Advocacy in Action

Advocacy in Action


"Fanfare: The Week in Music Education" is a weekly collection of news and stories about the latest in music education and music advocacy. Get your week started right with the latest news in music education, as well as timely music advocacy resources so that you may promote music education in your community. If you would like to share a story or announcement in "Fanfare," feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and it could be featured in an upcoming post.

HappyHappy-2 Teacher Appreciation Week!

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week across the country! Since 1984, National PTA® has designated the first week of May as Teacher Appreciation Week. As classes wind down for the spring, be sure to thank your current and former teachers for their service. Whether the extreme amounts of time spent in the music room or the valuable life skills that music can help develop, music teachers topped my list of favorite teachers while in school like many others involved in school music. Throughout the week, Music for All will be sharing stories of impactful music teachers, and we'd love to hear from you! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to participate and share your story.

Arizona educator imagines "Every Student Making Music!"

Our vision at Music for All places an emphasis on providing scholastic music education to every child across America, so its no surprise we found this National Association for Music Education article from Arizona music educator Ruth Argabright moving. Ms. Argabright, District Music Education Coordinator at Mesa Public Schools, imagines a public school system where all upper elementary students receive instrumental and vocal music education during the school day. Under Argabright's plan, the pull-out system would no longer be necessary, and all students would have access to quality music education. Argabright says, "The young people in our schools today will soon take our places in the work force and community. They should be provided with as many opportunities during their developmental years to help ensure that they become outstanding, productive citizens."

"With Music, the Sky Is Not the Limit, It's Just the View"

Just in the short history of "Fanfare," we have shared many moving commentaries on the impact of music and music education. While they collectively show the vast power of music, each also provides a slightly different angle that may change the view of a "non-believer." This Huffington Post commentary from Music Unites founder Michelle Edgar moved me, especially the story of Kwasi Enin, the New York student accepted to all eight Ivy League colleges. "I directly developed my capacity to think creatively around problems due to the infinite possibilities in music," said Enin, who studied viola, in an admissions essay. Enin will be attending Yale in the fall and plans to study medicine.

STEM to STEAM: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR) advocates for arts education

While in Washington, DC for Arts Advocacy Day, I had the opportunity to hear from U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici, who is head of the Congressional STEAM Caucus and a fervent advocate for including the arts as a core component of education. Last week, Rep. Bonamici questioned Education Secretary Arne Duncan on arts education funding during a committee hearing. By consolidating several Department of Education programs, Rep. Bonamici spoke to ensure that funds would be available for arts programming through STEM funding. Rep. Bonamici is a wonderful advocate for arts education in the House and helped found the Congressional STEAM Caucus last year. You can watch a clip of the committee hearing below:


Broken Arrow High School students perform at Carnegie Hall

Performing at Carnegie Hall is quite an honor, especially for high school students. Not only did nearly 200 students from the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Department perform on one of America's most famous stages, but they also were led by legendary Broken Arrow alum Kristin Chenoweth in a rousing performance of the title song from "Oklahoma!." Local CBS affiliate provided in-depth coverage on the trip to New York, which even featured a slight hiccup: damaged and destroyed instruments from a car accident. Thanks to a Florida high school band and a music store that opened on Easter Sunday, the group was able to replace damaged instruments in time for the concert. Congratulations to Broken Arrow, and thank you to KOTV for some excellent music education news coverage! You can watch the feature below. - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

"Fanfare: The Week in Music Education" is a weekly collection of news and stories about the latest in music education and music advocacy. Get your week started right with the latest news in music education, as well as timely music advocacy resources so that you may promote music education in your community. If you would like to share a story or announcement in "Fanfare," feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and it could be featured in an upcoming post.

Enrichment program helps continue music instruction despite budget cuts

Growing up in Ohio, the often-criticized school levy funding program in the state was common practice for me. Every few years, administrators and teachers shifted focus from teaching students to appealing to voters for school levies and bond issues. Because of failed ballot initiatives, many schools in Ohio have faced serious budget issues that have eliminated or reduced busing, extra curricular activities and arts programs. After multiple levy failures for Medina City Schools, the district got creative in order to preserve its long tradition of musical excellence. Through a partnership with the Medina City Schools Foundation, students would receive elementary band and string instruction through an enrichment program funded entirely by private donations. This new enrichment program engages the local Akron Symphony Orchestra to provide instruction and master classes for more than 1,000 students who would not have received music instruction due to budget cuts. If your school is facing budget cuts, visit our Advocacy webpage for tools and resources to keep music in our schools.

