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This dynamic session delves into the critical aspects of safeguarding your music program against various challenges and threats. Whether you’re an experienced music educator or just starting out, protecting your music program is paramount. We will explore proactive strategies, practical tips, and essential resources to fortify your program against challenges related to budget constraints, staffing concerns, and decreasing student enrollment numbers. Through an interactive panel discussion that discusses real-life examples and shares expert insights, participants will gain valuable knowledge and actionable steps to ensure the longevity and resilience of their music programs. Join us to empower yourself with the tools needed to safeguard the future of music education in your school or community.

By May 26, share two questions you would like the panel to answer during the presentation. (Note: Panelists may not be able to respond to all questions.)

John BenhamWith over 40 years experience as a music educator, John Benham first became involved in saving school music programs in 1981. Since then he has worked with over 400 school districts, taking his message to nearly every state and province in North America. In addition to his years as an educator, he has extensive experience in both business and educational administration that includes 6 years as a public school board member. He has a unique ability to analyze each situation and develop collaborative solutions in a language that communicates with the educator and community as well as the school board and administration. His theory of “reverse economics” demonstrates the financial viability of a strong music program. He is author of the book Music Advocacy: Moving from Survival to Vision. To date, the methods he uses to equip and mobilize community music coalitions are responsible for preventing or restoring over $80 million in reductions to music programs. The result has been the saving of over 1,000 teaching positions that provide instruction to over 500,000 students.

Lynn BrinckmeyerLynn Brinckmeyer recently retired as Director of Choral Music Education and Associate Dean at Texas State University. She served as National President for The National Association for Music Education in 2006-2008. Dr. Brinckmeyer has authored five books and conducted, lectured, presented master classes and performed in 49 states and more than 20 countries. In addition to serving music teachers and students across the globe Dr. Brinckmeyer mentors teachers and other professionals as a Life Mastery Certified Coach/Consultant.

Carol PedersonCarol Pederson is currently the K-12 Visual & Performing Arts Coordinator for Spokane Public Schools. Previously, Carol taught orchestra in Spokane for 20 years at the elementary, middle and high school levels, most notably as director of orchestras at Ferris and Lewis & Clark HS. Involvement and leadership in community organizations have included conductor for the Spokane Youth Symphony and piano accompanist for the Spokane Area Youth Choirs. Regionally, Carol has served as Administrator Curriculum Officer; Orchestra Curriculum Officer for WMEA & the Spokane Falls Region (2010-2012); President of Washington String Teachers Association (2006-2012); Site-manager for the 2009 All Northwest Orchestra; and the East-Side Manager for the WMEA Junior All-State Orchestra in 2008. Carol received her Bachelor of Music Performance and Master of Music History Degrees from Western Washington University and earned her Teaching and Administrative Certifications from Eastern Washington University.

Jazzmone Sutton HeadshotJazzmone Sutton is the State Advocacy Engagement Manager for the National Association for Music Education (NAfME.) Jazzmone joined the NAfME team in July 2021. Before joining NAfME as a staffer, she was a passionate elementary music educator and advocate. As an educator turned advocate, Jazzmone works directly with educators and community members to educate decision makers on the importance of music education.  She leans on her classroom and leadership experiences to guide her work with states and music education partners.  

April 2024 Teaching Music

Start Date

May 30, 2024

End Date

May 30, 2024

Start and End Time

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm (ET)


  • Program Development

Event Category

  • Colloquium
  • Live Virtual


  • Program Leadership

Teaching Levels

  • Administrator/Supervisor

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