The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
 

Today's guest post is from CJ Longabaugh, Assistant Director of Bands at Blue Valley West High School in Kansas. CJ was a part of the Collegiate/Young Teacher division of the Music for All Summer Symposium the summer before his very first teaching job! Our many thanks to CJ for sharing some thoughts on his experience and why he recommends others to take part in the Summer Symposium as well! 

CJ LongabaughAccepting my first teaching position was probably one of the scariest moments of my life. I immediately began questioning my ability to understand the logistics of the position, effectively managing parents and administration, and successfully teaching students so they have the most musical experiences in high school band. Reflecting on my first years of teaching at Blue Valley West High School, I can honestly say with complete confidence that attending the MFA Summer Symposium has set me up to be the most successful first year teacher I could be for several reasons. Below are some things that I gained by attending the symposium just months before I began teaching.
 
I connected with students. In June 2011 I drove a school van of high school students to the MFA Summer Symposium. Surrounding myself with our leadership team before band camp allowed me to connect with students on so many levels. I was able to learn their about personalities and strengths while showing them how passionate I am with helping them actualize their potential as musicians and leaders. Before band camp even started, I knew 13 students that trusted me as their teacher, and that helped me build strong relationships with all of my students.
 
I learned from the best. Music for All hires the best band directors in the country to conduct clinics and sessions that cover a wide variety of topics: fundamental techniques, conducting clinics, marching show production and design, instrument-specific pedagogy, round table discussions, one-on-one sessions, the list goes on! These expert teachers give insight to the real world of education in the public schools. I specifically remember sitting down with David McGrath in a “one-on-one” session to discuss teaching the “second” band. David gave me more advice and resources in one hour than I ever received in college. Before stepping into my first real classroom, I was able to pick the brain of an extremely successful band teacher who understands how to effectively teach in the modern day band room. His advice allowed me to enjoy the successes I had in the first years of teaching.
 
I networked. I was fortunate to meet so many young, enthusiastic music teachers from all around the country while at the Summer Symposium. After the symposium ended, several of us became “friended”  through many different types of social media. I am able to keep tabs on other band teachers that are going through the same things I am at Blue Valley West. It’s great to hear about new music, performance opportunities, and teaching methods just from reading the newsfeed. The “band director” friends I follow are my current and future colleagues. I could possibly work with one of these colleagues in the future…or maybe one of them helps me get a new job. Either way, networking allows you to build relationships in the intimate music community.
 
The summer before you begin teaching is the perfect opportunity to set yourself to make the most out of your first year. You are able to connect with your future students, work with the best music educators in the country, and network on a national level with other terrific music educators.
 

 

As CJ explains, the Collegiate/ Young Teacher division is a great way to start your career and set yourself up for success! The best part is that you get to participate in the Director's Track, but at a discounted price! If you want to read more about this incredible value, check out the Collegiate/Young Teacher division page on the Music for All website.

Top10BlogPhoto

Are you still debating whether or not you should attend the the Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha in June? Here are the top 10 reasons why you should consider it!

10. Awesome Evening Concerts!

Each night after a day full of track intensive work (and fun!), the WHOLE camp comes together for an evening of inspiring music! Whether your favorite is an evening of jazz, virtuosic soloists or some of the world’s best drum corps, there will be at least one night you can’t wait to tell your friends back home about!

9. There’s something for everyone

Whether you are a jazz cat, guard diva, marching band buff, orchestra nut, concert band wiz, or drum guru, there’s a division and a place for you at the Music for All Summer Symposium.

8. Leadership is the theme

At the Music for All Summer Symposium we don’t believe that only drum majors or section leaders benefit from leadership. We believe that EVERY student benefits from leadership training and that’s why it is incorporated in EVERY division of the Summer Symposium. Anyone who is willing to pay attention, respond and get involved has the potential to positively lead others.

7. Learn from the best

Where else would you get to go to be instructed by so many of the top music educators and clinicians from across the country?

6. Create life-long friends

At camp you will be with nearly 1,000 other students from all across the country. You will not only have the opportunity to make friends within your own track, but you will make friends with other students in your dorm, your swags, and faculty! These are relationships that can last you a lifetime; just think of the friend requests you will have when you get home!

