Actions for Teachers*
- Advocacy starts in the classroom. Discuss with your students the benefits of music education. Have them reflect upon their learning frequently and articulate what they’re learning about themselves and others.
- Positive, Perseverence, Passionate – follow these three personal P’s.
- Focus on the students Center your approach on the potential loss of benefits to children. Advocate from their point of view and the benefits to them. Highlight their successes and find opportunities to showcase their talents in the school and surrounding community.
- Define your purpose. Develop a mission statement that captures the purpose for your music program that is visible to all who visit your classroom.
- Be prepared with background studies, research, readings.
- Be visible, in your school and in your community – use the media to advertise your cause.
- Form Advocacy Groups/Coalitions. You are not alone, many others including parents, community officials, local musicians and business leaders care about music education. Creating a unified effort can be powerful.
- Engage your leaders – including the administrator, school board members and school counsellors. Send invitations to concerts, ask them about how they feel about arts and music. Ask and listen without getting defensive.
- Invite the Principal into your classroom on a regular basis. Keep the Principal informed of what is going on in your classroom.
- Have administrators speak at every music concert.
- Get to know your feeder school(s) – organize joint concerts.
- Network with other music teachers in your school district – you will provide necessary support to each other.
- Invite the Media – share your student events and successes by inviting the media and submitting stories of your students’ achievements.
- PA Announcements – are a great way to share your students’ enthusiasm and music with the rest of the school. Include some information about the benefits of music education.
- Get to know your neighbours – i.e. local music dealer, community service clubs, industry leaders, etc… and invite them to concerts, music parent meetings, school board events or daily rehearsals.
- Know your local political officials – Send them your mission statement and invite them to engage.
- Make Short Videos – with the permission of your school and students, to highlight your program and upload to the internet to share.
- Educate Others by explaining the outcomes of learning music at staff, PTA and Board meetings.
*Some of the ideas are from Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser’s article “Advocacy Guidelines: What Educators Can Do” and Denis Tupman’s “Advocacy for Parents and Teachers”