How can you help?
Ensure that your school administrators, teachers, legislators and
community members know that the Elementary and Secondary Education Act includes
music and the other arts as “core” academic subjects.
Identify key supporters of
music education including members of the school board, administration, school
faculty, parents, media, and influential civic and business leaders. Build
relationships with these individuals before threats to the music program are
Encourage parents, students
and/or influential members of the community to write an op-ed on the value of
music education for your local newspaper. Invite a local news reporter to do a
story or ask a newspaper to donate a full-page ad highlighting the benefits of
* 6 WAYS TO INFLUENCE YOUR SCHOOL
ALWAYS keep the big picture in mind and look at the comprehensive needs
of children within that context – you can be sure your school board has many
other priorities on their agenda and it’s important to respect and acknowledge that
• TAKE a long-term perspective. Survival of the music program may
require dollars right now but in the long run, we really need to overhaul
education financing and state and federal policy.
• KNOW where the power lies and keep your focus on issues that are
relevant to your audience. For example, talk with your school board members
about the need for certified music teachers, not state funding priorities.
• BE AWARE of windows of opportunity because timing really does matter. New
research as well as lawsuits focused on quality and equity provides
opportunities to illustrate your music program’s essential role in providing
excellence in education and equitable access for all students.
• BE A PROACTIVE guardian of quality programs. You can do this by protecting the
space for music instruction, assuring that certified teachers are respected and
compensated for their professional expertise, and by advocating for a sequential,
standards-based curriculum. Never try to replace a school program with an
• AND FINALLY, always place the well-being of children at the center of every
advocacy effort, and don’t settle for merely raising test scores.
MENC - The National Music Teachers Association
SCSBOA- Southern CA School Band & Orchestra Association www.scsboa.org/
American Choral Directors Association acda.org/
Organization of American Kodaly Educators
Kodaly Association of Southern California
American Orff-Schulwerk Association
Los Angeles Chapter American Orff Schulwerk Association
Los Angeles Unified School District Arts Education Branch