Join the next SupportMusic Coalition Webinar for the latest in music advocacy live from our nation's capital on Thursday, May 22 at 11 a.m. Eastern. NAMM Members are currently in Washington, DC this week advocating for music education. NAMM Members will also participate in a "day of music making service" this week at a school in Washington. The Webinar on Thursday will be led by NAMM Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations Mary Luehrson and will include a recap of visits with Members of Congress, a report on NAMM advocacy asks, information garnered from policy and advocacy training and news of NAMM's collaboration with the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Click here to learn more and register.
As a young middle school alto saxophone and piano student, the first after-school program I participated in was the middle school jazz band. Jazz band opened me up to a whole new world of music styles and genres I had no clue existed. An after-school jazz program from 4th grade through high school is providing that experience to underserved students in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Alum Rock Jazz Program was created in 1973 by music educator Bill Nicolosi and has provided after-school jazz experiences for thousands of students since. Nicolosi was able to successfully advocate for a permanent school-funded position for the after-school program in 1980, which has remained today. The program also utilizes donations and local funding partners to provide instrument, travel and instrument coach expenses. The Alum Rock Jazz Program has sent alumni to major in music in college and perform jazz professionally, many of whom return to train young jazz students.
Near Jacksonville, Florida, two elementary students received musical instruments for their inspiring essays about music. "I love music," a fourth grade music student said. "It helps me express my feelings. Also, I have a passion for music since I was little. Don't you think music is all inspiring?" The Music for Dreams Foundation provided the instruments to two students at the low income W.E. Cherry Elementary School in Orange Park. The Foundation was created to provide outlets for underserved children to express themselves. The Foundation partners with VH1 Save the Music to provide musical instruments.
For many of us, when we think of "child composer," we think of a child prodigy or genius. For educator Danie Deutsch, child composers should be componplace in our music education landscape. According to Deutsch, one of his students exclaimed, “When I play my own music, my soul is released. I can fly. I’m special.” Deutsch advocates for teaching composition not as theory exercises, but as the idea and expression. “Sometimes you can guess the identity of the composer by the personality of the piece, but sometimes hidden facets of character are revealed, like the tender elegy of a sturdy athlete, or the eloquent grandeur of a painfully shy student,” says Deutsch. Do you teach composition in the music classroom? Does it creatively engage your students?
As a self-professed millenial, I often find myself on Buzzfeed more often than I should be. If you are not aware of Buzzfeed, it is a list-making content creation platform that relies on viral content to be successful. In hundreds of posts per day, there was bound to be a musical instrument-related post, but this one felt awfully close to home. "What Your Middle School Band Instrument Says About You" provides a brief generalization of the stereotypes we've all come to know for band instruments. As a saxophone player who switched to French horn in middle school, I'd like to think that I am both opinionated and charming. In addition to finding out what your instrument says about you, how do you feel about these instrument stereotypes? How do they impact recruitment and retention? Do they create instrumentation issues from an ensemble perspective?
Voters in Arlington, Texas overwhelmingly supported a $663 million bond package last week for the Arlington Independent School District. Arlington ISD and Arlington First, a political action committee formed to support the bond issue, utilized an active social media campaign and important endorsements from community business leaders to pass the largest school bond in Tarrant County history. Fine arts were an important part of the bond package, which supported the construction of a 2,500 seat fine arts center, the purchase of instruments, uniforms and equipment to increase access to performing arts programs and several other fine arts initiatives. The district, which largely serves Hispanic and African-American communities, boasts a vibrant fine arts program, serving close to two thirds of the 64,000 students in the district. Congratulations to Arlington ISD!
For school districts that lack adequate funding for arts education, enrichment programs provided by local nonprofit organizations have become more popular. Los Angeles County is a prime example where local nonprofits have stepped up to provide high quality music instruction for underserved students. Education Through Music is an enrichment program originally founded in New York in 1991 that partners with schools to provide all students with music instruction, from elementary through high school. In 2006, Victoria Young Lanier created a Los Angeles affiliate of Education Through Music to enhance student academic performance and creative development among disadvantaged schools throughout Los Angeles. Victoria and Program Director Ryan Rowles recently sat down with a local radio station to discuss the program and its vast impact in LA. You can listen to the audio below, which features Education Through Music's recent "Music Unites the World Festival." At the Festival, underserved students had the opportunity to rehearse and perform "Let it Go" from Disney's Frozen with composer Christophe Beck, arranger Tim Davies and prominent vocal coach Evelyn Halus.
