The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
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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

Published in Advocacy in Action

Sign up for a high school summer camp and… spin alongside a world class drum corps?
caviesguard1That’s exactly what the color guard MFA campers got to experience! On Friday of the Summer Symposium, the color guard track spent the morning working with the members of The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps color guard. A bright sun, clear skies and open grassy field awaited the campers as they prepared for what would be, for a lot of them, one of the most exciting moments thus far in their color guard careers.

The Cavaliers session was broken into two blocks, with the first part of the morning focusing on movement and the second on equipment. At each block’s beginning, the students sat and watched The Cavaliers staff give a demonstration, taking the color guard through exercises and choreography. The campers got to see a snapshot of the technique exercises that the Cavaliers do every day, such as dance basics, across-the-floor dance exercises, flag drop spins and Peggy spins, a flag backhand exercise, and a spins-and-stops exercise on rifle.

CaviesGuard2This was a great experience for our color guard students. First, they learned that even the biggest, best and most well-known groups still do the same simple, basic exercises that their high school groups do (such as flag drop spins)—and that mastering these “building blocks” skills and learning to control their bodies and their equipment is so very important. On the other hand, seeing the more advanced exercises (such as the spins-and-stops exercise, which incorporated various dance and body movements simultaneously with rifle spins, tosses and catches) gave the students a picture of how their craft can be taken to the next level.

After watching the demonstrations, students broke into small groups and spread out across the Quad to work up-close and personal with The Cavaliers guard. After learning a new exercise, they would come back and everyone—the MFA students with The Cavaliers—would do the exercise together as a group.

CaviesGuard3The most exciting part of the morning, however, was when the campers actually got to learn some choreography from The Cavaliers’ show. Students picked up either a flag or a rifle and broke into small groups once again. A good chunk of the session was spent with the group spread out on the Quad learning this work before everyone came together once more to perform the choreography as an ensemble.

This session for our color guard campers was exciting, challenging, a lot of fun and certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The Cavaliers color guard, made up of members who have all worked hard to become the well-trained and talented performers that they are, serve as great inspiration for our students, many of whom are still very new to the color guard activity. The young campers still have a lot of growing and learning to do, but this session certainly marks a monumental day in their color guard careers. 

CaviesGuard4A BIG thank you to the Cavaliers guard for sharing their time with us at Music for All and for helping to create a positively life-changing experience for our campers!

 

 

-Carolyn T.

Carolyn Tobin is the Marketing Intern at Music for All. Drawn to all that is digital media, she was an award-recipient of the NMU Tube Student Video Contest and was named the Outstanding Graduating Senior in the Communications and Performance Studies Department at Northern Michigan University. She is a devout runner, and has also enjoyed blogging about her adventures living in Spain and Argentina. Carolyn is a music, dance and color guard enthusiast, the former color guard section leader of Legends Drum & Bugle Corps from Kalamazoo, and she has served on the guard staff for Legends and for Marian University in Indianapolis.

Published in Stories
Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Symposium Day 4 Photo Stream

Check out the photos from Summer Symposium Day 4! (Day 6 for our awesome Leadership students!)

 

If the photo stream above is not viewable for you, try this link:

http://www.flickr.com//photos/officialmusicforall/sets/72157634371915257/show/with/9160252454/

Published in Stories

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If I had to pick one adjective to describe the Wednesday concert in the Summer Symposium evening concert series, it would be…

Rad.

We welcomed to the stage The PROJECT Trio, a “passionate, high energy chamber music ensemble” from Brooklyn, New York (www.projecttrio.com). The group, comprised of Peter Seymour, double bass; Greg Pattillo, flute; and Eric Stephenson, cello, is anything but ordinary. The three met while attending the Cleveland Institute of Music together. A milestone for the group occurred in 2006 when Pattillo’s beatbox flute video went viral on YouTube. The PROJECT Trio concept stemmed from a desire to create music for the unique flue-cello-double bass combination, and these individuals’ pure love for music was evident as they performed for us last evening.

The PROJECT Trio composes and plays music in a vast array of genres. We were treated to all sorts of tunes, from Beethoven’s “5th” and the “William Tell Overture” to funky hip-hop and some sassy salsa beats. The audience even got to experience a more theatrical side of PROJECT Trio with their rendition of “Peter and the Wolf.”

The PROJECT Trio created a special opportunity for our Summer Symposium Strings Division students, who not only participated in in workshop with the Trio, but got to perform two pieces with them onstage. And what a stellar performance it was!

