5 Things You Can Do – Music Educator Edition
During this time, advocacy is more important than ever. Read our top five ways you can best advocate for your school’s music program and engage students in music learning whether online or in the classroom.
1. Select the best online learning platform for you and your students.
Keep it simple! Your students will be excited by accessible lessons that you enjoy and will help them engage.
Document your lessons and how students are engaging with your program to share with administrators and decision makers. Even better, invite administrators, district board members, and any other key leaders to join one of your live lessons!
Are there local arts organizations or teaching artists that can enhance your distance learning experience for students? Get connected!
2. Share the impact of music education on social media and/or in school communications.
Advocate for your music program by posting classroom accomplishments, how music has impacted your students, and educational news on social media. Please follow your district’s guidelines for sharing photos and videos of students.
Advocacy messages should be simple, straight-forward and tug at the heartstrings.
Use a unique #hashtag for your district’s music program on social media. Collaborate with fellow music teachers to make the most impact by sharing stories using the same hashtag.
Use #MusicSaves to join Save The Music’s impact initiative!
GET FAMILIES INVOLVED
Have students share their work on their own social media platforms and encourage parents to share their children’s work as well. Ask students and parents to write notes about how music education has impacted their lives and send those to district leaders and community decision makers.
3. Your students need you for more than music education.
Music education helps students with their overall well-being, letting them express themselves healthfully and positively. Create a safe space for your students to connect and take time to check in with them.
Music is perfectly positioned to teach and guide students through social emotional learning as well as trauma-informed care. Arm yourself with this knowledge and know your music classroom is a place where students can recover.
See our social emotional learning, trauma-informed care, and culturally responsive teaching resources.
Remember to take care of yourself while you take care of your students. Check out the COVID-19: Resilient Educator Toolkit. Teacher wellness and self-care resources can support and nurture teachers to become more resilient together.
4. Join your district’s team in planning how schools will reopen and operate next school year.
Remember music is part of a well-rounded education mandated by the Every Student Succeeds Act. Make sure music class continues for students whether through distance learning or in person. Read Arts Education is Essential
Tell the story of the value you bring to the school through music education.
More resources – NAfME Music Education Advocacy Resource Kit for Fall 2020
5. Familiarize yourself with federal, state, and local education funding.
Engage in policies related to music education, Title IV-A funding, and COVID-19 congressional bills that will affect your school district. Cultivate relationships with your government policymakers and school decision makers.
FROM NAMM FOUNDATION
“Urge Congress to advance needed relief for education funding for states so educational opportunity in all well-rounded subjects including music and arts education as defined by ESSA can reach every child.”
“Urge music education stakeholders to meet with local education leaders and elected officials to assure that planning for school re-opening includes music and arts education – the heart and soul of student learning.”