5. Take music & performance skills to the next level

This IS the Music for All Summer Symposium, so first and foremost you will be getting top-notch performance instruction from our outstanding faculty!

4. Get energized for next school year

There is no doubt about it that you will take things that you learn at Music for All Summer Symposium back to your own band, orchestra or guard program back home, not only music or performance skills, but attitude, energy, and a new outlook. Imagine how much stronger of a performer and leader you’ll be and how it could positively impact your school ensemble! 

3. Get the away from home “college experience”

You’re probably already thinking leaving home to go to college and into the broader world in the next 1-4 years. Heading away from home can be pretty nerve wrecking. Going to a week long summer camp on a college campus is a great way of getting the experience of being away from home, navigating around a campus and having a roommate! It’s a week of learning about yourself in a new environment.

2. It’s more fun than a summer job!

This one is pretty self-explanatory.  What would you rather do? Come to camp, make music and hang out with awesome people or go to work everyday? (p.s. you have the rest of your life to work, spend this summer at camp!) Plus, we know that a large percentage of Fortune 500 CEOs participated in their school music programs, so think of it as an investment in your future! 

1. Surrounded by students from across the country who are different – but also JUST LIKE YOU!

At school you probably are in a band with anywhere from 50-250 students (give or take) who have similar interests as you, and maybe half who are as PASSIONATE about music making as you are. Can you imagine being in one place, where the focus is music making and you are surrounded by nearly 1,000 people who are just as passionate as you are about band, orchestra or guard? Well, you can stop dreaming because that place exists, and it’s in Muncie, Indiana at Ball State University June 24-29.

  

So what are you waiting for? If these reasons didn't convince you that the Symposium is the right place for you, check out our videos on YouTube, Student Testimonials, and the Symposium coverage from last year! 

Are you a student or director who has been to Symposium in the past? Comment and give us your top reasons for why someone should come to the Music for All Summer Symposium this year!

 

Calling all RNs, LPNs, Paramedics and/or EMTs!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013 11:41 Written by Erin Fortune

Come be a part of America's Camp this summer! Music for All is looking for two nurses to be a part of the Summer Symposium medical team. You would need to be in Muncie, Indiana from June 21st through June 30th.

What does a camp nurse do?

• Administer medication

• Ensure safety of the campers

• Asses injuries and make recommendations on course of action

Our head nurse, Erin, is looking for 2 more nurses to round out her team for summer 2013. Erin has been coming back to camp in this role for the last 11 years.

ABP 8142

"The camp medical team consists of nurses – RN or LPN, Paramedics and/or EMTs that are available on campus during the entire camp to ensure the safety and health of the students during their camp experience. The team is available to campers 24 hours a day. It is a week full of fun and developing friendships along with ensuring safety of students. The energy of the staff and students is rejuvenating and something to be experienced as it is nearly indescribable. That is what has kept me coming back to camp for the last 11 years." - Head Nurse Erin

Transportation, a stipend, housing in the on-campus dorms and meals are all provided.

Do you want to be a part of this positively life-changing experience this summer?

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 800-848-2263 for more details!

Today's guest post is from Nicole Presley, a Music for All Summer Symposium SWAG (if you do not know what a SWAG is, read more here) and former Summer Symposium student division participant. Thank you Nicole for sharing your story with us!

 

It’s funny how even though I’m still a full-time student sitting in class for hours upon hours for thirty weeks of the year, attempting to learn as much as I can, I learn the most during ten days at the end of June. I don’t sit in a classroom for those ten days. I don’t have a textbook to read. Sometimes I can’t even take notes. But I know for a fact that it’s for those ten days at the Music for All Summer Symposium that I learn the most.

 

NicolePhoto1For four out of the past five summers I’ve attended the Summer Symposium; once as a camper and three times as a SWAG. Between the campers, the Music for All staff, the clinicians, and the other SWAGS, I feel as though I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of the most beautiful people that walk this earth.

