I believe that a good balance of challenging and familiar music, good community, and good student teacher relationships will lead to continuity and student retention. – @LindsayMorelli
“We find that small group opportunities strengthen our large ensembles tenfold. So worth the time.” – @theresawhite
The #MusEdChat held on May 24th, 2010 discussed the importance of chamber ensembles in the music curriculum. The chat was broken into two different parts: “What is the importance of adding chamber groups to the curriculum?”, and “How can we facilitate these opportunities for our students?” [Read more...]
“If your program is significant and relevant to students, families, and community, that IS your advocacy.” – @teaching_music
The #MusEdChat held on May 10th, 2010 discussed ways to advocate to members of the administration and community. Many great ideas were proposed from experienced music educators.
What Administrators Want to See
#MusEdChat participants began the chat by discussing what they thought administrators would like to see from a healthy music program. They discussed different aspects like a large number of students involved in the music department, and a quality product from the ensembles the department offers. Multiple educators stated that administrators want to see evidence that students in the department are learning. In addition, participants felt that administrators like to see music departments that are active in the community.
Advocacy to Administration
Participants also tossed around ideas that will show the importance of music programs to administrators. Some suggested to involve administrators or other teachers in concerts if they have the ability to play an instrument. Also, @brandtschneider suggested that we as music educators need to stress growth through measuring and showing it, and ultimately using it as an anchor for advocacy. @thomasjwest suggested doing this by recording an ensemble regularly and comparing them over the course of a semester or the entire year. Tom also suggested having a district-wide concert (all band K-12, for example). This kind of concert not only shows the parents how far students can go if they stay in the program, but it also excites younger students to see the caliber of the more advanced students. The community can also serve a very important part in advocacy. If your department regularly plays for the community and the community is behind your department, they will also step up to save your program if the administration or school board try to cut it. Educators felt it was important to have students perform often in the community and in front of their peers. It is also important to have a good relationship with your administrators. This takes quite a few forms. Some educators suggested personally inviting them to your concerts. In addition, thank them in some way during your concert for their support, whether it be verbally, in the program, or both. It was also suggested to send thank-you notes to administrators when you and your students return from conferences and festivals.
Join the Chat!
We are always excited to have new educators (and college students) involved in the #MusEdChat. If you haven’t participated in any, we would love to chat with you. #MusEdChat happens every Monday at 8:00 PM EDT on Twitter. Learn how to participate here!