PROJECT Trio in rehearsal

The PROJECT Trio giving a workshop to the Strings students

 

playingwithstringsStrings students performing with PROJECT Trio in Emens Auditorium

A big congratulations to the Strings students, and a warm thank you to The PROJECT Trio for the unique blessing brought by their presence at the Summer Symposium!

For more information and a full bio of The PROJECT Trio, you can visit their website, www.projecttrio.com; connect with “Project Trio” on Facebook; and follow @thePROJECTTrio on Twitter.

 

-Carolyn T.

Carolyn Tobin is the Marketing Intern at Music for All. Drawn to all that is digital media, she was an award-recipient of the NMU Tube Student Video Contest and was named the Outstanding Graduating Senior in the Communications and Performance Studies Department at Northern Michigan University. She is a devout runner, and has also enjoyed blogging about her adventures living in Spain and Argentina. Carolyn is a music, dance and color guard enthusiast, the former color guard section leader of Legends Drum & Bugle Corps from Kalamazoo, and she has served on the guard staff for Legends and for Marian University in Indianapolis.

Published in Stories
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Mindi Abair Experience

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We’ve only had two evening concerts so far and the talent that has come to Emens Auditorium this week has already blown me away!

On Tuesday evening, Mindi Abair and her band came to the Ball State campus and I was lucky enough to get a few moments of her time to chat after her sound check.
Anytime I need to interview I interview anyone, let alone a professional musician, I wonder what the interview will be like: if it will be easy or hard, if they will be kind and sincere or if I will feel like I’m an imposition.

Lucky for me, the moment I was introduced to Mindi Abair, I felt at ease and like I was chatting with an old friend.

It was great talking with Mindi about the Summer Symposium and what happens throughout the week. She was genuinely interested in the Music for All's mission and talked at length about how important music education was to her own life. Mindi recognizes that because of how important music was to her life, she is a strong advocate for music education.

Watch Mindi’s Interview (as well as some highlights from the concert) here:

 

After leaving the interview with Mindi, I couldn’t stop talking about how awesome the concert was going to be (it was a really fun sound check!) and how great of a person she was. I definitely thought I knew how great the concert would be.

But I was wrong. It was better! The moment I walked into the auditorium I could feel the energy not only coming from Mindi and her band, but from the students who were up off their feet and simply enjoying the concert. It's almost impossible for me to explain the feeling that I had while watching our campers, watch the performance. It was amazing to see them so engaged and just LOVING what was happening on stage in front of them. Here's a photo that gives you an idea of what I'm talking about.

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The best thing about Mindi Abair: she's not only talented, she's just plain fun. You could see on her face, and on the faces of the members of her band, that they were having a BLAST performing for this incredible audience. At the end of the encore Mindi even invited students on stage with her (she couldn’t have known what she was getting into there, right!?) It was a pretty incredible sight, and I’m sure many students are not going to forget the night that they got to come up on stage while Mindi Abair finished out her show!

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This evening concert was defintly one of my favorites I have seen in my past three camp experiences. I hope that the students enjoyed it as much as I did!

 

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Erin Fortune is the Marketing Coordinator focusing on digital marketing at Music for All, and has been working with Music for All for nearly three years, first in the Participant Relations department and now in marketing. She is a graduate from the Music Industry Management program at Ferris State University in Michigan and is a former Percussive Arts Society Intern and a Yamaha Corporation of America, Band and Orchestral Division Intern.

 

Published in Stories
Thursday, May 09, 2013

Teacher Appreciation

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While I hope most teachers feel appreciated every day of the year, there’s nothing like a “holiday” to make us really think about why we appreciate someone. With this week being Teacher Appreciation Week I have been doing a lot of thinking about teachers in my life who have given so selflessly to their profession and have had a true passion for educating their students. I have been blessed with having so many remarkable teachers and mentors throughout my life. Grade school through college there have been several teachers who left their mark, but the one who I really want to thank today is my music teacher.

I went to a fairly small school, where my music teacher was with me from Kindergarten until I graduated High School. Thirteen years certainly helped grow a relationship with my teacher, Ms. O’Neil, but even if she had only been my teacher for one year I know she would have made an impact. Through the help of my music teacher, I realized my passion for music at a very young age. Her enthusiasm for music, and her confidence in me as a performer really shaped the way I viewed myself as a child. Throughout school I ALWAYS had a place where I felt I belonged and that was in music class, and then once I hit Junior High, in the choir room.

Ms. O'Neil gave (and is still giving at Yale Public Schools in Yale, Michigan) so tiresly to her students. I will never forget each year hearing about the choir seniors graduating and Ms. O'Neil sharing a beautiful inspiring story with that particular class and giving them a pearl and telling them how unique and special they were. Every year I watched that beautiful end of the year "ceremony" and I couldn't wait until I was a senior. And then that moment came.. and I was sitting in first hour choir, in a circle of the other Senior choir students and Ms. O'Neil and she told the story yet again that was so familiar to me.

