Michigan Music Educators Association’s 2015 Music Education Advocacy Day
By Cory L. Micheel-Mays
Executive Director, Michigan Music Education Association
On March 17th, the Michigan Music Education Association (MMEA) celebrated the inaugural Music Education Advocacy Day in Lansing, Michigan. This event was created in partnership with the Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) and the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) to bring awareness to the need for quality, sequential music education in all PreK-12 Michigan schools.
Our delegation, consisting of 4-12 people at different times during the day, conducted meetings with 5 legislators and 2 aides throughout the day. We also did 1 drop-in and made a presentation to the state board of education. In addition, we hosted 3 performing ensembles at a lunchtime concert in the Capitol rotunda. These ensembles represented music programs from across Michigan, and included the Hayes Middle School Select Men’s Choir, the Northwest Elementary School Orffestra and the Okemos High School Freshman String Quartet. Parents, legislative aides and numerous legislators attended the event, with the total audience between 150 & 200 people.
We presented materials in support of music and arts education to both the legislators/aides and the state board of education. In addition, we shared personal stories of our own music education careers and inquired as to the musical participation of our legislators. Finally, we proposed 3 legislative asks that, if acted upon, would greatly strengthen music education in Michigan and provide all students statewide with access to a top-quality music instruction. The “asks” included:
- Mandate for elementary instruction
- Improved music teacher evaluations representative of music content and conducted by persons with music expertise
- Requirement that all music classes PreK-12 be taught by a JX or JQ certified music educator
We hope to make considerable progress on our legislative agenda, and we will continue to work with Michigan legislators and other policy stakeholders to ensure every student in Michigan has access to a top-quality music education.
To learn more about the Michigan Music Education Association, visit: www.mmeamichigan.org
Kristen Rencher, Social Media Coordinator, March 20, 2015. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)
The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) provides a number of forums for the sharing of information and opinion, including blogs and postings on our website, articles and columns in our magazines and journals, and postings to our Amplify member portal. Unless specifically noted, the views expressed in these media do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Association, its officers, or its employees.
Kristen Rencher. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)