Next Generation of Music Teachers To Descend on D.C.

politics

In three weeks, more than 60 (and counting!) budding music teachers will join state association leaders and members of the eight-piece band San Fermin to take the lead in standing up for music in schools. These music education majors from around the country will make the broader mindedTM case for allowing all students access to quality music instruction. The 2015 NAfME Hill Day event will be the largest to-date.

With the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) still waiting in the wings for consideration on the U.S. Senate floor—with “music” included in draft language as a subject to maintain for all students—this is an opportune time for young music activists to make their voices heard in the halls of Congress.

Many of our past collegiate members have shared their experiences and why they believe preservice music teachers should be in Washington, D.C., at this critical time to advocate for music education.

Within the first ten minutes, I met five different music education majors from five different states.

college students

Vanessa Bliley of Central Washington University: “Within the first ten minutes that I walked into the hotel, I met five different music education majors from five different states, and we … talked for at least 45 minutes about the different activities and ideas we had about our NAfME [collegiate chapters] back home—and about how much we love music. . . . With this trip being so useful and so incredibly educational, our school has now decided to pay for two people to go every year.”

Going to this will prepare you in the future to advocate for music education

Fred Volz of SUNY-Potsdam: “Not only was it a great opportunity to network with state MEA leaders, future educators, and educators who are in the field, it’s a chance to be informed about the bigger topics that are going on in music education today. . . . Going to this will prepare you in the future to advocate for music education on a smaller level in your local schools. And definitely on a broader level, it encourages to speak up for a topic we love so much.”

It was also a wonderful opportunity to find out what NAfME does for us and for children.

Mai Yamane of University of Alabama: “Advocating for music education with colleagues from across the country was the best experience I could ever ask for. It was also a wonderful opportunity for me to get to know some of the NAfME representatives and find out what they do for us and for children.”

Andrew McNair of Texas State University: “To those of you who are thinking about [attending Hill Day] this summer, . . . it’s not something you want to miss. . . . I got to see what other college education majors are nerdy about and what they love to do. . . . It’s important, I think, to be a part of something that is bigger than yourself, bigger than your classroom or your university. This gives you the opportunity to do that.”

It’s important to be a part of something that is bigger than yourself, bigger than your classroom or your university.

In an interview with NAfME Assistant Executive Director Chris Woodside, Ellis Ludwig-Leone, composer and found of Stand for Music award-winning band San Fermin, said, “It’s so great to meet people when they’re young, and . . . talk to them about music in a way that you’ve come to realize as a musician as you’ve gotten older. I think it’s great that already as college students they’re that forward-thinking and involved to want to help.”

Collegiates, have you registered yet? Make sure your state is represented at Hill Day 2015.
And follow the hashtag #nafmehd15.

Catherina Hurlburt, Communications Manager, June 4, 2015. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)