Advocacy in Action

Advocacy in Action

 

BCME-GRAMMY

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

Alabama
Hoover City Schools
Vestavia Hills City Schools
 
Arizona
Tucson Unified School District
 
California
Bakersfield City School District
Glendale Unified School District
San Diego Unified School District
 
Florida
Hillsborough County Public Schools
Saint Johns County School District
 
Georgia
Cobb County School District
DeKalb County School District
Fulton County School System
Gwinnett County Public Schools
 
Illinois
Indian Prairie School District
 
Indiana
Elkhart Community Schools
South Spencer County School Corporation
Metropolitan School District of Warren Township
Paoli Community School Corporation
Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation
 
Iowa
Davenport Community School District
 
Kentucky
Fayette County Public Schools
 
Maryland
Baltimore County Public Schools
 
Michigan
Troy School District
Ferndale Public Schools
 
Minnesota
Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District
Mounds View Public Schools
 
Nevada
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
 
Ohio
Clark-Shawnee Local School District
Kettering City Schools
Lebanon City School District
Hilliard City Schools
Kings Local School District
 
Oklahoma
Stillwater Public Schools
 
Pennsylvania
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
 
Tennessee
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
 
Texas
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
 
Virginia
Fairfax County Public Schools
Henrico County Public Schools
Loudoun County Public Schools
Virginia Beach City Public Schools
 
Washington
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 www.grammyintheschools.com. 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.

Nominate

 

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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NAfME MIOSM2014

 

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 nafme.org.

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

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.

IN Coalition for the ArtsEach year, arts advocates from across Indiana travel to the State Capitol in Indianapolis to participate in “Arts Day at the Statehouse,” presented by the Indiana Coalition for the Arts. Music for All is a proud member of the vibrant arts community in the state, and I was excited to represent Music for All and the arts in Indiana last month at Arts Day. I joined close to 50 other artists, teachers and arts administrators in an advocacy training session, a community arts project and most importantly, meeting with legislators to demonstrate our support for the arts in Indiana.

Because Music for All’s pinnacle programs are located in Indiana, MFA has an incredible impact on Indiana’s young people as well as the state and local tax revenue generated from tourism during MFA events. MFA also receives general operating support from the Indiana Arts Commission, partly funded by the Indiana State Legislature. I had the great fortune of sharing with legislators the important work that Music for All and other arts organizations across the state are doing: improving the quality of life, providing economic impact, and providing impactful arts education for Hoosier youth.

After a brief training session where we learned how simple it is to speak to your elected officials, we headed to the Statehouse to “storm the floor.” It was a very busy day at the Statehouse, as many important pieces of legislation were in discussion, but we were still able to meet with many elected officials. In addition to talking points from Music for All, the Indiana Coalition for the Arts also provided us with brief items to discuss with legislators, which included thanking legislators for increased funding for the Indiana Arts Commission and promoting a bill supporting ensemble music education in middle and secondary schools.

Right away, I met with Representative Eric Koch, who is an active supporter of the arts in his South Central Indiana district. While nervously ensuring that I covered all of my talking points, we had a great conversation about Rep. Koch’s passion for the arts. I also had the pleasure of meeting Senator Jean Breaux, who represents my home district in Indianapolis. “The arts have always been an important part of my life,” explained Sen. Breaux. She also represents many underserved families in Indianapolis, including some who participate in MFA’s Indianapolis Public Schools outreach programs. Sen. Breaux been an important advocate for the arts in the State Senate, and it was inspiring to speak firsthand with a legislator with so much passion for the arts.

ArtsDay1Indiana State Senator Timothy Lanane and MFA Advocacy Coordinator Seth Williams
(Photo courtesy of Randy Orr, Indiana Coaltion for the Arts)

Later in the afternoon, I met with Senate Minority Leader Timothy Lanane, who represents East Central Indiana, including the home of the MFA Summer Symposium - Ball State University. I spoke with Sen. Lanane about the Summer Symposium and MFA’s commitment to engaging the East Central Indiana community.

HaveaHeartBecause of the busy day in the Statehouse and the large number of visitors, I was not able to meet with as many legislators as I had hoped. Instead, we had the opportunity to meet other artists, teachers and administrators from all over the state and participate in a community art project entitled Have a HeART, developed by Hoosier artist Joe LaMantia. The project helped spread a message throughout the Statehouse of passion and collaboration through the arts.

The 2014 Arts Day at the Statehouse was a simple yet effective way to meet with legislators and display the impact of the arts, including music education, on Hoosiers. You too can contact your federal, state and local elected officials and spread the message of music education’s impact on students across the U.S. The Indiana Coalition has many resources specific to Indiana elected officials here. You can also visit our partners at SupportMusic.com, including NAMM and the National Association for Music Education, for more national resources. Whether writing an email or letter, calling your representative’s office or visiting them in person, advocating for the arts is integral to ensuring public support for the arts, including music education in our nation’s schools.

 

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.

EDITED NCCAS banner 620x316
The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) released PreK-8 draft music standards online for public review from June 30th, 2013 to July 15, 2013. Now knowing this is a short period of time, during most music educators summer vacations, it remains to be seen the quality and quantity of feedback they will get.
 
Yet, our future music education world depends on getting more musically-smart and engaged people (directors, teachers and parents) to share "what they think" about these soon-to-be national music teaching standards. Especially knowing that many teacher evaluations in the future will be based on student growth. (Which will be measured agains these standards PreK-8.) So, help us get more "smart real-world music educators" and "music advocating parents" to add their input and insight!
 
The NCCAS web site has a page that contains an orientation video with instructions and links to all the information needed to complete the review. While there is an element of massively-minutiae detail, the survey mechanism makes it a bit easier to comment as much, or as little, as you would like. Feel free to pass this link along to any and all of your music education listservs, web sites, organizations, etc.... because the more the better!

National Coalition for Core Arts Standards
http://nccas.wikispaces.com/NCCAS+June+30th+Public+Review

Monday, April 08, 2013

Life is better with music

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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.

 
 

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.

 

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