics.

See the full schedule here.

Then when you're ready to sign up, enroll online and secure your spot before the end of the school year.

Special note for Tacoma, WA Regional area bands: If considering, be sure to enroll by May 15. That is the date MFA will assess enrollment, and if minimum necessary enrollment is not met, must forfeit the stadium and cancel the Regional.

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may16 Casagrande Scottby Scott Casagrande
Director of Bands, John Hersey H.S., Arlington Heights, IL
and Music for All Educational Consultant

The Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, is the most prestigious festival of its kind in the United States and it continues to improve and grow each and every year.

As a conductor that has had four ensembles perform at the National Concert Band Festival since it's inception in 1992, I can safely say that the experience changed our band program positively each time we performed. In the 24 years of the festival's existence, I have attended all but two of the festivals. Recently, it has been a privilege and honor to be a part of the National Festival and contribute to its growth and impact on scholastic music-making.

Here is "top-ten" list of reasons to consider applying to the National Festival:

10. Your application recording will receive written and recorded feedback from leaders in our profession. Regardless of whether your ensemble is accepted into the National Festival, your application recording will receive taped and written feedback from the best in our business.

9. Indianapolis "rolls out the red carpet" for participating bands. The Music for All National Festival takes over downtown Indianapolis during the week of the event. Several hotels are utilized and music students, as well as their family and friends, fill the beautiful and safe downtown area.

8. A world-class recording of your performance will be provided. Professional recording engineers and producers work tirelessly to produce beautiful keepsakes of this memorable event. The highest quality professional equipment is used to produce these items that are included in your entry fee.

7. This festival is non-competitive once you are accepted. When you arrive in Indianapolis for the National Festival, the atmosphere is immediately supportive of students, conductors and the music-making of each performing ensemble. The competition is to be accepted and that is where the competition ends. There are no ratings or rankings.

6. Master classes with the best performers in the United States are a highlight of the festival. Every student participating in the festival will receive a master class from a world-class performer on their instrument with all of the other students that play their instrument in the festival.

5. All of the performance spaces are world class. Clowes Memorial Hall, Schrott Performing Arts Center, Hilbert Circle Theatre, Warren Center for the Performing Arts, and the Glick Indiana History Center are acoustically wonderful and beautiful spaces for the ensembles that perform.

4. The Opening Session and the Closing Gala Banquet are events that your students will never forget. Sharing the National Festival experience with the best scholastic performing ensembles in the United States will instill a sense of pride and confidence in your students like no other event. All students and directors in the festival, as well as the evaluators and clinicians, come together in one enormous banquet hall for these two events and the energy created in this room is palpable.

3. All of the ensemble evaluators and clinicians are the absolute best in our business. The panel of conductors and educators that contribute to this event are a veritable "who's who" of the music world. They are carefully chosen for their expertise and ability to connect with students and conductors. They travel from all over the United States to be a part of this event. The list of past clinicians and evaluators are indicated on the application.

2. This festival is all about your STUDENTS. The National Festival is 100% focused on creating an environment that inspires your students to love the art of music and to continue music-making when they leave your program. This is not a convention of band directors, orchestra directors, percussionists, etc. It's not a theme-park trip either. This is an event totally devoted and focused on student growth and the development of musical maturity. A secondary (and VERY important) focus of the festival is the growth of directors/conductors through the one-on-one mentoring session following your performance, the Meet the Masters dinner, director social events, and many other opportunities.

1. Your journey to perform the greatest music written will create a musically artistic experience like no other. That's what this festival is about. Enabling your students to create an amazing artistic performance that they will remember for a lifetime with other like-minded students and directors in a nurturing and supportive environment. There is no other event like this in the United States.

If you are interested, go here for more information and the application.

The application deadline for the 2017 Music for All National Festival is June 6, 2016.

We hope that you are interested in becoming a part of the living legacy of the Music for All National Festival.

Feel free to call the Music for All office with any questions regarding this application or event at 800.848.2263.