R-E-S-P-E-C-T Revisited, Part 2

When music teachers without their own classrooms have problems with classroom teachers, getting faculty, parent, and community support are key. Here are suggestions on ways to build support courtesy of the general music forum:

Possible Solutions—the Wider Community

Garner PTA and parent support.

  • Have your students perform at PTA meetings. One member’s PTA president was so pleased that she arranged funds to purchase new risers and asked music students to perform at all PTA meetings.
  • A PTA president knows everyone in the school, has the ear of both faculty and administrators, can rally other parents to the cause, and can introduce you to other influential parents.

Make music performances informational.

  • Interact with the audience, discuss student learning, and show model lessons.
  • Have the audience sing along with students.
  • When colleagues see how much students are learning in music, respect follows.
  • When parents see, they become fans.

Advocate for your program. Proclaim its benefits and make it visible. 

  • Invite classroom teachers to hear their class sing, perform on instruments, or add accompaniment to a story.
  • Serenade faculty, staff, and the principal on birthdays or other occasions.
  • Stage a “music open house” for parents and community members to visit regularly scheduled classes (maybe for MIOSM).
  • Get more ideas from My Music Class’s Advocacy Tips.

–Linda C. Brown, August 26, 2009, © National Association for Music Education (nafme.org)