A Good Time to Lend a Hand

Summer is a wonderful time to think about ways you’ll publicize your music program in the coming academic year. It could start with a letter to the editor of your local paper about what your students have accomplished this year. Include photos of one or more of your ensembles if you have parental permission to publish student pictures.
According to Rick Kessel, publisher of School Band and Orchestra (SBO) magazine, “Advocacy and support of music education in the United States is most likely at the highest level that it has ever been thanks to groups like NAMM, VH1, Mr. Holland’s Opus, MENC [The National Association for Music Education], and so many others.”

“A continued effort, especially throughout the recent [and still ongoing in many parts of the world] economic turmoil, has no doubt helped to solidify music education in local communities. … However, it will take a continued effort from the grassroots through the national level to insure that music education doesn’t lose its momentum, especially with state budgets being slashed, so if you’re not involved in these efforts, now would certainly be a good time to lend a hand,” said Kessel.

What can you do?  For starters, check out Groundswell to get the latest advocacy news and ideas about how to undergird your music program.

Get tips from colleagues on the NAfME Forums.

Invite a member of your local school board member for coffee or lunch to hear your concerns and listen to what your guest has to say. Ask for advice on how to keep music programs in your schools strong.

Rick Kessel’s remarks were published in the June 2011 issue of School Band and Orchestra, p. 4.

–Ella Wilcox, June 22, 2011, © MENC: The National Association for Music Education (www.menc.org)