NAfME Statement on Bullying/Hazing

A Statement from the National Association for Music Education

May 3, 2012

The National Association for Music Education supports the effort to stand up against bullying, and encourages members to join “Stand 4 Change Day” on May 4. Visit http://stand4change.org/ to find out how to join millions of students and teachers across North America at 12:00 p.m. ET.

“The benefits of music education go well beyond the school day in reaching the whole child,” according to Michael A. Butera, executive director and CEO. “When music teachers teach the art and discipline of music to their students, we are in a powerful position to help these students build the characteristics that make them better learners and better citizens. The‘safe haven’ of our music rooms is an area in which we can make a serious impact on a serious problem, as we work every day to orchestrate the long-term success of our students and our schools.”

“Music educators are in a unique position to meaningfully influence young people. Because of the nature of the ensemble experience, coupled with the opportunity for extended instruction [of individual students], music teachers can closely monitor students,” wrote Bruce Carter, assistant professor of music education, University of Maryland, College Park, in the March 2012 issue of Music Educators Journal.

This topic is not a new one to music educators. In an article in Music Educators Journal in 1936, Karl W. Gerhkins wrote that “[one of the objectives of music education is] …to make a better world for a larger number of human beings by means of more astute thinking and planning and through the development of a deeper and finer consideration for the welfare of all humanity.”

Related articles:
• June 2011 Music Educators Journal (MEJ) — Bruce Carter, “A Safe Education for All: Recognizing and Stemming Harassment Music Classes and Ensembles”
• September 2011 MEJ — Donald M. Taylor, “Bullying: What Can Music Teachers Do?”
• March 2012 MEJ — two pieces on hazing/bullying : “Take Note” and “From the Academic Editor”