5 Reasons Why You Should Attend the Collegiate Advocacy Summit!

Five Reasons Why You Should Attend
the Collegiate Advocacy Summit!
How You Can Make a Difference

By Collegiate NAfME Member Nick Hoskins

Throughout my college career, ever since I stepped foot onto my college campus, I have always wanted to seek different ways to foster leadership and be a driving force among my peers. When I first started as a freshman, I did not know exactly what Collegiate NAfME was, or that my school had a chapter. Once I heard that it was something that was beneficial for music education majors, I immediately went to the first meeting of the year. Ever since that meeting, I have always been looking for ways to improve our chapter and develop many different things that could help benefit ALL music majors at my school.

Fast forward to my sophomore year, and I learned about the Collegiate Advocacy Summit.

For those who do not know, it involves five days where you travel to advocate for music education on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and speak with your state’s senators and representatives. You also meet other collegiate NAfME members who are doing the same exact thing that you are doing, and you all have one purpose: advocating for music’s place in a well-rounded education.

Collegiate Advocacy Summit
Ashlee Wilcox / Documentary Associates LLC

I did not learn of this opportunity through my campus NAfME Chapter, but rather from my state’s music education association. I had received an email from the Wyoming Music Educators Association (WMEA) that explained what the Summit was, and that they were choosing one collegiate student to be the collegiate representative from Wyoming for Hill Day. (On Hill Day collegiates join NAfME leaders of state music education associations on visits with U.S. representatives and senators.) I had sent in my application, and about a month later, I received another email saying that I had been chosen as the representative.

Not knowing entirely what to expect, I decided to travel to Washington, D.C., with an open heart and mind. And if I were to summarize my visit to the Collegiate Advocacy Summit and participation in Hill Day visits, it would be this: Oh. My. Goodness.

When I flew back to Wyoming, I wanted to get started on everything I learned. I felt so inspired, and it was the best five days that I had that summer. For those of you who are hesitant to travel to this event, let me explain five reasons why you should attend the Collegiate Advocacy Summit.

5. You Develop Networks

Ever since I have been back in school, I have used and depended on the network of close friends and other colleagues that I have developed while at the Summit. You have the opportunity to develop networks and relationships with other collegiate members, as well as other music educators from all over the country—and even staff who work for NAfME. In this profession, developing networks is essential in making sure that you can provide a high-quality music education to any student.

4. You Get to Travel to Washington, D.C.

For me, this was a major point. Ever since I was young, I have always wanted to travel to Washington, D.C., so when I finally got the opportunity to do so, I had to take it. Traveling to D.C. for music education was even better, because it gave me the chance to develop my music teaching skills even more, as well as giving me the chance to observe how our nation’s capital works.

Since I traveled to Washington, D.C., I have been able to get a better understanding of how everything works at the national level, including music education. I now have a better grasp of how the funding for education works, and how serious of a fight it can be for the funding of education in general.

Collegiate Advocacy Summit
Ashlee Wilcox / Documentary Associates LLC

3. You Are Surrounded by Diversity

When I traveled to this summit, I did not know how much I would have learned about what goes on in music and what other people are doing in other parts of the country. During the professional development day, there was a workshop about barbershop music. Yes, I have heard of barbershop quartets, but I did not know much about it. Little did I know that barbershop music is significant in other parts of the country, and how much barbershop is actually involved in music education.

At this Summit, you have the opportunity to see amazing musical groups. One of those musical groups was Sonic Escape, a flute and violin duet. This group was staggering, and they knocked every single person back in their chairs.

2. You Learn What Happens All Over the Country

While preparing for this conference, you learn about the issues that are hindering music from being part of a well-rounded education, and how to advocate against those issues. In Wyoming, we do not face these challenges as much, but we are still familiar with them. When you are brainstorming with different people from many different states and situations, you start to become aware of what other states are dealing with in the struggle to include music education in a well-rounded education. While contemplating these issues, you also learn many different ways to advocate for music education, and you become a stronger driving force for the future of music education across the nation.

1. You Have the Best 5 Days of Your Life

Within the first 12 hours of arriving in Washington, D.C., I had already become great friends with a group of other students with whom I am still friends to this day. As the Summit continued, I had the best time participating in all of these activities with this group of friends. Everything from sightseeing around D.C., to staying up all night preparing for Hill Day. While at this Summit, take every opportunity to do things you normally wouldn’t do. I tried many different types of food that I normally would not try, and I did things that I did not think that I would do.

Collegiate Advocacy Summit
Ashlee Wilcox / Documentary Associates LLC

One Fantastic Opportunity

In conclusion, the Collegiate Advocacy Summit is a fantastic opportunity for any music education student. You get to do so many things, such as: develop networks with other collegiate members from other states; travel to NAfME headquarters in Reston, VA; travel to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and talk with your state’s senators and representatives; and spend five days doing something amazing—advocating for something that you’re passionate about.

Registration is open for the Collegiate Advocacy Summit. Registration closes at 125 attendees.

About the author:

Collegiate Advocacy Summit

Collegiate NAfME member Nick Hoskins is currently a junior music education major, with an emphasis on trombone, at the University of Wyoming (UW) in Laramie, WY. Throughout his college career, Mr. Hoskins has had many different teaching opportunities, such as being the low brass sectional leader/staff member at UW’s Summer Music Camp, and being a staff member with the Green River High School Marching Band in Green River, WY. In the past, Mr. Hoskins has held many different leadership positions, which have helped him to become the current President of the Collegiate NAfME Chapter at the University of Wyoming. Mr. Hoskins is also a member of the student staff with the Western Thunder Marching Band at the University of Wyoming, and is an active member of the honorary band fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi.

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