Tools to communicate the importance of music and the arts.
Policy ALERT: New ESEA Draft Retains Core Academic Subjects, Adds Music
Last week, we received game changing news from NAfME and the Music Education Policy Roundtable. The new bipartisan Senate ESEA proposal, “Every Child Achieves Act of 2015,” would retain the core academic subject section from No Child Left Behind (including “arts”), and, additionally, would add “music,” as a specifically enumerated core academic subject. This is a monumental development. Read More
Music’s Value as an Educational Tool
Two strategies to meet the rising standards of delivering quality education worthy of 21st Century learning with reduced funding and resources. Both include music!
Dr. John R. Gerdy, Founder and President, Music for Everyone, PA, 2013
What Parents Can Do
- Attend school board meetings.
Observe the process, personalities and effective persuasive techniques. Always be polite and cordial to school board members. Sometimes your mere, consistent presence will speak volumes if a budget cut comes into play in the future.
- Ask school board members about their views on the arts and music education.
Be positive. Do not be defensive if an administrator or school board official opposes arts education. Simply get the facts, preferably in writing. Ask questions.
- Invite officials to speak at concerts, with the support of the director, of course.
Develop a rotating schedule with the music teacher, and include administrators, school board members, community leaders and/or government officials. Write thank you notes to every person who speaks during a music concert.
- Write pro-active emails to administrators, school board members, and legislators.
Thank them for their continued support of your program. Take this opportunity to express key benefits of music education.
This is the perfect scrolling presentation to play prior to the start of a concert or during intermission. Utilize these precious moments with the audience to educate them on the benefits of music education.
Andrew Spang, Music Advocates of Carroll County, MD
- Educating Your School Board
Take a positive approach. Create a binder of important music facts relevant to your community. Invite your school board members to lunch and share the facts of the state of music in your school district. See the suggested binder template this program used to forward their success.
Maggie Fischer, Music Advocates of Carroll County, MD, 2013
- Using Statistics to Your Programs Advantage
Use your school’s grading statistics to show those involved in a music program have better grades than the average school population. See how this program’s stats show grades are even higher during a time intensive marching band season!
Chris Kreke, Associate Director of Bands, Carmel H.S., IN, 2011
- Elementary Music Safe, Proposed Fees Lowered in McGuffey, PA
Read how one high school student’s desire to save music education reversed a school board decision. www.post-gazette.com, 2011
- Keep Music Education Strong in Public Schools
Students learn to express their emotions better through music. Learning about this as young people will affect them all their lives.
- Trimming Music Ed in Schools is a Mistake
Mark George CEO, Music Institute of Chicago sums it up best, “Ultimately though, school administrators and political leaders are responsive to the community. People who understand the power and importance of serious music education must raise their voices in a great crescendo of advocacy and emotion. It comes down to something very simple: Children deserve the opportunity to reach their full human potential….” www.chicagotribune.com, 2011
What Research Is Telling Us
A brief, customizable PowerPoint presentation on research studies exploring music’s impact on student growth and achievement. Provided by Support Music.
Download the “What Research is Telling Us” presentation.
- What Research is Telling Us – Power Point Presentation (6.23 MB)
- What Research is Telling Us – Spanish Translation (552.11 kB)
The Advocate’s Plan
Utilize this PowerPoint presentation when you would like a more in-depth tool to help local music education supporters plan activities and actions to keep music education strong. Provided by Support Music.
- Download “The Advocate’s Plan” – Power Point Presentation (1.83 MB)
Communication Tools and Templates
These templates, brochures, and posters, help parent advocates, school music dealers and band directors communicate the benefits of music education.
Letters to the Administration
- Open Letter to the School Board: On Music Education
Use this letter as a guideline to submit a letter to your own school board. Personalize it with your own story.
- School Board Letter: Thank You for Arts Education
A personal story, teacher role models, 21st Century Learning, and STEAM are all mentioned in this letter.
This is a sample of the many communication templates you will find here on the AMP website. All templates, articles, and forms are accessible to members only. If you are not a member, please register today!
Concert Invite – Superintendent
Prefix First Name Last Name
XXXX School District
City, State Zip
Dear Prefix First Name,
We are excited to be parents of a student in the XXXX school district that values music and the arts as part of its complete curriculum. I’ve noticed that above your message on the district web site is a picture of you standing in a band classroom. Thank you for your support of the arts. So much of the successes of our school’s music and other arts programs are directly tied to administrative support. That support leads to quality music experiences for our students, which prepares them to be creative and expressive individuals ready for the 21st century workforce. We do not take for granted your genuine efforts on our children’s behalf.
We have fantastic music teachers at XXXX Jr. High, and they have been working hard with the students to prepare the first concert of the year. With the permission of the directors, we would like to invite you not only to attend our XXXX Jr. High Fall Concert, but to also provide a few words during the concert to the parents and students in attendance. This concert will take place in the XXXX gymnasium on DATE and TIME. The concert will conclude with a special guest appearance of the XXXX High School Marching Band. It would mean much to the parents and their students, as well as the great teachers we have. Please RSVP via email at XXXX, so we can plan appropriately for your attendance.
Every parent sees their child’s chosen discipline as vital to their growth and development. We couldn’t agree more about the benefits that MUSIC and the arts should bring to every young girl and boy who walks through our school doors.
Daniel Pink, author of the New York Times and Business Week bestseller, A Whole New Mind – Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, states the following in his book:
“The era of ‘left brain’ dominance, and the Information Age that it engendered, is giving away to a new world in which ‘right brain’ qualities – inventiveness, empathy, and meaning predominate. That’s what business is about today. This is a hard-headed argument that arts education is not ornamental but fundamental for economic reasons. We should be adding not cutting the arts.”
Knowing your sensitivity concerning the welfare of our students, we thought you would profit from this man’s perspective. Obviously, it not only agrees with what is taught in our music program, but demonstrates the positive implications of music education from a more global vantage point.
Thank you for your time and interest in our students.
Parent Advocate for the XXXX Music Program
cc: Director’s Name
Assistant Director’s Name
In this day and age of electronic mail, sometimes a personal invitation received in the mail stands out. Each invitation has an embedded pro-advocacy message.
- Concert Invite-Principal
- Concert Invite-Superintendent
- Concert Invite-School Board
- Pre-Concert Message-Advocacy
A “welcome” message to be read prior to the start of a program emphasizing the benefits of music education in a student’s life.
Printable fliers featuring key research studies on the benefits of music education.
Provided by Support Music.
Customizable petition provided by Support Music.
Circulate this in response to potential cuts in music education budgets.
- 25 Things To Do Today
This 4-page color brochure from VH1 Save the Music Foundation lists 25 things you can do today to promote music education in your schools.
- Involving Parents and Schools in Arts Education – Are We There Yet?
Parents and the school team up to promote arts education. This 44-page brochure encourages parent participation by creating opportunities and resources that enable parents to share in their children’s arts education. Created by the Oakland Garden School PS203Q and The Center for Arts Education.
- Grass Roots Advocacy Guide
- Grass Roots Advocacy Guide – Spanish
Download the Community Action Guide, provided by Support Music, to keep music education strong. This action kit guides you in communicating with school board members and administrators about the importance of music education for every child.