25 Things To Do Today (3.12 MB)
- Ensure that your child’s school provides access to the benefits of music education. To learn more about the Opportunity to Learn Standards for Music Education and to rate your school music program, go to www.supportmusic.com and click on “Grade Your School Music Program.”
- Ensure that your school administrators, teachers, legislators and community members know that Elementary and Secondary Education Act includes music and the other arts as “core” academic subjects.
- Participate on school and/or district planning committees including curriculum, assessment and budget. Be sure music and the arts are included equally with all other academic subjects. Position music education as important in and of itself and as an instructional tool to improve student learning and to close the achievement gap.
- Understand the budget process in your district and school, including how your music program is funded and when the budget is discussed and finalized.
- Keep all advocacy student centered. Encourage parents and community members to become advocates for your school music programs and form a local coalition. For detailed information on building a coalition, please visit www.supportmusic.com.
- Arrange for your school music program to perform at school board meetings regularly. On appropriate occasions, follow this with comments from students about why music education is important. Allow school board members to see and hear the value of music education! Don’t wait until there is a threat to the music program.
- Identify key supporters of music education including members of the school board, administration, school faculty, parents, media, and influential civic and business leaders. Build relationships with these individuals before threats to the music program are apparent.
- Encourage school staff to be involved in your music program. Do teachers at the school play an instrument, sing or have children who study music? If so, involve them in rehearsals and concerts.
- Encourage parents, students and/or influential members of the community to write an op-ed on the value of music education for your local newspaper. Invite a local news reporter to do a story or ask a newspaper to donate a full-page ad highlighting the benefits of music education.
- Nominate an administrator who has demonstrated strong support for music for a “Music Education Award” given by the local or state music educators association or establish one in your district. Present this award at one of your concerts and be sure to invite school officials and community members.
- Invite community leaders to concerts, or arrange student performances at schools, PTA meetings, local businesses, the public library or City Hall. Host a reception following.
- Turn a local performance into an “informance” by placing interesting music facts inside concert programs.
- Create program inserts highlighting the benefits of music education for your school concerts and performance centers throughout your community. These can be inserted into all concert programs.
- Give a speech about the importance of music education to local civic organizations such as the Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary Clubs. Use advocacy resources such as student performances, and multi-media presentations.
- Ask your local television and radio stations to publicly recognize local music programs throughout the year and salute “Music In Our Schools Month” in March. Follow this by providing a calendar of local musical events during March and ask your local media to dedicate them to “Music In Our Schools Month.”
- Sponsor an essay competition for students to write about why music is important to them. Arrange for the local newspaper to run the winning entry.
- Arrange for your music program to perform at local preschool, elementary, and middle schools. Get students and their parents from your feeder schools excited about their future school music program.
- Perform at local commuter hubs (train station, airport, bus terminal) during peak commuting times. Be sure to have a sign with your school name and hand out information on the importance of music education.
- Obtain an official proclamation from your Mayor or City Council leaders dedicating the month of March as “Music In Our Schools Month.”
- Write a letter to your Member of Congress about the value of music education in your community. List upcoming local school music events and invite him or her to attend.
- Write letters to legislators supporting music education. Research the academic and social benefits of music study and be sure to include these in your letters to advocate for music education.
- Encourage your students to become music educators! Arrange for your music program to visit the music department of a local college or university. Visit with music education majors, attend classes and speak with professors.
- Create a program in which local businesses can “adopt” a music program to provide funds for extra resources. Be sure that this support is not seen as a possible replacement for district funding of the music program.
- Be involved in local, state and national music education organizations and the National Coalition for Music Education at supportmusic.com. Meet music educators from your area and throughout the United States to share ideas. Contact these organizations and find out how your school music program can be involved in conferences.
- Keep up-to-date on current research supporting the benefits of music
25 Things To Do Today (3.12 MB)