Thursday, March 1, 2012

Music In Schools

One of the greatest contributors to the music industry is music education. Most of our greatest artists' have gotten there inspiration from a school music class but things have drastically changed. Over the last fifteen years, funding for school music programs has been cut to almost nothing. There was a time when schools had a budget that allowed them to supply instruments to any child that wanted to play but that is no longer the case. The issue is sadly not ALL financial. The saddest fact is that the people that make policy have totally devalued the importance of arts education. The focus is now on test scores and how a school district rates. This environment does not at all serve the well being of the students. Children are no longer learning, they are simply being taught to memorize facts for a test and the teachers no longer have time to be creative in their teaching styles because they know that if they don't achieve a certain score on the test that their very job may be at risk. The solution to saving music and arts in schools rests on our shoulders as professional musicians and artists. Every state has an arts commission or arts council that is eligible to receive arts grants to help send us into schools to fill the void. The process usually requires artists to join a roster by applying and meeting certain criteria. It also helps if you take a few classes that will help you learn how to take what you do into the classroom. Not all of us know how to simplify what we do or put it into a classroom format that will benefit children. This is where having a partnership with educators can come in handy. They can help us with the basic formats. As independent consultants, we are not bound so strictly by the rules that most teachers are so we can really get into teaching music and arts. It is important that we work with the teachers to know what their specific needs are as well. It is truly up to us to help educate the next generation of artists. Do the research in your area and reach out to your local arts commission or arts council to get more information on how to get involved. Enjoy the journey.

The Truth
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