Grammy Foundation announces $200,000 in grants for music research

Each year, the Grammy Foundation awards grants to support research in music. From music therapy to recording preservation, the Foundation supports a wide variety of initiatives that support music in America. Last week, the Grammy Foundation announced that more than $200,000 would be awarded to 15 recipients. The recipients include a University of California, Davis project to study memory retention through music for Alzheimer's patients and a University of Memphis study to examine the possible benefits of music training in strengthening the ear and preventing hearing loss. The Foundation also supported several organizations who are attempting to properly archive and preserve early recordings. Click here to view the entire list of 2014 grants. The video below displays a few of the research initiatives recognized last year by the Grammy Foundation.

Palo Alto area superintendent pushes for new music program

Last week, we brought you a moving op-ed column from a Southern California Superintendent advocating for the support of arts education. This week, a superintendent in Northern California is making waves for a district long without an instrumental music program. Students from the Ravenswood City School District in East Palo Alto received no formalized music instruction in middle school, and were then unable to join the band when they moved on to Menlo-Atherton High School. While students at the other eight school districts that feed into Menlo-Atherton participated in band in sixth through eighth grade, Ravenswood students were two years behind in music instruction. "I want to ensure that they get that option by offering music as part of our core program and when the students get to sixth grade, that we actually have a band program," said Superintendent Gloria Hernandez. Currently, Ravenswood partners with Music in the Schools, a local nonprofit to provide music instruction to students. Hernandez has also set aside $150,000 to provide instruments for students and begin a formalized instrumental music program at one middle school in the district.

'Google Glass Explorer' Cynthia Johnston Turner named Director of Bands at University of Georgia

Last year, 2013 MFA Summer Symposium faculty member Dr. John P. Lynch announced that he will be accepting a position at the University of Sydney, Australia. We wish Dr. Lynch the best and welcome the University of Georgia's newest Director of Bands, Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner, previously Director of Wind Ensembles at Cornell University. Dr. Turner is an advocate of the 21st century classroom, speaking frequently on technology in music education. She even became one of 8,000 beta testers of Google Glass last summer. The Cornell Daily Sun highlighted her experiences with Google Class in October and noted that Dr. Turner has used Google Glass to coach her conducting students more efficiently and even import scores into Google Glass so she does not need to look down at the podium while conducting. Dr. Turner and student Tyler Ehrlich are also researching other applications of Google Glass for music education. Below is an example of how Dr. Turner uses Google Glass in her conducting class.


New iPhone 5S commercial highlights many musical uses of iPhone

While on the topic of technology, I came across a new iPhone commercial last night while watching television. The commercial (displayed below) begins with several musicians using the iPhone in different ways to perform a song, the Pixies' 1988 hit "Gigantic." While I have hundreds of apps on my phone for just about any function, I often forget how often I use my iPhone for music. Beyond just listening and identifying music, I have several metronome, tuner and recording apps to use when practicing. The Ohio State University Marching Band was also featured in a recent Apple commercial for their innovative work in learning drill via iPad. How do you use your smartphone or tablet for music performance and instruction? Educators - you can also learn more on utilizing the latest in technology for music education at the Directors' Academy, part of the Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha.


"Fanfare: The Week in Music Education" is a weekly collection of news and stories about the latest in music education and music advocacy. Get your week started right with the latest news in music education, as well as timely music advocacy resources so that you may promote music education in your community. If you would like to share a story or announcement in "Fanfare," feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and it could be featured in an upcoming post.

After 20 years without music, Anaheim Schools receive support from NAMM Foundation

Last week, MFA’s strategic advocacy partner, the NAMM Foundation, provided a $10,000 grant to Anaheim City School District (ACSD) in California to help implement comprehensive music instruction in the regular school day. After a 20-year absence of music education, the district serving 20,000 students began offering an orchestra program last year. “We are gearing up to return music to its rightful place in our public schools,” said ACSD Superintendent Dr. Linda Wagner. Through a partnership with the Orange County Symphony Orchestra, students will also have the opportunity to work with symphony musicians after school. The new music education program will be modeled after Nashville’s successful “Music Makes Us” initiative.

