The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

Blog

 

The University of North Texas (UNT) College of Music has the largest enrollment for public university music programs in the U.S. and is one of the world's most respected comprehensive music schools.

Its Bruce Hall dormitory is home to the Music & Jazz Living Learning Communities and cultivates a rich, creative environment for all its residents. Since 1964, 100 UNT College of Music alumni have worked on projects nominated for Grammy Awards, and an incredible 53 of those have won the prestigious award.

One of the secrets to student success is supplying them with the equipment necessary to succeed. First-rate practice rooms with advanced acoustical technology fall into that category. To make sure students could get the most out of their practice time, the school partnered with Wenger to install brand new Wenger SoundLok® Sound-Isolation Rooms with the latest Virtual Acoustic Environment (VAE®) technology in Bruce Hall, home to hundreds of student musicians.

Remove and Refurbish

UNT was one of the first schools in the country to install Wenger sound isolation practice rooms. For 45 years, those rooms served thousands of students well. But the rooms were in need of repairs. The college was interested in learning about new features and new technology that new rooms could provide.

“The design had changed significantly over the years, so we couldn’t make repairs in a cost-effective way,” explains Neal Jorgenson of Wenger Corporation. “The fans also weren’t working very well anymore, so it was uncomfortable for the students in the rooms. UNT agreed to install new rooms to give the musicians a much better place to play.”

Records indicated the old rooms had been used 6,700 times in the 2016-2017 academic year alone. It was no wonder they needed replacing.

The process began with a site visit so that Jorgenson could see the existing practice rooms. Right away, he noticed a big problem.

“There were some 9-foot high beams in the rooms that we needed to tear out,” Jorgenson says. “We need at least ten feet of height, so we drew up the plans, got some feedback from UNT, and had to vet everything through the fire marshal. Then we began tearing out the old rooms and making room for the new.”

Install and Instruct

Jorgenson’s team installed 13 Wenger SoundLok® Sound-Isolation Rooms with built-in VAE technology.

VAE technology offers more realistic acoustical simulations, creating the sensation of being enveloped by the sound. This innovative approach enables musicians to hear themselves in various performance venues, from a large recital hall to a cathedral to a small auditorium. VAE allows the musicians to record and play back their practice sessions, helping them adapt and improve their performance. Those recordings can also be downloaded to other devices for sharing or performing accompaniments.

The sound isolation rooms are quieter than any other on the market. They’re also strategically located in the basement of Bruce Hall, allowing its residents to practice at any time of day without disturbing anyone nearby.

VAE technology also allows teachers to follow the assessment strategy recommended in the National Standards for Music Education, and increase their ability to evaluate the progress of more students in less time.

“The students were very excited to explore this technology,” explains Penny Gustafson, Assistant Director of Housing and Business Operations at UNT. “Given the creative drive of our typical music majors, we were confident that these rooms would be beneficial.”

The final step was for a team of acoustical equipment experts to show the students and teachers how to use the system to maximize its benefits.

New Rooms, Clear Sound

The new rooms were a big hit.

“The students love the VAE technology,” Gustafson says. “They particularly enjoy being able to record themselves and track progress over the course of the semester or year. Music professors were also eager to listen to their students’ recordings and offer feedback.”

Gustafson says students have also found the spaces useful for recording podcasts, music for personal projects, or sound clips for film. The rooms are used an average of 500 hours each week. Because of their popularity, UNT had to implement a one-hour limit per person to give all residents an opportunity to use the rooms.

The practice rooms are also used as a recruiting tool, providing a major draw for prospective freshmen music majors and their families when considering their options for undergraduate music studies.

Throughout the process, Gustafson appreciated the customer service Jorgenson provided.

“Neal has been extremely informative, patient, and supportive,” Gustafson says. “When we hit bumps in the road with project management, we called on him to intervene, and he always took care of us.”

Long List of Wenger Products

The SoundLok practice rooms join other Wenger Corporation products elsewhere on campus. The auditorium boasts a beautiful Diva® Full Stage Acoustical Shell to help both performers on stage and audience members hear the best possible sound. The rooms also contain StageTek® seated risers, as well as musician and cello chairs and Wenger’s Classic 50® Music Stands.