 

When I’m talking about camp I find myself saying things like, “It’s just the best.” If you’ve been to the Symposium, you know: sometimes it’s hard to put a finger on just what makes it so overwhelmingly great. I’ve come to realize that the people are what make it “the best.” I learn so much more than just music from the people I interact with at camp.

milfordDMA

In December of 2011, I was coming back from a four month long study abroad trip in Spain and once I was back in the States my connecting flight home was cancelled. I would have been stranded in the airport overnight if it hadn’t been for a SWAG who came to save me even though it was a school night and she was already in her pajamas.

 

Last summer at camp I was a little sick and lost my voice almost completely for the majority of the week. Every day there was one camper who, no matter how terrible I sounded or how hard I was to understand, would say, “You’re sounding much better today, Nicole,” with a sympathetic smile on his face.

 

The SWAG Team shouted “Happy Birthday” at me on my birthday, sending me into silent fits of laughter (it’s really hard to laugh when you have no voice!) at seven o’clock in the morning.

 

On the last day of camp last summer, one of the SWAGs who has been SWAGging for so much longer than me, who I admire incredibly, told me how proud he was of me and the person I was becoming.

 

From them I’ve learned that friendship means going far out of your way to help someone in a time of need, no matter how big or how small; that a smile and a little understanding can go a long way; that laughter really is the best medicine; and that being a mentor means letting someone know that they’re doing at least a little bit of the right thing. They’ve taught me that I want to be more like them.

squadcomps

 

Sometimes in my head I hear George Parks saying: “Raise your hand as high as you can. Now raise it two inches higher. That’s what wrong with your lives!"

 

When it comes down to it, I think that’s one of the biggest things that I try to take away from the Symposium each year. I hear it said in sessions with clinicians and I see it carried out in the actions of the people around me.

 

Give as much as you can give, and then give more.

 

-Nicole Presley

 

Better Followers Make All The Difference!

Friday, 12 April 2013 11:23 Written by Erin Fortune

Today's guest post is from Fran Kick, professional speaker, author and division head of the Leadership Weekend Experience at the Music for All Summer Symposium presented by Yamaha.

Better Leaders Followers Make All The Difference!

by Fran Kick
 
Here’s a test to try during your next ensemble rehearsal that just might prove my point faster and more interactively. Pick a particularly challenging part in the music to play – yet tell your first-chair players NOT to play. How does that sound?

Now consider these questions:

What if we over-rely on our best students to be our leaders and do little to develop all our students’ leadership potential?

If we constantly go to our leaders to “carry the load” and/or “make things happen” how engaged do you think others will be “watching things happen?”

iStock 000018302110XSmallWhat if leadership has less to do with leaders and more to do with followers? After all, bad leadership only occurs when there’s bad followership and good leadership only occurs when there’s good followership.

Could the quality of followership in your program actually have more influence on the quality of leadership in your program?

That’s why over the years, we’ve intentionally dovetailed our leadership curriculum to enhance both leadership and followership. [See “What we believe when it comes to developing student leadership” for more insight to our approach to leadership development—both for the leadership weekend and the weeklong summer symposium.] Every day, every section of the Summer Symposium gets to play with, and experience first-hand, the leadership+followership dynamic.

Now, we don’t call it that per se. After all, students do come to the Leadership Weekend Experience to be better leaders. (Imagine how many students would come to a Followership Experience?) Yet the truth is we’re simultaneously sharing both the importance of better leadership and better followership. Effective leaders need to know how to develop effective followers and ultimately your future leaders.

Next time you pass out a piece of music to your ensemble, make sure all the first-chair players receive all the parts for their entire section, rather than just the first-chair part. That way they can help all the players in their section KICK IT IN! Because better leaders and better followers will make all the difference in your program!

Life is better with music

Monday, 08 April 2013 16:08 Written by Erin Fortune

Today's blog post in support of Arts Advocacy Days is written by Music for All's President and CEO, Eric L. Martin.

Life is better with music! That’s a tagline I borrow with pride from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, a great institution and strategic partner of Music for All. Advocacy (for the arts and especially arts education) is a pillar of Music for All’s strategic plan and vision to ensure that every child across America has access and opportunity to engage in active music making in his or her scholastic environment.

In March, we celebrated “Music in Our Schools” month with presentation of one of the largest ever Music for All National Festivals that included 2,100 students from across the nation in performances and camaraderie that showcased the best of scholastic music making and the excellence that comes from music and music education in our schools.