Amp Up NYC becomes largest single private investment in a public school music program

Public/private partnerships have long been popular in real estate, utilities and other local government operations, but have recently become a new way to promote music education. From Nashville's "Music Makes Us" initiative to this latest partnership in New York City, private partners realize the impact of music instruction on young students, and work with public schools to ensure that music education remains a core component. Berklee College of Music and Little Kids Rock have partnered with the NYC Department of Education in a $10 million investment to expand music education programs by 60,000 students and 600 schools through the Amp Up NYC initiative. This partnership in the country's largest school system foucses on modern music instruction, including jazz, rock, Latin and R&B music education. "In the world of music education, diverse musical experiences enrich kids' learning and their understanding of the world," said Paul King, executive director of the Office of Arts and Special Projects. If you know of any public/private music education partnerships in your community, we'd love to hear about them!

North Miami Middle School receives funding for new instruments and repairs

Each year, the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation provides grants to school music programs across the country for new and refurbished instruments. This year, North Miami Middle School in Florida received funding to support the fledgling program. The school, which struggles with poor socio-economic conditions and a 96% free and reduced lunch rate, has made a concerted effort to improve school conditions since 2008, and music has been an important factor in the upswing. In 2011, Jonathon De Leon and LaToya Harris began teaching music at North Miami Middle School, starting both a band and guitar class. They have recruited close to half the school's students to participate in the music program, leading to fewer behavioral issues and improved academics. Click here to read more about this inspiring story.

Santa Barbara Superintendent supports arts education

If you are a music educator, you know firsthand that having an administration who "gets it" and supports arts education in the district is a valuable asset. Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Bill Cirone published an op-ed this month in the community newspaper, which would have any arts educator excited to work in the county. Right away, Cirone dispells those who consider cutting arts and music education in budget crises: "The arts are not frills. They are essential elements of a complete education, and they often provide the very skills and motivation required for school and career success." The Superintendent oversees 20 school districts and two community colleges in Santa Barbara County, impacting 66,000 students. Thank you, Mr. Cirone for your unwavering support of arts education!

Indianapolis music store featured on WISH-TV

Indianapolis music store Paige's Music has long been a valuable partner for both the central Indiana community and Music for All. Paige's Music was recently featured on local CBS affiliate WISH-TV throughout the morning broadcast, taking a look inside the sales, rental and repair facilities in Indianapolis. For many years, Paige's Music, under the leadership of owner Mark Goff, has supported MFA's Indianapolis programs as the "Official Music Store." Any time a participating band has a repair issue at the Bands of America Grand National Championships, Paige's Repair Technicians are onsite at Lucas Oil Stadium to assist and provide loaner instruments. We are thankful for Paige's support of Music for All!

 "Fanfare: The Week in Music Education" is a weekly collection of news and stories about the latest in music education and music advocacy. Get your week started right with the latest news in music education, as well as timely music advocacy resources so that you may promote music education in your community. If you would like to share a story or announcement in "Fanfare," feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and it could be featured in an upcoming post.

Challenges facing school music programs in rural communities

Because of small school sizes and the distance from arts resources, rural schools often face an uphill battle in providing quality music education. Growing up in a small, rural school district, I grew up with the struggles of instrument and private lesson availability. I am grateful to my parents for moving to a surburban community, which provided many more opportunities and resources as a high school music student. This article features Valley Middle/High School in Idaho, where a music program just resurfaced after many years without. Robbie Hanchey, music teacher in the 600-student district, said band students learn teamwork, dedication, how to listen and “taking something they’re not good at and cleaning it up," which translates to their other classes. Other schools in the area only provide music instruction from a part-time teacher to elementary students. For resources to promote music education in your rural school district, visit the Advocacy Resources section of our website.

NAMM Foundation brings music education focus to National School Board Association Conference

SupportMusicLogoMusic for All's Strategic Advocacy Partner, NAMM, recently attended the National School Board Association (NSBA) Conference in New Orleans to promote music education in our nation's schools. The NAMM Foundation provided advocacy sessions, an open wind ensemble rehearsal and a culminating drum circle event for conference attendees April 5-7. "I see the wonderful things music education does for students. The value of music and the arts are paramount to a child’s success and well being," said former NSBA president Sonny Sovoie. Additionally, the NAMM Foundation hosted a SupportMusic Coalition webinar from the NSBA Conference, which featured experts in music education and advocacy, including administrators from Louisiana's St. Charles Parish Public Schools.