Wenger Corporation’s hallmark is to build quality, durable, lasting products that stand the test of time.

SoundLok rooms that lasted 45 years prove the point. And now, the new and improved rooms will serve thousands of future students for many more years to come.

mfa logo vert spot

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, MARCH 12, 11:00 PM ET – On Thursday, March 12, the Governor of Indiana issued a mandate that the gathering of non-essential groups of 250 members or more is prohibited. Due to this mandate, Butler University's performance halls and facilities are unavailable to us. We have concluded the Music for All National Festival as of Thursday evening and have completed all musical performances and activities.

Ensembles and participants have been notified and departure arrangements are being made for those on-site.

Our mission remains to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. Our vision is to be a catalyst to ensure that every child across America has access and opportunity to active music-making in his or her scholastic environment.

We, like every American and citizen of the world, are hopeful and expectant that we will all persevere and never compromise on our belief in music, music in our schools, and music for all.

https://calendar.in.gov/site/gov/event/gov-holcomb-announces-new-steps-to-protect-public-from-covid-19/

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, MARCH 12, 2020 – With the World Health Organization’s assessment that COVID-19 coronavirus can be characterized as a pandemic and with significant changes by national organizations announced Wednesday evening, Music for All has modified the 2020 Music for All National Festival for the safety and well-being of all those involved with our organization.

Music for All has contacted the ensembles who had not yet departed for the Festival to recommend that they stay home and not travel to the event.

We are communicating with the groups who have already arrived and are asking them to work with us to make the best and most effective travel plans home.

With the clinicians who are present, we will offer educational programming to the ensembles who are already in Indianapolis until their early departure.

Indiana’s neighboring state of Ohio has taken extreme precautionary actions, and with the continuing progression of the coronavirus in the United States and globally, the evolution of the situation in the city and state is unknown.

Music for All is deeply saddened to cancel this Festival which is the epitome of scholastic band, orchestra, and choral scholastic learning opportunities in America.

We are thankful for the support and counsel of our local community and everyone involved in the Music for All family.

We are also grateful for the support and ongoing understanding of our participants as we make the best possible decision for them, the organization, and our nation.

Our mission remains to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. Our vision is to be a catalyst to ensure that every child across America has access and opportunity to active music-making in his or her scholastic environment.

We, like every American and citizen of the world, are hopeful and expectant that we will all persevere and never compromise on our belief in music, music in our schools, and music for all.

MARCH 9, 2020 – Music for All continues to monitor developments regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19). At this time, the Music for All National Festival will proceed as planned, the week of March 10-14 in Indianapolis.

Our attention is focused on the attendees, their safety, and their experience at the Festival. Music for All will continue to monitor the situation and to follow procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Indiana State Department of Health.

Music for All is in communication with the City of Indianapolis, the Festival hotels, and venues about their preparedness and current developments. Music for All participated in a conference call today, Monday, March 9 at 4 p.m. ET with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Federation of State High School Associations, where the CDC gave an update to organizations on the coronavirus response.

On Friday, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued a public health emergency declaration after one confirmed case in Indiana of COVID-19 to ensure the state receives additional funding if needed and to increase coordination across all levels of government in the state’s response to coronavirus. This is also a step in making Indiana eligible for federal dollars to respond to the outbreak. (Indiana Office of the Governor, in.gov 03/08/20).

The Indiana State Department of Health also issued an update Friday. We are providing the link to their current information on the novel coronavirus here: https://www.in.gov/isdh/28470.htm

We continue to recommend that participants traveling to the Festival take these steps recommended by the Indiana State Department of Health to protect yourself:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Below is a communication that was sent to the Music for All National Festival participating directors, honor ensemble member parents, and Festival personnel:

Music for All recognizes that the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus) is a major discussion issue for many National Festival participants. We continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Music for All is proceeding as planned with the Music for All National Festival and is monitoring the situation. We are in communication with the City of Indianapolis and our Festival hotels and facilities, who have told us they are implementing best practices in their health and housekeeping efforts. The health and safety of our participants is paramount.

Music for All urges all parties to take precautions to limit the spread of any illness, including while traveling. We will maintain measures during the event to encourage routine practices such as frequent handwashing and everyday preventative actions.

