In 2008, I conducted a series of interviews with music educators, professionals, musicians, and advocates articulating the universal benefits of music education and participation. One of the most memorable of those discussions was with Dave Wish, founder and Executive Director of the non-profit, “Little Kids Rock.” LKR provides musical instruments and instruction to at-risk kids and teachers.
Great points made by Dave that should be staples of any music enthusiast’s/advocate’s discussions!
Alan Zweibel hosts this month’s Music Education Blog Carnival, a compilation of blog posts related to music education that appears at a different music education bloggers website each month during the school year. Thanks to Alan for compiling this outstanding resource and for including me in this month’s edition:
Link to the May 2010 Music Education Blog Carnival
I’ve seen a number of articles and blog posts recently criticizing the use of the word “advocacy” with respect to music education. The sentiment seems to revolve around the theory that the term paints music education into a sympathetic corner, and it’s hard to get people galvanized by playing the sympathy card.
These are the musings of the “over-analysis” crowd. Essentially, advocacy is a term that is almost universally recognized by the music community and provides a basis for communication regarding activity and resources. I don’t think that the people that we need to move to action (primarily those outside of the arts community) to drive meaningful change really care what we call efforts to promote music education. Don’t worry about the jargon – just spend your time rallying support!
With that thought in mind, here’s a list of “Music Advocacy Links” from the website SchoolMusicMatters.com
We spend a lot of time justifying arts education from all different angles. That’s fine. But let’s not lose sight of what’s important. More and more in the future, as we see that our insatiable appetites for consumerism fail to satisy our hunger for happiness, our choices will be driven by quality of life determinations. Here’s what a colleague has to say about justifying the arts:
“In education, there is a connection between all of the pieces,” said Michael Guillot, former Vice-President for Patron Services and Chief Advancement Officer for the North Carolina Symphony. “Language, music, mathematics, and science are connected to our cognitive functioning. Any time I improve cognitive functioning in one place, odds are I’m going to get it in other places as well.
“But I’ve got to tell you, the other case we make is that in and of itself, art is worthy. If it had no effect on those others, it really wouldn’t matter. It is a pursuit of quality of life, of personal joy, of meaning…And I don’t want to get away from that.”
Stanley Jordan is a GRAMMY-nominated and groundbreaking jazz guitarist. His unique tapping technique gave the instrument new possibilities, allowing the freedom to generate independent sounds with both hands. Stanley is also a tireless proponent of the power of music, including the field of music therapy.
Here’s an audio excerpt from our conversation regarding the amazing ability of animals to decifer the intracacies of music: