There was some GREAT discussion in last night’s #MusEdChat!

The topic: How can schools with no funding still incorporate music?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, because arts education is being cut from education programs everywhere in today’s society. To be quite honest….it just baffles me. EXPRESSION is so important in a child’s development. Perhaps it’s because I’m biased, as I was one of those kids, and still am, who best expresses themselves through the arts.

So when the topic question was asked, the main answer seemed to revolve around funding. To get funding, you need support. LOTS of support. It seems like a lot of teachers have been going through this lately by all of the suggestions that were mentioned. Some created booster clubs, some planned community performances to showcase their ensembles, some looked to administration.

Dr. Pisano posed the question, pisanojm: “How do we make the community realize the importance of Music Ed. in Schools?” What a GREAT question. I have sat with this question for a day now, and still have yet to come up with a solid answer that I’m pleased with. I know there are a lot of correlations between music study and a student’s overall performance in school. There are correlations with creative expression and social skills. But how can you show a community that may not have any musical background or interest that music and the arts are SO important?

I’m lead to think that the world is unaware of the work that music is doing to better our lives. Perhaps all artists really are misunderstood. How many people ACTUALLY listen to the lyrics in a song to figure out the artist’s message? And how many of those people who do that ACTUALLY try to incorporate it in their lives? Think of all the great song’s that people consider life-changing: “Let It Be” and “Imagine” by The Beatles, “We Are the World” by Michael Jackson. Sure, we all understood those songs, but what about the billions of others? Maybe everyone is just hearing instead of listening.

I realize I may be off on a slight tangent, but now I’m really starting to THINK! What if we were to teach the importance of understanding different forms of expression? I’m not talking about arts appreciation courses…I mean the real deal! The high schooler wanting to go into medicine is not going to express his/her self the same way that a trumpet player will, so how will they understand each other? I’ll be honest, I probably don’t know how to understand other people’s forms of expression either. My oh my, this will definitely be inspiring a whole separate post in the near future!

But back to teaching with no funds! I think if a teacher is passionate enough about what they do and believes in their program, I truly think that students and their families will notice, and little by little funding is going to appear. I think patience is a quality that musicians and teachers alike possess and share. Music is usually a process, stemming from creativity, to practice, to modification, to trial and error, to improvement, to performance, and to reflection. I think basing a struggling program on that method will eventually lead to support, funding, and appreciation.

Some favorite quotes of the night:

  • teaching_music: Focus on branding and telling your story online. The tools are there, and most are free. Facebook page, twitter, mailchimp.
  • Zweibz7: We need to advocate for our program through MUSIC!
  • techmusiced: Grants tip: tell a story, not what you need. Get the readers of the grant involved in the story.
  • richardmccready: The joy of the experience of making music is not directly proportional to the amount of money it costs.

If you missed Monday’s chat here is the transcript! If you are interested in getting involved in #MusEdChat check out MusicEdMajor.net – the chat is held on Twitter on Monday nights at 8pm EST. It’s a great deal of fun and knowledge from musicians and educators around the world!