Music for All will continue to monitor updates and recommendations from the CDC.

Up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Jeremy L. Earnhart Elected President and COO, Eric L. Martin Continues as CEO

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, February 28, 2020 – Music for All, Inc. (MFA) today announced Jeremy Earnhart has been elected as the organization’s President and COO effective March 1, 2020.  In his new role, Dr. Earnhart will be responsible for operations while Eric Martin will continue as CEO and focus on advancement and building a sustainable legacy for MFA. “This is a natural time for me to focus my energies on leading efforts to secure the resources needed to provide access to music and arts education for all students,” said Mr. Martin. “I am grateful for the privilege and opportunity to increase our organization’s resources and ability to extend and advocate for access and new opportunities for underappreciated communities.”

Both Dr. Earnhart and Mr. Martin will share responsibility for strategic planning. “The election of Dr. Earnhart to President is a natural next step in a leadership transition for Music for All’s future,” said Gayl Doster, Chairman of the MFA Board of Directors. “This change positions both leaders to focus their strengths on two key elements for MFA’s success now and into the future – operational excellence and strategic sustainability.”

About Music for All

Since 1975, Music for All has been a destination and set the standard for scholastic music ensemble performance and music education advocacy. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization, Music for All’s mission is to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. Music for All’s vision is to be a catalyst to ensure that every child in America has access and opportunity for active music-making in his or her scholastic environment. Music for All’s advocacy efforts inspire and develop models and strategies for successful music programs, through programs like its Advocacy in Action Awards, the I-65 Corridor Project, and support of Indianapolis Public Schools, the Central Indiana Track Show Association, and Indiana State Fair Band Day, and programs like United Sound and Be Part of the Music. Music for All’s programs include more than 45 annual events, including the Bands of America Grand National Championships and Regional Championships for marching bands; the Music for All Summer Symposium camp for students and teachers; the Music for All National Festival for bands, orchestras, choirs, percussion and chamber ensembles; Affiliate Regional Music Festivals; and national student honor ensembles including the Bands of America Honor Band that will march for the fifth time in the Rose Parade® in 2021.

###

Susan L. Smith, Music for All Educational Consultant, kicks off a new live webinar series exclusively on BAND, the mobile app in the Director Hub.

The webinar will focus on concert festival preparation for young or small bands. 

This FREE Webinar will include tips for success for the concert band conductor with a small or young band. The first half of this online clinic will be informative with suggestions that have worked for the clinician in the past.

The second half will focus on specific questions or needs of the attendees.

Fill out the form below to ensure your questions get answered! The webinar will be available in the Director hub at the conclusion of the event.

Join the hub and RSVP here: https://band.us/band/76115568

Question form: https://www.tfaforms.com/4803102

The winners of the 2020 Advocacy in Action Awards were announced January 15.

Over forty school music programs across America have been recognized for their outstanding music advocacy initiatives as recipients of Music for All’s 2020 Advocacy in Action Awards. The Music for All Advocacy in Action Awards recognize music programs, schools, and communities across the United States that demonstrate outstanding achievement in local efforts to provide access to music education for all students. From community arts fairs to stellar recruitment videos to all-female jazz festivals, this year’s winning programs not only represent innovative and effective approaches to music advocacy nationwide, but also highlight the power of music education to address some of the most pressing issues in today’s headlines.

“For too long music advocacy has leaned mainly on research-based justifications,” says Eric Martin, President and CEO, Music for All. “Music for All’s Advocacy in Action Awards collect and share ideas so music programs and their supporters can get practical and inspire each other.”

One of the winning projects brings music education into a juvenile detention center in San Diego, using music to teach math, as well as encouraging pro-social behavior and healing. While participating in Project Confined Redefined, these young men are able to better regulate themselves and express their feelings through music. “No matter what the future holds for these students, they will always remember the magic of music making and will forever remember how music provided an outlet for their own frustrations, anger, remorse, and acknowledgement,” says James Stephens, Director of Advocacy and Educational Resources for Music for All.