While we spend a lot of time advocating solely for the arts or music, we often must collaborate for our message to be impactful. Educator Stacey Boyd advocates in this US News and World Report OpEd for all extracurriculars, including music. She advocates for music, foreign language and physical education, which are all integral in a well-rounded education. "Concentration, strong recall skills, evolved communication skills, and being a good team player are just a few of the benefits research shows music, foreign language and physical education have on a developing mind. To me, that list reads as one I might put together for a model employee," says Boyd.
Schools across the country competed in Yamaha's Quest for Music Education Contest late last year, which awarded $100,000 in Yamaha instruments to elementary, middle and high schools, as well as colleges. The contest included a variety of online quests throughout the Yamaha website, including Yamaha Artists, Yamaha Internships and music advocacy. Bands of America Grand National Finalist Round Rock H.S. from Texas was awarded 2nd place in the high school division, receiving $10,000 in Yamaha instruments. “We have a number of needs for instruments, so any chance to win some, especially from Yamaha, was a real motivator for us," said Round Rock director David Mobley. "We have selected a french horn and an oboe, both of which we had to borrow from other schools." You can view the complete list of winners here.
If you are not familiar with MFA leadership faculty member and "Be Part of the Band" creator Scott Lang, I encourage you to sign up for his newsletter now! Every week, Scott shares creative tips and tricks for students and educators to improve your ensemble. Last week, Scott shared his "Happy File" for Teacher Appreciation Week. Scott's "Happy File" includes gifts from students he has received throughout the years in addition to photos, accolades, mementos, etc. He also encourages all of his students to make their own "Happy File" as well. Whether you need inspiration or are having a particularly tough day, the "Happy File" is a great reminder of great impact educators and musicians have. Be sure to check out Scott's video about the "Happy File" below, which was filmed by his sons!
Growing up in Ohio, the often-criticized school levy funding program in the state was common practice for me. Every few years, administrators and teachers shifted focus from teaching students to appealing to voters for school levies and bond issues. Because of failed ballot initiatives, many schools in Ohio have faced serious budget issues that have eliminated or reduced busing, extra curricular activities and arts programs. After multiple levy failures for Medina City Schools, the district got creative in order to preserve its long tradition of musical excellence. Through a partnership with the Medina City Schools Foundation, students would receive elementary band and string instruction through an enrichment program funded entirely by private donations. This new enrichment program engages the local Akron Symphony Orchestra to provide instruction and master classes for more than 1,000 students who would not have received music instruction due to budget cuts. If your school is facing budget cuts, visit our Advocacy webpage for tools and resources to keep music in our schools.
Each year, the Grammy Foundation awards grants to support research in music. From music therapy to recording preservation, the Foundation supports a wide variety of initiatives that support music in America. Last week, the Grammy Foundation announced that more than $200,000 would be awarded to 15 recipients. The recipients include a University of California, Davis project to study memory retention through music for Alzheimer's patients and a University of Memphis study to examine the possible benefits of music training in strengthening the ear and preventing hearing loss. The Foundation also supported several organizations who are attempting to properly archive and preserve early recordings. Click here to view the entire list of 2014 grants. The video below displays a few of the research initiatives recognized last year by the Grammy Foundation.
Last week, we brought you a moving op-ed column from a Southern California Superintendent advocating for the support of arts education. This week, a superintendent in Northern California is making waves for a district long without an instrumental music program. Students from the Ravenswood City School District in East Palo Alto received no formalized music instruction in middle school, and were then unable to join the band when they moved on to Menlo-Atherton High School. While students at the other eight school districts that feed into Menlo-Atherton participated in band in sixth through eighth grade, Ravenswood students were two years behind in music instruction. "I want to ensure that they get that option by offering music as part of our core program and when the students get to sixth grade, that we actually have a band program," said Superintendent Gloria Hernandez. Currently, Ravenswood partners with Music in the Schools, a local nonprofit to provide music instruction to students. Hernandez has also set aside $150,000 to provide instruments for students and begin a formalized instrumental music program at one middle school in the district.
