Category: Advocacy

Before the Need Becomes a Crisis: 4 Easy Ways to Support Music Education in Schools

You’ve seen the headlines about the economy and “failing” schools. We believe parents need to step up to get involved long before your local school board begins cutting costs…whether it’s with a scalpel, or with something worse! Think it can’t happen to you? Well, come on in and sit a spell…maybe it’s not too late for your school music program after all.

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Supporting Music Education at the Pennsylvania Capitol

Music programs in the elementary schools, along with art, physical education and library services were on the chopping block in Upper Darby, PA. Unthinkable! I came to Harrisburg to find out why, and to see if I could learn anything to share with music parents nationwide that might help. I met up with AMP CEO Scott McCormick, who flew out to attend to their school board meeting the night before and to speak at the rally as well.

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One Billboard Brings a Community Together

Even though no budget cuts had been proposed in this area, these music educators in suburban Pittsburgh (PA) saw the writing on the wall of music education nationwide. Instead of waiting to react, they proactively took out a billboard to promote music in our schools. Could this work in your area? Read on to find out the how-to of “preventative maintenance” for school music before cuts are threatened in your area.

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A Success Story in Arts Education Funding

In Indiana, yesterday was election day. In addition to voting for our Senate seat in Congress and a number of other key seats, for the community of Zionsville, equally important on the ballot is the referendum on funding for their schools. Though it is not their first, it is one that—in my opinion and that of many others—must pass. In November of 2010, their last referendum went down 61% to 39% vote.

I write this post having spent a few hours last Friday evening volunteering 30 minutes across town in Zionsville. I got to experience my first door-to-door canvassing of a neighborhood with two of my new friends, Nicole and Chelle.

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Turnaround Arts Initiative

There was a headline or two last week that you may have missed: something about celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Alfre Woodard helping school kids.

“That’s nice,” you may have said to yourself as you scanned the headlines. But what you may not have realized is that this initiative could be the start of something BIG for arts education in America.

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Careful Care and Feeding: A Quick Way to Make Your School Board Love Your Program

Recently I took the opportunity to thank my local school board and administration for supporting the arts at my daughter’s school. I sent an advance copy to the teachers I mentioned by name, then sent copies to the administration (superintendent, assistant superintendents, principal & assistant principal) and the entire school board. I’ve included a draft of my letter below.??

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What Does Advocacy Look Like?

As parents, we see the word advocacy all the time. But sometimes it is difficult to know what a parent can do. Perhaps more importantly, it’s tough to know what we should do! How do we know when it’s time to advocate for school music programs?

lego megaphone

Photo by flickr user Hazzat

The easiest answer is . . . It is ALWAYS time to advocate for our school music programs. Why? Because we live in a culture that places the arts on the fringe. We know that when it’s time for budget cuts, the arts are almost universally identified as a place for potential reductions. We also know that if we are proactive in our support for the arts, we can dramatically decrease the likelihood that music will be targeted for cuts. We can stand prepared to speak against such cuts at the earliest stages of the discussion, rather than when it is almost too late.

Being proactive as an advocate means . . .

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