The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog


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


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


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


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


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

Read the full news release here. 

Published in News
Thursday, May 17, 2012

Music Advocacy Slideshow

Download this slideshow of music education facts, from and other sources, to support music education in your schools.

This slideshow is played at Music for All and Bands of America programs.

As of April 3, 2017

Keynote slideshow (Self-extracting .zip containing .key format slideshow, no audio)t)

PDF of slides (.pdf format, for printing or viewing)

PowerPoint slideshow (.ppt format)


Published in Music Advocacy
Monday, June 06, 2011

Stories & Articles

Articles and Stories about the Importance of Music and Arts Education

With A Little Help, Violin Students Get To Carnegie Hall, by Jeff Lunden, NPR Music News

An inner city school fights to save its orchestra, by Martha Irvine, AP National Writer, The Seattle Times

Escaping Violence via the Drill Team, but Not Completely, by Don Terry, The New York Times

Charity Tillemann-Dick: Singing after a double lung transplant, Video on

Texas musicians heading Down Under to perform with YouTube orchestra, by Tara Dooley, Copyright 2011 Houston Chronicle

Hearing the Music, Honing the Mind, The Editors, Scientific American

Band members give surprise show for Meals on Wheels recipients, by Jim Douglas,, Dallas/Fort Worth

Lawrence Central football player turns to violin, by Scott Swan,, Indianapolis

Fulton parents press music plea, by Gracie Bonds Staples, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Einstein On Creative Thinking: Music and the Intuitive Art of Scientific Imagination, Published on March 31, 2010 by Michele and Robert Root-Bernstein in Imagine That!

Published in Music Advocacy
Thursday, August 12, 2010

Music Advocacy

We Lead With Music

Music for All’s advocacy programs and resources are key elements in our vision 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. Our educational programs and events are just one way we deliver our advocacy efforts and message: We lead with music. Music for All is committed to providing the most comprehensive resource center supporting the cause of music and arts education. Read and share music advocacy stories and articles, music education research findings and relevant advocacy links to make your case for music education in our schools. Through Advocacy in Action, Music for All is helping to promote music education, music in our schools and Music for All. Click on a button below to discover Music for All's Advocacy in Action resources and programs. 


View the latest music education research findings, advocacy materials and downloads in our Tools & Resources section. Everything you need to be an advocate for music education in your community!

Music has an enormous impact, especially for America’s youth. Check this page often for inspiring and moving stories and articles about the importance of music education.

Is a music program in your community at risk? Visit this page for resources to help your program and to inform Music for All team so that we can advocate for your program.

Do you believe? Show your support for music in America’ schools by joining the “I Believe” awareness and annual fund campaign.

The Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award annually recognizes the extraordinary commitment, dedication, support and sacrifice of music parents and boosters. Read more about Patrick John Hughes, previous award winners and learn how to nominate the exceptional parent or booster in your music program.

Have a music advocacy success story? Did music have a profound impact on you? Share your story with Music for All and it may be featured on our blog or in an upcoming publication.


Music for All is a proud member of the SupportMusic Coalition and the Music Education Policy Roundtable.MusEd Policy Roundtable Click on the logos below to learn more!


Published in Music Advocacy
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Partners and Links

The success of Music for All is because of the strength, dedication and quality of our national partners. In today's environment collaboration is the key to success for the music and arts community. The Board of Directors of Music for All is grateful for the support of these leading national organizations:

Americans for the Arts

Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With a 40-year record of service, we are dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.

American Music Conference

AMC is dedicated to promoting the importance of music, music-making and music education to the general public. The AMC site is your one stop source to find music making research, current events, advocacy tools, and music making activities.

The ASCAP Foundation

The ASCAP Foundation is dedicated to nurturing the musical talent of tomorrow, preserving the legacy of the past, and sustaining the creative incentive for today's creators through a variety of educational, professional, and humanitarian programs and activities which serve the entire music community.

Marching Arts Forum

The mission of the Marching Arts Forum is to provide colleges an atmosphere in which open discussion of the marching arts is encouraged. With clinic-like sessions as well as forum-based discussion, the Marching Arts strives to create a culture of learning within the marching activity. Through collegiate chapters, the Marching Arts Forum will improve the quality of marching arts education worldwide.

NAfME - The National Association for Music Education

NAfME, among the world's largest arts education organizations, marked its centennial in 2007 as the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. Through membership of more than 75,000 active, retired, and pre-service music teachers, and with 60,000 honor students and supporters, NAfME serves millions of students nationwide through activities at all teaching levels, from preschool to graduate school.

