Arts Education Is Essential
The League joined a group of national organizations collaborating to issue a statement of support for arts education particularly in the context of COVID-19. The message in “Arts Education Is Essential” highlights some of the key benefits of arts education that are of critical value now more than ever: social and emotional well-being of students, a welcoming school environment that encourages student expression in a safe and positive way, and a well-rounded education for all students. Orchestras can put this statement to use immediately by adding it to their local advocacy in support of music education in your schools. The growing list of national signatories may also suggest local members who can be strong partners in education advocacy efforts.
Arts Education: Creating Student Success in School, Work, and Life
A group of the largest national education associations have joined ranks with the arts community to ask for better arts education opportunities in our nation’s schools. The messages outlined in Arts Education: Creating Student Success in School, Work, and Life will directly communicate the benefits of arts education to policymakers as they are expected to re-write the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) this year. As this unified statement-in-progress demonstrates, there is strength in numbers and value in partnering with common stakeholders. Consider mining this statement for talking points your orchestra can use immediately in local advocacy that supports music education in your schools. Also, review the list of national signatories and consider their local members as potential partners in your education advocacy efforts.
Arts Education for America’s Students: A Shared Endeavor
The League, in partnership with 12 national arts and education organizations, has released Arts Education for America’s Students, A Shared Endeavor, a statement outlining the importance of high quality arts education and those responsible for providing it to students. A Shared Endeavor articulates the purpose and value of art education in the balanced curriculum of all students, asserts its place as a core academic subject area, and details how sequential arts learning can be supported by rigorous national standards and assessments. The statement, created over a 12-month period by the endorsing organizations, calls on organizations and individuals to actively support and promote:
- Policies and resources for arts education.
- Access to arts education for all students.
- Collaboration between school-based arts educators, other subject area teachers, community-based artists, and arts educators.
- Long-term advocacy partnership between all providers of arts education.
We encourage you to read this document and its companion diagram that places students at the center of arts education and consider it a tool to help prompt dialogue and engagement with community arts education leaders in a conversation about how students in your community access arts education, beginning with these questions:
- Do students have access to arts education in your community’s schools?
- How do community-based arts educators, including your orchestra, connect with learning taking place in your community’s schools?
- How do teachers connect the learning in their classrooms to learning in the arts? How can you support them in that endeavor?
- Where do you have strong supports for arts education at your school? What does your state require your schools to do?
Arts Education Partnership
The Arts Education Partnership (AEP) is a rich source of research about the importance of arts education. The League is a member of the AEP advisory comittee. The total Partnership includes more than 100 national arts, education, business, philanthropic, and government organizations.
National Association for Music Education
The National Association for Music Education (formerly known as MENC) is among the world's largest arts education organizations, and addresses all aspects of music education. Through membership of more than 75,000 active, retired, and preservice music teachers, NAfME provides resources to educators, students and education advocates.
The League is an active member of this national coalition, dedicated to increasing music education opportunities for all learners. Supported by MENC: The National Association for Music Education and NAMM, the International Music Products Association, supportmusic.com invites you to plug in the challenges to music education in your community, and generates the arguments you can use to address them. The Grassroots Advocacy Guide is a free community resource that provides tools for music education advocacy, developed and supported by NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants.
Declaration on Equity in Music for City Students
The Yale School of Music has published the Declaration on Equity in Music for City Students. Based on the work of the 2017 Yale Symposium and drawing on advice from more than 40 experts, the declaration calls for every student in every city to have access to a robust and active music life; for all city students to have access to in-school music education taught by certified music educators, for strategic partnerships with local organizations, and for changes in the development, preparation, and support of music educators and teaching artists.