5 Ways to Support Your Local School Music Programs in New York State
March is Music in Our Schools Month, so it's time to stand up for our young musicians across New York State.
As someone who has been surrounded by music all my life, I can tell you it has completely shaped me into the person I am today. You can always listen to music on your phone or in the car, but having the ability to create it for yourself is truly a special gift that schools provide.
Over the years, it has become clear that when it comes to funding in schools, music is not a priority. Even though it's the heart of so many people's memories in school, and often impact their careers, it is always put behind other main subjects like Math and Science.
The National Association for Music Education has shared their 5 Best Ways to Support Your Music Program. In a time where students and teachers are fighting to keep their programs alive, we should do everything we can to help them.
Join Booster Groups or Volunteer
One of the easiest ways to support local music is to get involved. Don't just stand on the sidelines, or for this case the audience.
Joining your school's booster group or volunteering in the classroom will make a huge difference to any music program. Having more active voices showing their support will go a long way. Not to mention your teachers may have ideas that they could never do alone.
Thank Your Principal
Believe it or not... this isn't something they hear every single day. By thanking them for supporting your child's music program and teacher, it'll bring more attention to the department.
If you're paying attention to it, so will they.
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Write About it!
Creating a "letter-to-the-editor" or message to your local/national newspaper about what music means to your child can go a long way. Bringing up the topic could inspire them to also write about it as well. (Almost like what's happening right now!)
It only takes 80 to 100 words, but it will make a big difference.
Invite the Decision Makers
Many people assume school board members, county/district supervisors, and lawmakers know about everything going on in their community. With so much on their plate, there are often things that fall through the cracks.
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Inviting them will make them feel honored you'd like them at your school concert. Whether they want it for personal publicity or not, it'll often encourage them to take the time out to support the families they represent. Then when they leave the concert, they'll truly know why music matters in all schools.
Reach Out to Local Media
Just like the newspaper, everyone in the media is always looking to write a story. Even more so, they want to know what people locally care and are talking about.
Reach out to Radio, TV, or any other medium to tell your school's story. It might not get picked up everywhere... but someone will be willing to take the time out to share your message.