Perhaps, legendary drummer, Ndugu Chancler summed it up best in his “rap” with the Jazz Band of America confirming his belief in music, music education and power of jazz with an affirming “uh huh, yeah, that’s right.” 

This month, we are a proud National Co-Sponsor of “Arts Advocacy Day 2013,” supporting and helping to bring our collective voice about the importance of the arts and arts education to our nation’s leadership in Washington.


“Uh huh, yeah, that’s right,” we believe that every child in America is entitled to a quality arts education. A child’s education is simply incomplete unless it includes the arts.

Quality education and the educational preparedness of our children, rightly so, are driving and central issues demanding and deserving attention in our nation. As a people, we are exploring all of the possibilities. Many of the choices being explored are valid, valuable and viable. I work, as do all of us at Music for All, to ensure that whatever our choices, be they CORE, STEM or “all of the above,” include affirmative support and plans that ensure access and quality of opportunity for all children to engage in active music making (and the other arts) in his or her scholastic environment. My own experiences in school environments that appreciated and provided active music making and music education programs made me who I am, and opened and facilitated unique and powerful experiences in and avenues to leadership, teamwork, collaboration and community essential to my development and my performance as a leader. It is for this reason I believe arts education is essential to the development of our youth, and consequently, the character of our nation.

Life (family, community, business, or nation and our world) simply is better with music and the arts... “uh huh, yeah, that’s right.” Who we are as a people and a nation depends on it.

elm sig

 

 

 

Read Eric's last blog post on the subject of STEAM titled:  Music (and arts) for All in the 21st Century.

ericEric Martin is President and Chief Executive Officer of Music for All, Inc. He is a Past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Festivals and Events Association, of which he is a member of its Hall of Fame. Mr. Martin was previously president of ELM Productions, an Atlanta-based special events production company. He has numerous annual and “once in a lifetime” production credits and was recognized with a regional Emmy Award for his production of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Parade on SuperStation TBS. Mr. Martin is a Certified Festivals and Events Executive and an honors graduate of Dartmouth College. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from University of Michigan Law School.

 
 

Why do you #BelieveInMusic ?

Tuesday, 02 April 2013 15:27 Written by Erin Fortune

ibelieveinmusicbc 1

Music motivates. Music mesmerizes. Music moves.

We at Music for All believe in music and in music education, which is why we strive to create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. We believe that, apart from the pure beauty of music, it provides benefits to us outwardly and inwardly through personal learning and growth, team building, striving to reach goals and much more.

But we want to know about our followers—why do YOU believe in music?

We invite you to follow the #BelieveInMusic hashtag and join our Twitter campaign to help spread the word about the amazing powers of music. Reply @musicforall with “I #BelieveInMusic because…” to share your thoughts and feelings. Great responses will be retweeted!

Take a look at what people are already tweeting:

“I #BelieveInMusic because it helps me recognize beauty.”

“I #BelieveInMusic because it can teach us what we should know about each other and what we already know about ourselves.”

“I #BelieveInMusic because music is life”

 To learn more about Music for All’s music advocacy program, visit www.musicforall.org/i-believe.

 

Make sure you’re staying connected with us!

“Like” us on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/musicforallnetwork

www.facebook.com/bandsofamerica

www.facebook.com/orchestraamerica

 Follow us on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/musicforall

www.twitter.com/bandsofamerica

Music for All Announces Top-Level Staff Promotions

Wednesday, 20 March 2013 13:06 Written by Erin Fortune

 

Music for All is proud to announce that three employees have been promoted to executive and manager positions. 

debbieasbill09

Debbie Laferty Asbill has been named Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Asbill joined the Music for All (MFA) staff in 1985, when the organization was known as Bands of America. She most recently served as MFA’s Director of Marketing and Communications. She has a degree in communications from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky and was inducted into Music for All’s Bands of America Hall of Fame in 2011.

 

laura blakeLaura Blake has been named Events Manager. Blake joined the Music for All (MFA) staff in May 2005 as Receptionist and quickly moved to an Event Coordinator position the next fall. Since then she has been heavily involved in the operations of all events, taking the lead on volunteer recruitment and management as well as equipment logistics. Laura, raised in Indianapolis, attended Butler University and is a former Bands of America participant. 