It was the story about the man walking along the sand, and trying so hard to throw each starfish he came across that had washed up to the shore back into the ocean. Another man walks up to him and says, what are you doing? There are so many and you can't possibly throw each one back in, you will never make a difference. But the man keeps going, and throws yet another starfish back in and says "it made a difference to that one."

That story that Ms. O'Neil told every year really epitomises to me what she was always all about...and what so many teachers live for. She worked so hard all of the time, because she knew, even if it was just one student at a time...she could make a difference.

Well, I'm fairly certain that Ms. O'Neil has made a difference in so many lives of the students she has taught..not only teaching them about music, but helping each one of us to be a better person. I know I AM a better person from having known her. Ms. O'Neil if you are reading this, I still have and cherish that pearl you gave me on my last day in your class, and the last time I was home, I saw that my brother, who had graduated four years before me, still had his. Thank you for inspiring my passion for music...and for teaching me that I can make a difference, and even if it's just one starfish... I made a difference for that one.

Yesterday when I was thinking about writing this blog and sharing MY story about the special teacher in my life, I knew that there had to be others in the Music for All office who also had stories of teachers who inspired them. I was so happy to read about so many more amazing stories about inspiring teachers that I just had to share those as well.

TeacherAppreWeekWEDNESDAY 1“Mr. Philip Shepherd was my high school band director (1977-81). I went to an average sized high school (about 1,000 9-12, I think), in a smallish town (about 7,000) in Eastern Kentucky. What is amazing to me looking back is that he instilled in us not just a belief that we could accomplish anything but a real sense of connection at the deepest level to the music and to the highest level of music-making. He had high expectations and it never occurred to us that we weren't going to meet those expectations. I follow the careers of my fellow band mates from that time and see that they are contributing at the highest levels in their chosen professions and I have no doubt that part of that is due to having the privilege of being a student of Mr. Shepherd.”
- Debbie Laferty-Asbill, Vice President of Marketing and Communications


"Though I have had the pleasure of learning from and working with many remarkable educators in my lifetime, I'd specifically like to celebrate my high school band directors, Mr. Charles M. Smith and Dr. Terry Magee.  They are both selfless advocates of music education in our schools and deserve consistent recognition for their commitment to excellence. The time I spent as a student at Lafayette H.S. in Lexington, KY under their direction had a huge impact on who I am as a leader and professional today. I know that I am not the first or last person to acknowledge their efforts and want to personally thank them for being such valuable assets to the 'Pride of the Bluegrass!'"
- Molly Miller, Event Coordinator


"Even after many years of education and hundreds of teachers, the most impactful remains my elementary music teacher, Mrs. Mason. After looking forward to music class each week in third grade, I was entranced by Mrs. Mason’s piano playing and begged my parents to buy a piano. Mrs. Mason’s passion for music was contagious, and after starting lessons, I was hooked. Her compassion for students and high standards of success both propelled my interest in music and improved my work ethic in subjects beyond music. After succumbing to cancer while I was in high school, her legacy of inspiring young students through music for over 40 years solidified my belief in music education and music in our schools. Because music remains a cornerstone of who I am, Mrs. Mason’s legacy lives on."
- Seth Williams, Development Coordinator


TeacherAppreWeekTHURSDAY“I am blessed to have crossed paths with a number of amazing, inspiring educators, from a cross country coach who kindled my love for my sport and a physics teacher whose “Socratic Method” of teaching helped me discover how much of an investigative thinker I am at heart, to a college professor who taught me as much about broadcast media as he did about persevering through life’s challenges through faith. It certainly takes a special kind of heart to fill the role of a teacher, and I feel so thankful for all the people in our nation who double as amazing educators and amazing human beings.

Undoubtedly, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today if it wasn’t for a certain color guard instructor of mine. When I met him, I felt like a very little person trying to break into the very big world of drum corps. Under his leadership, I learned how to focus my energy, refine my skills, and after five spectacular seasons have blossomed into an extremely confident performer and person. What impacted me the most is that he continually challenged me to challenge myself, showing he was confident in me and my talents and never letting me think otherwise. It really is true that when you hold someone to higher standards, they WILL go beyond their original expectations of themselves to achieve them. A heartfelt thanks to Ryan Miller, as well as to all our other teachers who set out on a daily basis to change the lives of students!“
- Carolyn Tobin, Marketing Intern

"Thank you Frank Herzog! My 8th grade history teacher who inspired and rewarded intellectual curiosity. The quote posted on our classroom wall: "in this room, ignorance is not bliss" "
- Nancy Carlson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

For every story of an inspiring teacher we have here in the Music for All office, we know there are millions more out there in the world. So share it with us. Çomment with a story here on this post. Tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter. Send that amazing teacher a note, to tell them just how much they meant to you. Spend a few minutes thinking about what an incredible job they did. Just celebrate these wonderful teachers in some way.

