A Look Back at 2015

A Holiday Greeting from NAfME

new year
Photo: RKaulitzki | iStock | Thinkstock

Dear Music Educators:

What an incredible year 2015 has been—right to the last month in the calendar! We certainly ended the year with a bang, as music education was recognized in federal law as a necessary component of a well-rounded education.

music education


But you knew that all along. Each day you give sacrificially of yourselves to bring music into the lives of your students in a meaningful and beneficial way. And so our past year’s highlights are celebrations of all you do.

music in our schools

This past spring we celebrated 30 years of Music in Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®) and the second Give a Note FoundationMusic in Our Schools Tour with country artist RaeLynn.

music in our schools

Give a Note further expanded its reach with an exciting announcement in June with 21st Century Fox of the 16 schools chosen to receive grants for their music programs. This was also an opportunity to shine a spotlight on music in our schools and why every music program and teacher should be supported. The grants were delivered in the fall, and we thank Fox-TV for televising many of those ceremonies.

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FOX 5 DC anchor Lauren DeMarco announces schools that received grants from 21st Century Fox and Give a Note Foundation. Photo: Documentary Associates, LLC. dacorporatephoto.com.


MIOSM led right into the exciting news in April that the Senate draft bill of what became the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, included “music” specifically named as a “core subject” (which became part of the “well-rounded education” provision of the final bill).

Photo: Documentary Associates LLC | dacorporatephoto.com

So when we welcomed our state leaders and collegiate members at the National Assembly and Collegiate Advocacy Summit, Hill Day 2015 was an opportunity to say thank you to the legislators. And our collegiate members, entering a new climate in education that includes music prominently, show much hope for the future of music education.

Music education advocacy will be a big part of the coming year, and we thank the now 35 members of the Music Education Policy Roundtable for joining us in this endeavor.

Crossroads Quartet 18
Photo: Event Coverage Nashville | eventcoveragenashville.com

This fall we had our last National In-Service Conference in Nashville, and what an exciting and entertaining time that was: from the keynote by the Kirkpatrick Brothers, to performances by the Vanderbilt Melodores, Crossroads Quartet, the U.S. Army Voices, and 673 talented student musicians in the All-National Honors Ensembles, to invigorating and insightful professional development sessions led by NAfME members. Our first year in Grapevine, TX, at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center will prove equally exciting.

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Elijah Micheaux, member of the All-National Honor Ensemble Jazz Band with Charles Kelley at the closing concert of NAfME’s 2015 National In-Service Conference. Photo: Dusty Draper | CMA

And let’s not forget the exciting announcements that came in October: first, the CMA Foundation announced a generous $150,000 grant to the Give a Note Foundation to support music education research, so the regions and cities with the greatest need could be identified for philanthropic giving and wider support in other ways. Lastly, the 2016 Music In Our Schools – Music Inspires Tour was announced, and it will have the farthest reach ever thanks to the generosity of Radio Disney. (Have you entered your school in the contest to be one of the six schools that will be visited and presented a grant?)

It’s a new day for music education in 2016—and we look forward to advocating for music with you this coming year.

We wish you and yours the best in 2016.

From all of us at the National Association for Music Education

Please read a special holiday message from NAfME CEO and Executive Director Michael A. Butera.