Music is medicine for Fresno, Cal. high school student

Music empowers all of us in different ways, but it is often theraputic. For many, like Edison H.S. senior Anthony Gonzales, music can be an escape from a challenging home life. A fifth grade teacher encouraged Anthony to join band and learn an instrument, and the rest is history. Anthony now plays seven instruments and wants to become a music educator himself. "That's the beauty of the instrument is you fill up with air, and you get this puffed-out chest, and you have to stand up tall, and it's really hard not to think highly of yourself when you have a puffed-out chest and you're all the way standing up straight," said Anthony. We wish Anthony the best of luck! You can view his story below.


Community honors McAllen ISD's 2014 Best Communities for Music Education recognition

BCME 1South Texas school district and Bands of America participant McAllen Independent School District was recently designated as a 2014 Best Community for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation. Last week, the district held an awards ceremony that featured musicians from the Homer J. Morris Middle School Orchestra. According to district fine arts director Karen Herrera, 60% of the 5,700 middle schools in McAllen ISD are involved in music. “There’s a rich history of dedication to the fine arts in McAllen,” said Superintendent James Ponce. “This is important to our community.” Congratulations to McAllen ISD and the McAllen community for being named a Best Community for Music Education!

"Happy" Artist Pharrell Williams grateful to his music teachers

Just like many of us, famous musicians and artists got their start in a school music classroom. One of this year's most active artists, Pharrell Williams, is no different. The 41 year old, whose collaborations with Daft Punk and Robin Thicke earned him many honors at the GRAMMY Awards in Februrary, shared his story on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday. Pharrell was grateful to the many people in his life who inspired him to follow music: "My story is the average story, you know. It was filled with special people...What am I without them? Just try that for a second. Take all of my band teachers out of this. Where am I? I'm back in Virginia, doing something completely different." Click here for the full story, or watch a clip of the interview below.



Monday, April 07, 2014

The Week in Music Education: April 7

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"The Week in Music Education" is a weekly collection of news and stories about the latest in music education and music advocacy. This series highlights local, regional and national news in music education, as well as provide timely music advocacy resources so that you may promote music education in your community. If you would like to share a story or announcement in "The Week in Music Education," feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and it could be featured in an upcoming post.

Band Directors Kirk Clague and David Aydelott honored by John Philip Sousa Foundation

Last week, David Aydelott and Kirk Clague were inducted into the 2014 Bandworld Legion of Honor. Each year, eight of the most influential band directors are recognized by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The Bandworld Legion of Honor was established in 1989 and promotes dedication to high quality concert band programs. David Aydelott has served as Director of Bands at Franklin H.S. in Tennesee for seven years, receiving top local, state and national honors for his ensembles. The Franklin H.S. Wind Ensemble performed at Music for All's 2013 National Concert Band Festival and the Franklin H.S. Marching Band is a two-time Bands of America Regional Champion and Grand National Semi-Finalist. Kirk Clague has been the Director of Musical Activities at Exeter Union H.S. in California for the past 18 years. Clague and his ensembles have received numberous honors in both concert and jazz band. To learn more about the Bandworld Legion of Honor and its honorees, click here.

National Association for Music Education represented at Congressional briefing

Last week, we told you about an upcoming Congressional briefing where the National Association for Music Education would be brining the "Broader Minded" campaign to Capitol Hill. The briefing was one of the first of its kind in nearly a decade and was led by Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH). NAfME President Nancy Ditmer and staff member Christopher Woodside both spoke at the briefing. You can view a summary and photos of the event here.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month

Each April, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History recognizes the impact of Jazz on American history and society through Jazz Appreciation Month. This year, Smithsonian is honoring John Coltrane throughout the month with special screenings at the National Museum of American History. In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month, we hope you enjoy this playlist of jazz charts performed by our 2011 Jazz Band of America led by Shelly Berg and featuring Allen Vizzutti.


Wynton Marsalis Speaks on Music Education

Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis recently spoke with the National Association for Music Education on the importance of music education in our nation's schools. Marsalis shares his own musical upbringing in a very musical family, as well as challenges faced in schools by music educations. In addition to being an incredible performer and composer, Marsalis leads the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, which has provided him opportunities to lead music education intiatives and teach young jazz musicians. His eloquent words are an excellent resource to help make your case for music in our schools.


