What Parents Can Do

Your child has the right to receive a quality Music Education program.  Here are a few things to consider when exploring your child’s music education program.

Take the time to learn about the quality of the Music Education program in your child’s school.  Ask:

  • How many hours per week does my child receive music instruction?
  • Who is teaching music to my child?  Is the teacher a qualified music educator?
  • Read the document below entitled “General Description of a Quality Music Education Program,” and compare with what is happening in your child’s school.

IF you discover that your child is NOT receiving a quality music education program, here are some suggestions that may enable you to bring about change:

  • Talk to your principal about the importance of making a quality music education program a key component of your child’s education.
  • Discuss the subject of quality music education at a School Council meeting.
  • Form an advocacy group with other concerned teachers, parents, students and community members.

To help you identify the attributes of a quality music program, here is an excerpt of a general description that has been drafted in collaboration with the Canadian Music Educators’ Association.

General Description of a Quality Music Program

Pre-Kindergarten to Graduation

  1. Every student shall study music in each grade in elementary school. In secondary school students will be able to choose from a variety of music programs which shall be available to every student in every academic year.
  2. The music education program shall be sequential and skill-based and include a wide range of activities leading to clearly defined musical skills and knowledge.
  3. The required music skills, knowledge and values shall be clearly articulated in a music curriculum that has been developed by qualified music educators.
  4. Every student shall be taught music by a teacher who is qualified to teach the subject. The music teacher should have a university degree, a teaching certificate, music education training as well as additional in-services and courses which qualify him or her as a music education specialist in the grades being taught.
  5. Every Board of Education shall have a music education specialist in the position of coordinator/consultant of music and adequate music consultative/resource staff to help maintain a high program standard in music education. All courses require the support of the principal and in the higher grades, the guidance departments.
  6. Every music education program shall stress creative musical experiences and the joy of participation.
  7. It is essential that musical sounds, activities, materials and repertoire be of high quality and lasting value.
  8. In all courses students will learn and express musical concepts using the language of music.
  9. All programs shall include a rich selection of styles and periods including authentic music from various world cultures.
  10. Adequate space, facilities, equipment and resources shall be available to support a balanced music education program in each school.
  11. Grade appropriate technology shall be made available for student learning.
  12. There shall be an adequate budget to support all instructional and co-instructional music activities.
  13. There shall be opportunities for students to participate in a variety of music performances in the school and the community throughout the academic year if this is appropriate.
  14. Music education programs shall include career education, where appropriate.
  15. Music must maintain its integrity in the curriculum and be taught for its own sake. In addition, music shall be used to enhance and support other curriculum areas.