Accessing the Information Sources
by Tim Lautzenheiser
Music advocacy is not a complicated agenda requiring extensive research and the ability to quote lofty phrases or speak in platitudes. To the contrary, it is the chance to share the wonderful awareness; music makers enjoy a better life. While the message seems simplistic it is confirmed time and time again and it is the fundamental theme of all music advocacy.
“The good news is, there is much good news about the positive impact of music on the positive growth and development of EVERY person.” The substantive facts and figures that clearly demonstrate the positive life-benefits gained through music education are compelling.
In truth we have an abundance of convincing data to support the theme, “Every student in the nation should have an education in the arts.” The challenge is to sift through the mountain of scientific evidence to clearly state-our-case in a powerful and concise fashion, and in a language that is understood by everyone. It is easy to become lost in this extensive library of facts and figures; therefore let us focus how we can best educate others concerning the importance of music-learning and music-making.
One of the most potent all-in-one advocacy tool is, THE MUSIC EDUCATION ADVOCACY KIT, (commonly referred to as, “The Einstein Kit,”) produced by NAMM -The International Music Products Association and VH1 Save the Music. The kit includes:
- The Music Advocate’s Guide; a packet of brochures that highlights the irrefutable facts about the benefits of music instruction. The colorful handout is packed with compelling data taken from research-findings around the globe.
- The Advocate’s Toolkit DVD; a treasury of materials featuring a complete school board presentation in PowerPoint, press releases, fact sheets, research summaries, and a selection of public service radio announcements featuring musical artists speaking about the power of music in their lives. There is also a series of sample letters to community leaders, administrators, Board of Education members, etc.
For further information about “The Einstein Kit” contact NAMM at: 1-800-767-6266
Also take a careful look at the website: www.supportmusic.com. It is the source of the latest information relevant to the importance of MUSIC IN OUR SCHOOLS.
MENC – The National Association for Music Education has an extensive library of advocacy materials including various action kits, videos, brochures, reprinted articles, etc. The organization’s mission is to ensure that every child has the opportunity to enjoy a balanced, sequential, high-quality education including music as a core subject. The MENC web site offers a wide array of ready-to-share publications and cyberspace links to other advocacy avenues: www.menc.org, or call 703-860-4000. You will find the MENC family of educators eager to extend a helping hand and join with you in your music advocacy goals.
VH1 Save the Music is a not-for-profit foundation supported by the VH1 cable network and its partners. Of their many contributions including an extensive instrument donation program to establish music school music programs where there are none, the organization sponsors national public service announcements promoting the advantages of music education. The VH1 Save the Music staff members are dedicated music advocates eager and willing to work with all who are committed to the welfare of music education. You may call, 1-888-841-4687 or access their extensive web site: www.vh1.com.
As you can quickly tell, there is no lack of information or information sources to support the immeasurable benefits of music learning. We need to create allies in our local communities and school systems who comprehend the implications of music study, and who also understand there can be no true education without proper training in the arts. We have an incredible opportunity to enlighten everyone and with it goes the responsibility to manifest this opportunity for the welfare of today’s youth and all those to be educated in the future. To this end let us pledge our efforts and energies; the results will be shared by all.
Let the music begin…