Another winning project serves as a bridge between marginalized first generation and immigrant communities and the local community. INTEMPO provides a year-round music school, after school programming, and a summer camp, all providing choral and string education in Stamford, Connecticut. The programming is culturally conscious, using folkloric instruments and featuring composers and a repertoire that reflects students’ own diversity. They partner with local schools and community institutions, all while keeping the experiences affordable, accessible, and inclusive.

Thirty-nine other projects nationwide are also being hailed for the powerful impact on their own communities through Advocacy in Action. To qualify for the Advocacy in Action Award designation, each of these applicants submitted a detailed description of its music program and project entry in one of six categories: Community Engagement, Decision-Maker Interaction, Fundraising and Sponsorship, Marketing and Promotion, Parent and Booster Involvement, or Recruitment and Retention. Submissions were reviewed by a national panel of educators, administrators, and community and business leaders.

It is Music for All’s vision to be a catalyst to ensure every child across America has access and opportunity to participate in active music-making in his or her scholastic environment. In efforts to fulfill this vision, the Advocacy in Action Awards were designed to celebrate active music-making both inside and outside the traditional music classroom.

This year’s award winners are recognized online at advocacy.musicforall.org. The website curates the winning entries from each year as a resource for arts educators. By collecting, recognizing, and sharing outstanding examples of local advocacy efforts, Music for All ultimately hopes to inspire others across the nation to take action in their own communities.

Music for All has elected two new members to its Board of Directors: Annie Martinez of Avon, IN and Robert Morrison of Warren, NJ.

Annie Martinez head shot720lowAndra “Annie” Martinez is a veteran fundraiser who specializes in program growth and revitalization. Her experience includes new program development in higher education, the arts, and human services. As the Vice President of Communications & Development she manages the Children’s Bureau, Inc. (CBI) brand and the agency’s fundraising department. Ms. Martinez was previously the Director of Development at Music for All, where she designed and executed a virtual campaign, the Bands of America (BOA) Alumni Campaign, which generated over $250,000 in 81 days and earned a Gold Pinnacle Award from the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA).

Ms. Martinez was previously the Regional Director of Development for the Treasure Coast Region of Florida Atlantic University, and established programs for the Department of Computer Sciences and the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) housed in the School of Science at Purdue University. Ms. Martinez earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Journalism from Indiana State University and specialized training from the Indiana School of Philanthropy.

“Ms. Martinez has a well-rounded and successful background in working with nonprofits,” said Mr. Gayl Doster, Chairman of the Board of Music for All. “Her knowledge and expertise as a fundraiser makes her an extremely valuable addition to the Music for All Board.”

  

Bob Morrison headshot 720lowRobert B. Morrison is Founder and CEO of Quadrant Research, the nation’s leading arts education research organization where he has created a deep body of research and policy work. Mr. Morrison is recognized as a pioneer in statewide arts education status and condition research, whose efforts have directly impacted millions of students. Mr. Morrison also serves as the director of Arts Ed NJ, the statewide arts education advocacy organization responsible for the advancement of arts education for all New Jersey students.

Mr. Morrison is the founder of Music for All where he remains chairman emeritus. He was the first CEO of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation and served as the Director of Market Development for the NAMM, where he helped create the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

Mr. Morrison’s advocacy work has earned him both an EMMY and a Peabody Award, the New Jersey Governor’s Award for Arts Education, and he received an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York. In 2019, Mr. Morrison was inducted to the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame.

“I welcome back to the Music for All Board Mr. Morrison who is an outstanding arts education researcher,” said Chairman Doster. “His insight into arts education and his advocacy for arts education will help guide Music for All in the future.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Music for All is a nonprofit educational organization, with a mission is to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. Music for All annually presents more than 50 Music for All and Bands of America programs and events nationwide. Music for All’s advocacy programs include the Advocacy in Actions Awards and educational programs for students and teachers in core urban schools, including the I-65 Corridor Program and work with the Indianapolis Public Schools music programs, and with a focus on small and rural school music programs.

The Music for All office will be closed on Friday, January 17 while we have new internet and phones installed and tested to update our systems. The updates will allow us to provide improved service to teachers, students, parents, and supporters. You will be able to leave a voice mail if you call the office or a specific Music for All staff direct line number.

Our office will reopen at 8:30 a.m. ET on Monday, January 20. Thank you for your continued support.

Page 1 of 107
hr-line