NAMM, The International Music Products Association

Representing, educating and promoting the music products industry. Over the past century, NAMM, The International Music Products Association, has proudly represented the industry that brings the gift of music into people's lives. What started in May of 1901 as a small, grassroots organization of 52 founding members has since blossomed into an international association representing more than 7,700 retailers and manufacturers of musical instruments and products from 85 countries worldwide. is a public service initiative that intends to critically impact resolve and support for music education in local communities around the United States. is an advocacy effort that unites various national and regional organizations with parents and community leaders seeking to improve access and opportunity in music and arts learning. Go to SUPPORTMUSIC.COM for tools and resources for saving music programs in your local community.

The Whole Child

Each child, in each school, in each of our communities deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. That’s what a whole child approach to learning, teaching, and community engagement really is. The Whole Child approachs call on families, educators, policymakers, and communities to ensure each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. Founded in 1943, ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is an educational leadership organization dedicated to advancing best practices and policies for the success of each learner.

Young Audiences

Young Audiences, Inc. (YAI) is the nation's leading source of arts-in-education services. YAI's mission and goal is to help make the arts an essential part of young people's education. Young Audiences advances the artistic and educational development of public school students by bringing young people together with professional artists of all disciplines to learn, create and participate in the arts. This year, Young Audiences' network of 33 chapters and affiliates and 5,200 artists reached 7.5 million children in nearly 8,000 schools with more than 22,000 performance demonstrations, 64,000 workshops and 4,000 teacher services.

Published in Music Advocacy
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tools & Resources

Music for All is committed to providing access to valuable information and resources to support music and the arts in education and communities. The following tools and resources can equip you with templates, facts and figures, posters and stories to successfully make your case for music education in your school and community. Check back often for the most up-to-date resources, and be sure to visit the Stories & Articles page for moving stories about music's incredible impact. If you have questions about Music for All's advocacy initiatives, feel free to contact us.


Music for All is proud to be the title sponsor of "Be Part of the Band: Elementary Style," a menu of high quality tools to help band directors attact as many students as possible to their program. "Be Part of the Band" includes templates, videos and other valuable resources to aid in school band recruitment.


The SupportMusic Community Action Kit provides resources to help you advocate for a complete education that includes music instruction for every child. The Kit includes grassroots advocacy guides, communication tools and templates including sample letters, petition templates, downloadable PowerPoint presentations and posters. The SupportMusic Community Action Kit was created and presented by MFA partners NAMM and the National Association for Music Education.

Quick Facts

Need facts and figures to make your case for music education? Check this page often for the latest facts and research supporting music in our nation's schools.

Quick Facts

Partners and Links

Music for All partners with advocacy organizations such as NAMM, the National Association for Music Education and Americans for the Arts to provide the highest quality information for music educators and advocates to utilize. Visit this page to learn more about organizations making a difference in music education and advocacy.

Partners and Links

Music Advocacy Slideshow

Need a music advocacy slideshow to show at concerts, events or school board meetings? Music for All created this slideshow for each of its educational events and has made it available to you as well. You can view the slideshow here and download the presentation in multiple formats.

Music Advocacy Slideshow


TrebleClef-buttonDownload the "Why Music?" Poster

Display your support for music education and Music for All at home, in your office or at school! Below are multiple downloadable sizes of the "Why Music?" poster for your personal use.

8.5x11 Poster

11x17 Poster

16x24 Poster

20x30 Poster

Published in Music Advocacy
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quick Facts and Stats

Student Performance

The College Entrance Examination Board found that students involved in public school music programs scored 107 points higher on the SAT's than students with no participation.
- Profiles of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board,
compiled by the Music Educators National Conference (2002)

U.S. Department of Education data on more than 25,000 secondary school students found that students who report consistent high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show "significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12."
- U.S. Department of Education NELLS88 Database

Public Support and Access

According to a 2003 Gallup survey, 95 percent of Americans believe that music is a key component in a child's well-rounded education.
- American Attitudes on Music, Music Making and Music Education, The Gallup Organization 2003

In spite of this public support and documented benefits, "only one in four eighth graders reported being asked to sing or play a music instrument at least once a week."
-1998 NAEP Assessment