 

Tonya Bullock WEB copyTonya Bullock has been named Accounting Manager. Bullock joined the Music for All (MFA) staff in September 2009 as an Accounting Specialist.  Since then she has been heavily involved in the daily accounting functions as well as managing tickets and merchandise for all events. She has a degree in Accounting from Indiana University. 

 

Join us in congratulating Debbie, Laura and Tonya on their promotions as they continue to provide postively life-changing experiences for all!

Read the full news release here. 

Live Webcasts: Honor Band, Orchestra, Jazz Band

Tuesday, 12 March 2013 14:46 Written by Erin Fortune

 

Music for All is thrilled to announce that we will be streaming Live Webcasts of the 2013 Honor Band of America, Honor Orchestra of America* and Jazz Band of America. While there’s nothing that compares to being in the audience when your favorite musician performs, our streaming Webcasts give you the opportunity to still enjoy the honor ensemble concerts live.

 JBOA WEB HOOA WEB 

 

Jazz Band of America – Friday, March 15, 8:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time

Honor Orchestra of America – Saturday, March 16*, 7:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time

Honor Band of America – Saturday, March 16, 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time

* Only Saturday’s concert by the Honor Orchestra of America concert will be Webcast Live from Hilbert Circle Theatre. Friday’s Honor Orchestra concert will not be Webcast Live. 

 

Solo or Subscribe 

HBOA WebYour one-year Premium Subscription includes all of the 2013 Honor Ensemble Live Webcasts, for just $59. As an added bonus, if you start your one year Premium Subscription now you’ll get the 2013 fall Bands of America Championship Live Webcasts, plus all Video On Demand of the 2013 Festival concerts and past MFA and BOA performances.

Honor Ensemble performances are also available as a Live Solo:  Live Webcast of all three performances for $19. Click here for more information on pricing and ordering

 

Video on Demand, post-event

All of the Festival concerts, including the three honor ensemble concerts, the Festival concert bands, orchestras and the percussion ensemble performances will also be available as Video on Demand, after the event, with your MFA Encore video subscription. Video on Demand allows you to enjoy your honor ensemble performance after you return home, whenever you want.  

Click on this link to see more details, schedule of concerts and how to order:


Stay Connected

Another great way to stay connected with what is happening at the National Festival is to connect with Music for All on Social Media!

 
ConcertBand WEB

“Like” us on Facebook for updates and photos! 

www.facebook.com/musicforallnetwork

www.facebook.com/bandsofamerica

www.facebook.com/orchestraamerica

 

Follow us on Twitter

www.twitter.com/musicforall

www.twitter.com/bandsofamerica

 

Follow us on Instagram

@officialmusicforall

 

*Use hashtag #mfafest on Twitter and Instagram to join the conversation with us and other festival participants & fans! 

 

Music (and arts) for All in the 21st Century

Thursday, 07 March 2013 16:59 Written by Erin Fortune

The article below was featured in the Music for All January/February Newsletter. With March being Music in Our Schools month, we thought it would be appropriate to share again here on the blog, enjoy!

Music (and arts) for All in the 21st Century
by Eric L. Martin, President and CEO, Music for All
 

“Humans need to communicate, share, store and create.As a species, we’ve engaged 
in these functions for centuries. There’s really nothing new about them. What is new are the forms, or tools, that students use to meet these needs.”
From 21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn, by James Bellanca and Ron Brandt (Eds.) (Leading Edge series)
 
SpeakingMusicOver the several months leading up to last November’s elections, I was inundated (as I’m sure you were) with campaign ads touting the virtues (or lack thereof) of candidates of all persuasions and ilk. These ads showcased each candidate’s commitment and ability to address and solve our largest challenges, most important human needs and their ability to perpetuate and allow us to attain the quintessential “American Dream.” Beyond the economy, much emphasis was and still remains placed on maintaining or reclaiming our ability to compete and lead globally. The conversation about our young people was often about the loss of our educational edge. We’re convinced, and maybe rightfully so, that we are failing to educate and prepare our children for the competitive challenges of the 21st century. It’s a valid conversation, however, I feel a responsibility to bring another voice into the discussion.
 
