Category: Profiles

Who brought you music?

The GRAMMYS launched their music educator award during the broadcast on February 10th, 2013. Find out more about it here and nominate a music teacher (or six). It’s super quick and easy, and a great way to let your child’s teachers know that they’re making a difference.

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Are You Raising Well-Rounded Music Kids?

Today’s guest post is by music educator and mom Julie Zorn. Julie writes a daily “song of the day” blog called “The Tucson Songstress,” and her newest blog endeavor, “Top 10 Tuesdays,” provides weekly musical activities for parents to promote music education in the home. Visit at

I am a music teacher of children ages infants – 8th grade. My job is to instill a love of music in the 1500+ kids that I see weekly and to give them as many musical tools as I can possibly squeeze into their brains.

Here’s the thing though. I am also the parent of two very musical children who participate in an excellent music program in their public school, take guitar lessons and soon-to-be drum lessons and participate in every musical/talent show/performance of any kind that they can.

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Disneyland Adventures!

Over the holidays, my wife and I took the kids to Disneyland and California Adventure along with 50,000 of our closest friends. Apparently there were a lot of band families there as well, judging by the number of Tournament of Roses Parade shirts and jackets we saw.

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What Your Child Won’t Tell You About College Band

To quote a band parent who had a large influence on my life, “It’s a little bit about music. It’s a lot about life.” …Band will be difficult at times. Band will test your child’s ability to prioritize responsibilities. Band will have a lasting, positive influence on your child, and will put into practice skills which would otherwise lie theoretical until years later.

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Elementary School Musical: Part 2

The fifth-graders at Hillcrest Intermediate School in North Huntingdon (PA) put on a musical every year. It’s a great way to break the ice socially, to foster the love of the arts, and teach a few lessons about performance and about life. Read more about the fifth-grade production of Beauty and the Beast here.

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Elementary School Musical: Part 1

                                 Beauty and the Beast 1
                                 Photo credit: Christin J. Slatt

As you walk into the high school auditorium, it is thinly veiled chaos. Ten- and eleven-year-olds run rampant…some of them quite literally. The air is filled with nervous excitement and the excited chatter of fifth graders trusted to step on the very stage where the big kids perform.

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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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