To all of the teachers who personally touched MY life. Thank you.

To all of the teachers who touched the lives of my coworkers and made them the extraordinary people they are today. Thank you.

To all of the very special band and orchestra directors I have had the pleasure of getting to know through my work at Music for All. Thank you.

To all of the music teachers of all of the students our organization has ever touched. Thank you.

And to all teachers out there in the world, the ones I know and the ones I don’t have the pleasure of knowing: Music, Math, Science, English, History, Art, Health, Physical Education, Technology…  no matter what you teach, you are appreciated. Thank you for sharing your passion and for being there each day for your students.

Thank you, from the bottoms of our hearts, for giving all that you can to your students, for working late, for spending your extra money on something for your classroom because your school budget doesn’t cover it, for being someone your students can talk to, rely on and learn from. You really do make a difference. You really do shape and mold young people to be the best they can possibly be.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week.

 

Musically,

 

ErinSignatureinJennaSueFont

Erin Fortune is the Marketing Coordinator at Music for All, and has been working with Music for All for nearly three years, first in the Participant Relations department and now in marketing. She is a graduate from the Music Industry Management program at Ferris State University in Michigan and is a former Percussive Arts Society Intern and a Yamaha Corporation of America, Band and Orchestral Division Intern.

 

Published in Stories
Monday, April 08, 2013

Life is better with music

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.

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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.

 
 
Published in Advocacy in Action
Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Why do you #BelieveInMusic ?

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Music motivates. Music mesmerizes. Music moves.

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

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

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

Take a look at what people are already tweeting:

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

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

“I #BelieveInMusic because music is life”

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

 

Make sure you’re staying connected with us!

“Like” us on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/musicforallnetwork

www.facebook.com/bandsofamerica

www.facebook.com/orchestraamerica

 Follow us on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/musicforall

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Published in Stories

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.

 

Published in Advocacy in Action
Thursday, December 13, 2012

Power2Give

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In partnership with the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Music for All is proud to launch two projects on the new power2give site. The power2give site is an online cultural marketplace designed to connect donors with projects for which they are passionate. Music for All will utilize power2give to offer our supporters opportunities to make direct impact on our world-class programming.


Music for All currently has two projects posted on power2give.org that supporters can donate to:“Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”-IPS Rose Parade Sponsorship, which is an opportunity to send an Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) student to Los Angeles to participate in the BOA Honor Band in the 2013 Rose Parade®; and “Music Matters: Support Music in our Schools,” a project to develop an advocacy and awareness campaign through PSAs that promote the importance of music education in our schools.  You can view information and help fund these projects at: http://www.power2give.org/go/o/552.

Chase Bank will be donating $0.50 for every $1.00 donated to the, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”-IPS Rose Parade Sponsorship. Music for All would like to thank Chase Bank for its support of the arts in our community.

 We hope you join us in showing your support for music and arts education by sharing these projects with fellow supporters of the arts via email and social media. If you have questions about the projects, please feel free to contact Music for All at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 317-636-2263. 

 
FAQs

How does it work?
Music for All and other 501(c)(3) organizations in Central Indiana will submit projects in need of funding to the power2give website. After approval from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the project will be posted to the website for up to 90 days, where you can select an amount to donate toward the project. The minimum donation is just $1. For every dollar raised, 12 cents goes to cover administrative costs and credit card fees.

What happens if the project I donate to isn’t fully funded?
If you give to a Music for All project that isn’t fully funded, a representative of our Development Department will contact you to notify you how the project will be adapted to utilize your generous gift.

What are the donor benefits?
Music for All has developed incentives for donors to ensure that they are closely connected to the project.  After the project is funded or has expired, Music for All will distribute the donor benefits listed on the power2give give project page.
 
Is my gift tax deductible?
Yes, because power2give is a program of the Arts Council of Indianapolis, a 501(c)(3) organization and the donor benefits listed do not have tax implications, your gift is fully tax deductible.

What are ways I can get involved with a project aside from donating?
You can help promote projects through email and social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. For information on volunteering for Music for All, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information on power2give, please visit www.indyarts.org/power2give.

Published in News
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