Folks around my office sometimes fondly (or not so fondly) know and label me “a diploma snob.” For some, a diploma snob means where you went to school, but for me, and I own this observation, it’s more about how you’ve been prepared and trained to think and reason. Science, technology, engineering and math, the STEM concepts we hear about so often, have their rightful place and I certainly support moving from STEM to STEAM, infusing and demanding that the arts be inserted and recognized as a core, valid and vital part of the learning and achievement equation. However, my support for STEAM is more deeply rooted in my “snobbery.” 
 
What I care about in every student and every professional I encounter, be it personally or for Music for All, are their “abilities to think and reason.” I look for and build my faith in the future of our children, our nation and our culture on the ability to teach children “how to think and reason,” a very different concept than “what to think.”
 
I am a product of the arts, infused naturally and effectively, in a total education. Engagement in the arts (and other programs of human engagement), coupled with core academic subject matter, gave me the opportunity and platform to help understand and advance human, societal and business relationships. Understanding not just that things work, but how they work, why they work and realizing their impact on ones’ self, and others, form the essence of prepared and effective leadership. In this context, I am a “snob” about preparing our children to thrive effectively in the future.
 
So what does this have to do about the 21st century workforce? For me, its about the 21st century “Life Force.” I’ve traveled across the country speaking to students, teachers, administrators and parents with an “artistic” interest that drives my professional commitment. Almost daily, I struggle to hear effective dialogue and collaboration as our leaders seek to address, solve and resolve some of our most difficult local and global challenges and conflicts. I long for more conversation with the historical, philosophical and “civil” teachings and dialogue about the development of America’s strength and destiny from an ultimate commitment to the common good, general welfare and societal empathy and commitment to the wellbeing and advancement of “the least of those.” I miss experiencing our American commitment to active listening, the common good and the art of compromise. Too often, the dialogue (or absence thereof) is centered on winners and losers, my way or the highway, and to the winner goes the earned and rightful spoils. 
 
I often ask what our student performing arts ensembles would be and sound like if they did not learn skills about individual and ensemble commitment to concepts like intonation, leading and following, collaboration and exchange of thoughts and ideas, or if they refused to accept and see the benefits of leadership. I can only imagine the unintended discordant result of an ensemble whose idea of excellence is “every man or woman out for himself or herself.”
 
Great ensembles know, and are taught, that great results only come from collective achievement. The whole is only as successful as the individual parts comprising it. Performance responsibility of each individual is necessary for ensemble success. In other words, all members of the ensemble have a vested interest in the skill development, well-being and achievement of others. “We’re in it together,” is a vital and essential factor and tool for success. We become great when each and every member not only understands “the what” and “the how”, but also “the why.” It is then that they can lead themselves with effective decision-making and collaboration for the “common good.” If only all of our leaders, including government leaders, shared that common understanding. In the end the “audience,” like our world, benefits.
 
“The combination of core academic subjects, 21st century themes and 21st century skills redefines rigor for our times. However, rigor traditionally is equated with mastery of content (core subjects) alone, and that’s simply not good enough anymore.”
 
“Growing proportions of the nation’s labor force are engaged in jobs that emphasize expert thinking or complex communication- tasks that computers cannot do.”
 
“The assessment is forward looking, focusing on young people’s ability to use their knowledge and skills to meet real life challenges, rather than merely on the extent to which they have mastered a 
specific school curriculum.”
From 21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn 
 
Harvard Professor, Shelley Carson, wrote the following for the Huffington Post after a 2010 G-20 Summit meeting: “The G-20 Summit in Toronto is now over and, not surprisingly, one of the conclusions of the conference was that in order to attract investors, nations need to provide an ’environment that promotes creativity.’ From politics to business to education to sports, creativity is one of the buzzwords of this decade. We used to think of creativity as the province of artists, musicians and writers. Now we’re waking up to the fact that all facets of modern life demand creative input.1”
 
Most social and educational scientists agree that creativity is a necessary core “skill.” Creativity is an essential tool for 21st century success. And the beauty of our opportunities is that the human brain is built for creativity. Our responsibility as practitioners and promoters of music education is to ensure that our children have access, opportunity and skills necessary to discover and activate their God given and innate abilities. Our individual, organizational and human success depends on it. In short, Dr. Carson summarizes that, “creativity is important for artists, writers, musicians and inventors; but it is also crucial for societies, businesses and individuals who need to juggle fulfillment with the demands of the rapid-change culture. You not only need to be creative to enhance your life, you need it to survive.”
 