Music Education and STEM

We at Music for All are advocates of including the arts in STEM education, creating STEAM. This post from blogger and educator Erin Galardi presents an excellent argument for music's importance in a STEM curriculum. Galardi is not a musician herself, but she recognizes the way that music instruction can improve important skills such as math, verbal memory and spacial-temporal awareness. She even provides opportunities for parents to provide music instruction in the home. This perspective on music education and STEM is a great resource when advocating to non-music colleagues, friends or elected officials.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Week in Music Education: March 31

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Welcome to the first installment of "The Week in Music Education," a weekly collection of news and stories about the latest in music education and music advocacy. This series will highlight local, regional and national news in music education, as well as provide timely music advocacy resources so that you may promote music education in your community. If you would like to share a story or announcement in "The Week in Music Education," feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and it could be featured in an upcoming post!

NAMM Foundation announces 2014 Best Communities for Music Education

BCME 1The NAMM Foundation, Music for All's Strategic Advocacy Partner, recognized 376 school districts and 96 schools across the country last week, part of the 2014 Best Communities for Music Education. This annual program highlights school districts that provide outstanding music education as part of the core curriculum. We are extremely proud that many of the 2014 Best Communities participate in Music for All programming, including the BOA Marching Championships and MFA National Festival. Click here to read more about the Best Communties program and view the list of honorees.

Artists, educators and advocates celebrate National Arts Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill

ArtsAdvocacyClose to 500 advocates from across the U.S. visited Washington, DC last week to advocate for several important issues for the arts, including increased federal funding for the arts and funding for arts education in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Music for All was a Cosponsor of National Arts Advocacy Day, held March 24-25, 2014 and presented by Americans for the Arts. As one of seven advocates representing Indiana, I had the opportunity to meet with staff of several Indiana Congressmen and convey the incredible impact of arts education in the state and across the country. Additionally, I had the pleasure of attending the White House Briefing on the Arts, which featured acting National Endowment for the Arts Chair Joan Shigekawa and several members of President Obama's administration. The Congressional Arts Handbook, created for Arts Advocacy Day, is an excellent resource that provides excellent facts and figures to make the case for music and arts education to your representative.

Ovation launches new arts advocacy campaign: "Stand for the Arts"

Also at Arts Advocacy Day, America's only television network devoted entirely to the arts, Ovation, launched their new advocacy campaign, "Stand for the Arts." According to Ovation, "The arts are an essential element in shaping a positive, productive, successful society on a local, regional and national level. How we support artists and artistic endeavors is a metric for our health as a nation." The "Stand for the Arts" launch video presented at Arts Advocacy Day features actors Ed Norton and Kerry Washington. Check out to learn more and find resources to support the arts in your community.

National Association for Music Education's Broader Minded campaign heads to Capitol Hill

brainMFA Strategic Partner, the National Association for Music Education will head to Capitol Hill this week to take part in "Music Matters," a panel discussion about the impact of music education hosted by the Congressional Rock and Roll Caucus. An important part of the conversation will be Broader Minded, NAfME's new music education advocacy campaign that focuses on the benefits of music education beyond just test scores. This campaign provides excellent resources in making the case for music education, including information on music's impact on 21st century skills such as creativity, verbal and nonverbal communication and critical thinking.

Music encourages commuters to take the stairs

If you are a musician, you are probably already aware of the pysical benefits to playing an instrument or singing, especially if you were in marching band or show choir. This popular video from 2009 displays the power of music in Stockholm, Sweden. Overnight, workers installed electronic piano keys on stairs in a Stockholm metro station. In addition to being a fun and creative project, there was a profound physical impact: 66% more people took the stairs over the escalator than in previous days. What are other ways music can improve physical fitness? We'd love to hear in the comments below!


Each year, two prominent music industry organizations utilize their voice to spotlight music education success stories in our schools. The NAMM Foundation's Best Communities for Music Education highlights school districts across the country that promote and support music education in their classrooms. The GRAMMY Foundation's Signature Schools program has been recognizing music education achievement with grants to outstanding public high schools. By recognizing schools and communities that are supporting the arts and music as a core component of scholastic education, the NAMM Foundation and GRAMMY Foundation are ensuring that music education remains in our nation's schools for years to come.