Last year, 2013 MFA Summer Symposium faculty member Dr. John P. Lynch announced that he will be accepting a position at the University of Sydney, Australia. We wish Dr. Lynch the best and welcome the University of Georgia's newest Director of Bands, Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner, previously Director of Wind Ensembles at Cornell University. Dr. Turner is an advocate of the 21st century classroom, speaking frequently on technology in music education. She even became one of 8,000 beta testers of Google Glass last summer. The Cornell Daily Sun highlighted her experiences with Google Class in October and noted that Dr. Turner has used Google Glass to coach her conducting students more efficiently and even import scores into Google Glass so she does not need to look down at the podium while conducting. Dr. Turner and student Tyler Ehrlich are also researching other applications of Google Glass for music education. Below is an example of how Dr. Turner uses Google Glass in her conducting class.
While on the topic of technology, I came across a new iPhone commercial last night while watching television. The commercial (displayed below) begins with several musicians using the iPhone in different ways to perform a song, the Pixies' 1988 hit "Gigantic." While I have hundreds of apps on my phone for just about any function, I often forget how often I use my iPhone for music. Beyond just listening and identifying music, I have several metronome, tuner and recording apps to use when practicing. The Ohio State University Marching Band was also featured in a recent Apple commercial for their innovative work in learning drill via iPad. How do you use your smartphone or tablet for music performance and instruction? Educators - you can also learn more on utilizing the latest in technology for music education at the Directors' Academy, part of the Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha.
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.
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.
Music for All has announced the industry leaders who will be inducted into the 2014 Bands of America Hall of Fame: Eugene Migliaro Corporon, Fred and Marlene Miller and Camilla M. Stasa.
The Bands of America Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have had a positively life-changing impact on Music for All’s Bands of America programs and music education. 2014 inductees were announced Saturday evening, November 16 during the opening ceremonies of the Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha, in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Eugene Migliaro Corporon is the conductor of the Wind Symphony and Regents Professor of Music at the University of North Texas. Mr. Corporon has been a cornerstone of the Music for All National Festival as a member of the non-competitive festival’s evaluation team and conductor of the Honor Band of America, which he will conduct for the second time in 2014. Mr. Corporon is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach and Claremont Graduate University. Mr. Corporon, a frequent guest conductor at the Showa University of Music in Kawasaki City, Japan, has also served as a visiting conductor at the Julliard School, the Interlochen World Center for Arts Education and the Aspen Music Festival and School. He is also the principal conductor of the Lone Star Wind Orchestra, a professional group made up of musicians from the Dallas and Fort Worth metroplex.
Fred and Marlene Miller’s Fred J. Miller, Inc. is a leader in pageantry uniform design and manufacturing, outfitting many of the world’s best marching bands, drum corps and winter guards. As the Official Uniform Sponsor of Music for All, their support helps make possible MFA’s performance and educational programs. FJM also designed and created the uniforms outfitting the BOA Honor Band in the Rose Parade® in 2005, 2009 and 2013. A former band director, Mr. Miller was also a founding member of the United States Twirling Association. Mr. Miller passed away in August 2012. Mr. and Mrs. Miller were crucial to the development of a young Winter Guard International in the early 1980s and founded the award-winning Miller’s Blackhawks twirling corps and later winter guard. Currently President and CEO of FJM, Inc., Mrs. Miller is on the board of directors for Music for All.
Camilla M. Stasa has been involved with Music for All in a variety of roles since its beginning. She was a student drum major of the Chesaning Union High School Band, MI, who performed in the first “Marching Band of America” summer national championship in Whitewater, Wisconsin in 1976. She served as a BOA summer camp clinician and adjudicator in the 1980s. Most notably, Ms. Stasa was on the Music for All staff from 1989, hired initially as Director of Operations, and then serving as Director of Participant Relations until her departure in 2010 after 21 years of service. Ms. Stasa is currently Associate Director of Admissions & Continuing Education for Vandercook College of Music in Chicago.
Music for All will induct these newest members into the Bands of America Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 8, 2014 during the Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis. They will be permanently recognized in the Bands of America Hall of Fame at Music for All’s Indianapolis headquarters, along with all the BOA Hall of Fame members inducted since the first in 2003.
Bands of America Hall of Fame
Download this slideshow of music education facts, from SupportMusic.com 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)
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 TED.com
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, WFAA.com, Dallas/Fort Worth
Lawrence Central football player turns to violin, by Scott Swan, WTHR.com, 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!
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 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.
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 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.
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, 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.
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.
SupportMusic.com is a public service initiative that intends to critically impact resolve and support for music education in local communities around the United States. SupportMusic.com 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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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)
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