Our society is replete with evidence of success authored by artistically inspired achievers. A 2009 Harris Interactive poll shows that three-quarters of Fortune 100 executives were involved in some type of music program while in school and research shows that the longer executives participated, the more successful they became in life.
 
“The skills that they are learning, the things that they’re doing as a part of their music program, and their leadership experiences … these are the things that I look for when I’m hiring people. When I see on the resume that there is some type of artistic activity and leadership experience, I know that is someone I’m interested in interviewing. It’s the skills that aren’t taught anywhere else that make that person stand out above the rest.”  – Christian Howes, San Francisco Bay Area based Computer Software Designer/Engineer
 
I am fortunate to live in a state and a community that truly embraces the importance of arts, arts education and a strong artistic environment. Music for All’s corporate presence in Indianapolis, IN is no accident. Instead, our presence is part of our community’s plan to embrace, encourage and build a holistic support of the arts into its community growth strategies and initiatives. In a community that, for the most part, has no grand natural attraction or calling, like mountains, oceans or lakes, Indianapolis has created its own enticements and incentives for the arts. The city’s commitment to the arts is the reason that Music for All, Drum Corps International, the Percussive Arts Society, the International Violin competition, the American Pianists Association and the Heartland Truly Moving Pictures International Film Festival call Indianapolis home. 
 
It is no accident that Indiana is a state where one of its (and America’s) largest privately held corporations is led by the corporation founder’s son’s middle school band director. Entrepreneurs clearly recognize and are attracted to talent that includes evidence of creativity, creative instinct and problem solving in their repertoire. It is further no accident that Music for All is blessed to be governed by leaders who themselves (or their children) are products and beneficiaries of quality music education. They are entrepreneurs, corporate executives, lawyers, accountants and community leaders who see and are passionately committed to music and arts education.
 
The arts, and particularly ensemble experiences in the arts, have always provided an edge for development and appreciation of creativity, in an environment defined by collaboration, group and individual problem solving, mutual respect and cooperation. If it is true that success and a successful workforce in the 21st century require critical thinking, creative problem solving, innovation, effective communication and team work, then every American child’s scholastic day should include an active “hands-on” experience in the band, orchestra, dance, theatre, art and/or choir room. The collaboration necessary for success (student to student, student to teacher, student to parent, parent to teacher and everyone to their community – the audience and beneficiary) is inherent in the process. The goal is 
not professional artistry. They all will not become Christopher Martin (Principal Trumpet of the Chicago Symphony), renowned actress Jennifer Morrison or even Carl Cook or Kem Hawkins (CEO and President, respectively, of the Indiana-based Cook Group), but they will be better prepared and more able to compete and contribute meaningfully in the 21st century. 
 
The discussion about 21st century skills and creativity as a necessary and essential component is not new, nor is it likely to go away, at least not before we begin to look to the needs of the 22nd century. One need only look to Time’s 2005 article on the subject, still valid and valuable in 2012. At Music for All, we are committed to being a catalyst to ensure that every child across America has access and opportunity to participate in active music making in his or her scholastic environment. Our name and mission require no less of us. We believe in music education, music in our schools and Music for All.
 
1 “Creativity in the 21st Century” Huffington Post Article By Shelley Carson, Ph.D.
Research psychologist; lecturer, Harvard University, following the 2010 Toronto G20 Summit
 
 
ericEric Martin is President and Chief Executive Officer of Music for All, Inc. He is a Past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Festivals and Events Association, of which he is a member of its Hall of Fame. Mr. Martin was previously president of ELM Productions, an Atlanta-based special events production company. He has numerous annual and “once in a lifetime” production credits and was recognized with a regional Emmy Award for his production of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Parade on SuperStation TBS. Mr. Martin is a Certified Festivals and Events Executive and an honors graduate of Dartmouth College. 
He holds a Juris Doctor degree from University of Michigan Law School.

 

hr-line