Music for All is proud advocate for music education, and programs like Best Communities for Music Education and GRAMMY Signature Schools help promote MFA's vision to be a catalyst to ensure that every child has access and opportunity to active music making in his or her scholastic environment. MFA programs such as the Bands of America Marching Championships and Music for All National Festival provide an opportunity for schools to be recognized for achievement on a national stage. Music programs can utilize this national platform to increase school and community support for music education.

The 2014 Best Communities for Music Education recognized 376 school distrcits across the country that embrace music education as a core component of scholastic instruction. Music for All is proud that 76 of those school districts have recently participated in MFA programming. You can view the list of MFA participants recognized by scrolling through the list below. Click here to view the entire list of 2014 honorees.

2014 Best Communities for Music Education

Hoover City Schools
Vestavia Hills City Schools
Tucson Unified School District
Bakersfield City School District
Glendale Unified School District
San Diego Unified School District
Hillsborough County Public Schools
Saint Johns County School District
Cobb County School District
DeKalb County School District
Fulton County School System
Gwinnett County Public Schools
Indian Prairie School District
Elkhart Community Schools
South Spencer County School Corporation
Metropolitan School District of Warren Township
Paoli Community School Corporation
Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation
Davenport Community School District
Fayette County Public Schools
Baltimore County Public Schools
Troy School District
Ferndale Public Schools
Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District
Mounds View Public Schools
Clark County School District
New Jersey
South Brunswick School District

New York
Arlington Central School District
Baldwinsville Central School District
Jordan Elbridge Central School District
Liverpool Central School District
West Genesee Central School District
North Carolina
Cabarrus County Schools
Clark-Shawnee Local School District
Kettering City Schools
Lebanon City School District
Hilliard City Schools
Kings Local School District
Stillwater Public Schools
Central Bucks School District
Fox Chapel Area School District
Mechanicsburg Area School District
Moon Area School District
Mt. Lebanon School District
North Penn School District
Trinity Area School District
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
Arlington Independent School District
Austin Independent School District
Brownsville Independent School District
Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District
Conroe Independent School District
Denton Independent School District
Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District
Fort Bend Independent School District
Garland Independent School District
Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District
Hidalgo Independent School District
Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District
Katy Independent School District
Klein Independent School District
Lewisville Independent School District
McAllen Independent School District
Mesquite Independent School District
Northwest Independent School District
Pasadena Independent School District
Richardson Independent School District
Spring Independent School District
Waxahachie Independent School District
Wylie Independent School District
Fairfax County Public Schools
Henrico County Public Schools
Loudoun County Public Schools
Virginia Beach City Public Schools
Evergreen Public Schools
Pasco School District #1

2014 SupportMusic Merit Award

The Best Communities for Music Education program additionally recognizes individual schools for music education achievement. The SupportMusic Merit Award recognized 96 schools across the country, including three who have participated in MFA programs:
Diamond Bar H.S., CA
West Ranch H.S., CA
Springs Valley H.S., IN

2014 GRAMMY Signature Schools

The GRAMMY Foundation provided nearly $60,000 in grants to 12 schools recognized as GRAMMY Signature Schools. You can view the entire list of recipients here. Four of the schools have participated in BOA Marching Championships and the MFA National Festival:
Diamond Bar H.S., CA
Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, NV
Cherry Creek H.S., CO
Mount Vernon H.S., VA

Congratulations to each of the schools and communities honored by the NAMM and GRAMMY Foundations! If you are a teacher, participant or parent from one of the recognized schools, or your school is promoting music education, we'd love to hear from you! Click here to share your story or contact us. Application information for the 2015 Best Communities for Music Education and GRAMMY Signature Schools will be avilable in October.

Whether you're a professional musician or your instrument sits dusty in the back of our closet, a music teacher likely remains as one of the most impactful people in your scholastic experience. Music In Our Schools Month is the perfect time to recognize an music teacher in your life. Last year, The GRAMMY Foundation created a new way to recognize music teachers through the GRAMMY Music Educator Award. This program allows anyone - students, parents, fellow teachers, administrators, professional musicians - to nominate a music teacher. Any school music teacher, public or private, Kindergarten through College, is eligble for the Award. Kent Knappenberger, a music teacher and Choir Director at Westfield Academy and Central School in New York, was the recipient of the inaugural GRAMMY Music Educator Award. In addition to his appearance at the 56th GRAMMY Awards in January, Kent's inspiring story was shared across the country, including a CBS This Morning feature you can view below.

