A Joint Statement from the National Association for Music Education (NAfME)
and American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD)





RESTON, VA. (November 19, 2013) – In many schools across the country, students are afforded the opportunity to expand their involvement in curricular physical education and music through participation in extracurricular activities including competitive sports and marching band.  Naturally, talented students often must choose between activities, given the realities of competing demands on their time. However, the compartmentalization that often results between extracurricular sports and band is never cause for division among students, parents, and instructors.

Recently, Annandale High School in Northern Virginia experienced such division when the football team and marching band were placed in competition for field time, with heated emotions placing the school’s students and their families on opposite sides. While that incident is being resolved, the perceived division between extracurricular athletics and band activities remains all too common. But it should not be that way.

We at the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), along with the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), support the vital roles that both music and physical education play in the lives of many students. Both disciplines provide opportunities to develop critical personal assets such as leadership, discipline, collaboration, and self-confidence.

As advocates of both music and physical enrichment, NAfME and AAHPERD emphasize the value of collaboration, communication, and mutual respect for the unique abilities and contributions of each individual.

In the words of President John F. Kennedy, “Not every child has an equal talent …, but they should have the equal right to develop their talent and their ability and their motivation, to make something of themselves.” And as many parents know, many students take part in both music and sport  activities. Hence, any fabricated divide between those communities is not helpful for any student or their school community.

We commend all students who pursue personal excellence via participation in music and sports. On behalf of NAfME and AAHPERD, thank you for the inspiration, enthusiasm, and positive example that all of you bring to your community. As parents, educators, and advocates, let us join in encouraging their respective endeavors.




For additional information, contact Nelson Duffle at or Paula Kun at



National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century.  With more than 70,000 members, the organization is the voice of music education in the United States


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The vision of AAHPERD is “Healthy People – Physically Educated and Physically Active!” Headquartered in Reston, VA, 25 miles west of Washington, DC, AAHPERD is the largest organization of professionals involved in physical education, physical activity, dance, school health and sport–all specialties related to achieving an active, healthy lifestyle. Its mission is to advance professional practice and promote research related to health and physical education, physical activity, dance and sport by providing its members with a comprehensive and coordinated array of resources, support and programs to help practitioners improve their skills to further the health and well-being of the American public. For more information, visit