Life Skills

Arts involvement teaches children many skills necessary to succeed in life, including problem solving and decision making, building self-confidence and self-discipline, the ability to imagine what might be and to accept responsibility for it, teamwork, the development of informed perception, and articulating a vision.
- Compiled from various research documents and reports

Secondary students who participated in band or orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs).
- Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Houston Chronicle, January 11, 1998

Scientific Research

A research team reports that early music training dramatically enhancing children's abstract reasoning skills. These findings indicate that music uniquely enhances higher brain functions required for mathematics, chess, science and engineering.
- From Neurological Research, Feb 28, 1997; Frances Rauscher, Ph.D., Gordon Shaw, Ph.D, University of California, Irvine

A two-year Swiss study involving 1,200 children in 50 schools showed that students involved in the music program were better at languages, learned to read more easily, showed an improved social climate, showed more enjoyment in school, and had a lower level of stress than non-music students.
-Weber, E.W., Spychiger, M. & Patry, J.L. (1993)

Arts and the Economy

America's nonprofit arts industry generates $134 billion in economic activity every year, including $24.4 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues.
- Americans for the Arts

Despite this, state-level arts spending dropped from $409 million in fiscal year 2002 to 354.5 in fiscal year 2003 and declined again to $272.4 million in 2004.
- National Assembly of State Arts Agencies

Published in Music Advocacy
Thursday, June 10, 2010


"Why We Volunteer"

"Music for All allows band parents the opportunity to work with others with like interests, to enjoy music, and to be a part of something so worthwhile and successful. Even though our own children have graduated, there is still a need to be involved with a wonderful organization and help others see the value of what we do. Meeting new people, traveling, and enriching our lives make us believers of something very special. We've learned that there is life after's more band!" -Sharon and Stu Holzer, Bands of America Volunteers for 25 years

Sharon and Stu join thousands of Music for All volunteers each year to make our programs and events possible. You can, too. Will you join them and help provide positively life-changing experiences? Read more below to learn more about volunteer opportunities at our events year round! 

Bands of America Grand National Championships

Come be a part of the spectacle that is the Bands of America Grand National Championships! The 2019 Grand National Championships will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis from November 14-16. Volunteers are needed for the entire weekend in areas such as warm up monitors, program selling, and band flow. Join us in providing positively life-changing experiences to the 100+ bands and 15,000+ students that participate! 

We are excited to offer the following perks to volunteers that join us at Grand Nationals:

  • Wristband that grants all-day stadium access on the day(s) that you volunteer, even when you are not working a shift
  • Free commemorative volunteer name badge, t-shirt, and event program book
  • Free event parking within walking distance of Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Concession stand voucher for volunteers that work two or more consecutive shifts
  • One (1) complimentary ticket to Saturday evening Grand Nationals finals for volunteers that work two or more total shifts

Bands of America Regional and Super Regional Championships

Volunteer opportunities regularly exist at all of Bands of America Regional and Super Regional Championships across the fall. Help is needed in areas such as warm up monitors, bus and truck parking, ticket and program selling, and band flow. Incentives for volunteering include a free volunteer t-shirt, free event program, and behind-the-scenes access to the event. 

The 2019 Fall Volunteer Interest Form will be available soon! After submitting, a member of our Events Department will reach out to you confirm your availability for the shows you express interest in. Additionally, click on "Full Fall Schedule" below to check out our schedule to see what regionals you would be available to volunteer at. If you have any questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Full Fall Schedule

Summer Symposium SWAG Team and Directors' Academy Assistants

Our Summer Symposium SWAG Team and Directors' Academy Assistants are a group of volunteers that join us at our Summer Symposium at Ball State University every June. Both teams play a vital role in helping us provide a great experience for the 1700+ students and directors that attend camp. SWAGs and Directors' Academy Assistants are carefully selected by a leadership team and are comprised of dedicated music educators, college students, graduate students, and others that have a passion for music education. 

Application Deadline: March 1, 2019

For more informaiton about the SWAG Team and Directors' Academy Assistants, please visit

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities:

Periodically, we have projects that require the assistance of volunteers in our Music for All office. We typically prefer to host groups of approximately 5-10 for a morning or afternoon in order to tackle some of our biggest projects all at once!

We would love the opportunity for your volunteer organization, corporate group, collegiate or high school club, or group of friends to join us for a few hours leading up to our biggest events that includes, Grand Nationals, National Festival, and Summer Symposium.

Do you have a group that would be interested in this volunteer opportunity? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information!
Published in Connect
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