The deadline to nominate a teacher for the 2015 GRAMMY Music Educator Award is March 31, 2014. Nomination forms and more information on the Award are available online at After the nomination process, quarterfinalist educators are asked to provide additional criteria for submission. Semifinalist music educators are selected through committee interviews, and finally a Blue Ribbon Committee selects up to 10 finalists and the GRAMMY Music Educator Award recipient. Each finalist receives a $1,000 award, and the recipient receives a $10,000 award in addition to the opportunity to experience and appear at the GRAMMY Awards in 2014. Click the button below to recognize a teacher who ahs made an impact in your life.



The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. The application process for the award will adjust each year to allow the broad array of effective teaching styles and methods used in the discipline to be recognized and awarded. The GRAMMY Music Educator Award is supported by Music for All partners the NAMM Foundation and the National Association for Music Education.

Friday, February 28, 2014

March is Music In Our Schools Month!

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Your voice is essential to ensuring that music education remains an integral part of scholastic education, and Music In Our Schools Month is the perfect opportunity to make your voice heard. Music in Our Schools Month (MIOSM®), supported by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), began with a small statewide celebration in 1973 and has grown to a nationwide month of awareness, advocacy and music making. The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children. MIOSM is an opportunity for music teachers to bring their music programs to the attention of the school and community and to display the benefits school music brings to students of all ages. At Music for All, we believe in music education and music in our schools, and we are a proud partner of the National Assocaition for Music Education in promoting Music In Our Schools Month.

This year’s slogan for Music In Our Schools Month is “Music Makes Me ___!” Tell your friends, teachers, school administrators and elected officials why music in our schools is important to you. When sharing on social media, use #MIOSM to connect with other music education advocates. You can download the “Music Makes Me ___!” logo or purchase MIOSM products at

Throughout the month, Music for All will be providing several opportunities for you to make your voice heard. Connect with MFA's social media channels for opportunities to share why you beleive in music in our schools. Additionally, you can tell your story of music’s impact through our website. Your story could be featured in a MIOSM blog post this month! Stay tuned to the MFA Blog and our social media channels for more ways to connect with Musc In Our Schools Month.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Core Arts Standards: Your Voice Matters

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nccasThe National Coalition for Core Arts Standards is currently seeking outside input for the first update to national standards for arts education since 1994. Arts education experts have been working for close to five years to reconceptualize the national standards and reflect changes in PreK-12 education, including the impact of technology. After the team of experts developed several drafts of the standards, the Coalition is welcoming public feedback until February 28. The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards expects to release the standards in June. States can voluntarily adopt the arts standards; 45 states adopted the 1994 standards.
During the public feedback period, it is imperative that educators, parents, advocates and students make their voice heard to ensure that arts education, and specifically music education, remains a core component of PreK-12 education. Click here to view the standards and provide feedback. The process is simple and even includes video instructions for the review process.
At Music for All, we believe in music’s incredible impact on children and advocate for music’s role in the classroom. However, educators, parents and students of MFA programs are the true advocates for music education. You are advocates in action, representing the power of music education to change lives. Music for All prides its programs on not only providing world-class music instruction, but also creating positively life-changing experiences that will shape the next generation of leaders. By providing feedback for the national standards for arts education, you are ensuring that the standards match the specific needs of your school and community, and that MFA’s programs remain relevant and available for all students.
As part of a music education class in college, one of the first things we were required to internalize were the National Standards for Music Education. At first, we needed little tricks to remember the order of standards, and which used the phrases “alone and with others” or “a varied repertoire of music.” Those standards quickly became natural, as they were a logical progression of teaching music to young students. The new Core Arts Standards present that same progression, but relate all of the disciplines to common anchor standards that promote creativity, collaboration and other skills necessary for success in the 21st century. By aligning the arts education standards, the Coalition is ensuring that arts education remains a core component in our nations schools.
I hope you will join us in providing feedback for the Core Arts Standards and show that you believe in music education, music in our schools and Music for All.


Seth Williams is the Advocacy Coordinator at Music for All. Seth is no stranger to Music for All and Bands of America – first as a participant and as an intern in Development and Participant Relations. He is a graduate of Butler University and previously worked in the Broadway theatre industry in New York. A proud alumnus of “The Centerville Jazz Band,” Seth is likely the biggest band nerd he knows.

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