Music advocacy: what counts is the seed.
Can you imagine a world without music and the arts? Of course not! Why not? Perhaps, because you and 1 have had the luxury of involvement in music for most of our lives. We almost take it for granted--music will always be there. We take it as a given that most people enjoy and value music. We probably assume most people share our viewpoint: music and the arts are vital components of a civilized civ·i·lized
1. Having a highly developed society and culture.
2. Showing evidence of moral and intellectual advancement; humane, ethical, and reasonable: society.
Unfortunately, for millions of young students there is a different reality. There are no music and arts classes offered during the school day and if they are, it's possible the classes are offered after school or require that a fee be paid. This may put music and arts education programs outside the reach of a struggling family's resources.
Sadly, the erosion of school music programs is increasing at a rapid pace due to many reasons: mandates to increase test scores in math and English; more options in elective elective
non-urgent; at an elected time, e.g. of surgery.
elective adjective Referring to that which is planned or undertaken by choice and without urgency, as in elective surgery, see there noun Graduate education noun subjects and a lack of resources: not enough space, not enough students, not enough equipment and, unfortunately, not enough qualified music teachers.
There is further evidence of the erosion of support for music and music education. Have you been to a concert recently? Have you noticed the number of empty seats? Have you noticed the age of the audience members? A majority of them seem to be well over 50 years old. Where are the young people? Why aren't they attending concerts?
Of course in some communities there may no longer be a local orchestra and if there is, it may not be performing as often as in the past. What has happened? What went wrong? Don't people value the arts? Is there a cause and effect? Can we draw the conclusion that after 30 years of sustained cuts in school music programs, we have severely damaged our cultural landscape? What can be done to change this situation?
The bigger question, in my opinion, is, "How has a lack of music and arts education programs affected our young students?" The painter, Joan Miro said, "More important than a work of art itself is what it will sow. Art can die, a painting can disappear. What counts is the seed."
Recent scientific research has drawn attention to the positive connection that music making has on developing the brain and improving learning abilities--especially in the area of critical thinking. Additional research has pointed out the beneficial effects that music making has on improving health and reducing stress. Most of all, music making enhances lives and opens hearts. I recently heard Governor Mike Huckabee This article or section contains information about one or more candidates in an upcoming or ongoing election.
Content may change as the election approaches. of Arkansas say, "Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in a society where kids carried guitars and violins instead of knives knives
Plural of knife.
the plural of knife
knives knife and guns!"
We can help change the landscape and improve support for music and arts education. Several years ago, I came across this statement from the Iowa Alliance for the Arts Council An arts council is a government or private, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the arts mainly by funding local artists, awarding prizes, and organizing events at home and abroad. and have taken it to heart:</p>
<pre> a majority of those outside the fields of music and the arts do not understand the whys and hows concerning the process of arts education. Provided with a clear understanding of those
bows and whys, and supported by quality arts education in practice,
people begin to realize the value of music and arts education.
If a district school board and its administrators are adequately
informed of the arts' unique benefit to children and if this information is supported by sound classroom practices, chances are that decisions regarding music's and the arts' status in the district will favor strengthening the programs rather than weakening weak·en
tr. & intr.v. weak·ened, weak·en·ing, weak·ens
To make or become weak or weaker.
or eliminating them. </pre> <p>How can you, the independent music teacher, help change people's perceptions about the benefits of music and music education? Become involved with your local coalition to support the arts. You can locate your local chapter at www.supportmusic.com, which is a terrific resource for getting facts, figures and action plans for music advocacy in your community.
One strategy I frequently recommend to music educators: call up your local service organization (Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Rotary can refer to:
tr.v. im·pressed, im·press·ing, im·press·es
1. To affect strongly, often favorably: by what they see and hear: dedication, discipline, leadership, teamwork (product, software, tool) Teamwork - A SASD tool from Sterling Software, formerly CADRE Technologies, which supports the Shlaer/Mellor Object-Oriented method and the Yourdon-DeMarco, Hatley-Pirbhai, Constantine and Buhr notations. , listening skills, excitement and creativity--all vital skills needed to be competitive in the workplace and community. Be sure to leave them with a fact list detailing the benefits of music education in developing students' lives. And ask for their financial support. Give them a list of specific monetary amounts that support current or proposed music programs.
A Chinese proverb proverb, short statement of wisdom or advice that has passed into general use. More homely than aphorisms, proverbs generally refer to common experience and are often expressed in metaphor, alliteration, or rhyme, e.g. says, "The best time to plant a tree is twenty years TWENTY YEARS. The lapse of twenty years raises a presumption of certain facts, and after such a time, the party against whom the presumption has been raised, will be required to prove a negative to establish his rights.
2. ago. The next best time is now." I urge you to plant a few seeds in your community today.
Danny Rocks is vice president, Educational Development for Alfred Publishing Alfred Publishing is a US sheet music publisher specializing in educational music.
It is one of the largest US publishers, second only to Hal Leonard. It is the largest educational music publisher in the world. . After a successful career as pianist and assistant conductor conductor
Any of various substances that allow the flow of electric current or thermal energy. A conductor is a poor insulator because it has a low resistance to such flow. for many top Broadway musicals, he entered the publishing field in 1977. Rocks is current president of the American Music Conference and is past board member of the Retail Print Music Dealers Association.