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
- 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.
- 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.
- The required music skills, knowledge and values shall be clearly articulated in a music curriculum that has been developed by qualified music educators.
- 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.
- 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.
- Every music education program shall stress creative musical experiences and the joy of participation.
- It is essential that musical sounds, activities, materials and repertoire be of high quality and lasting value.
- In all courses students will learn and express musical concepts using the language of music.
- All programs shall include a rich selection of styles and periods including authentic music from various world cultures.
- Adequate space, facilities, equipment and resources shall be available to support a balanced music education program in each school.
- Grade appropriate technology shall be made available for student learning.
- There shall be an adequate budget to support all instructional and co-instructional music activities.
- 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.
- Music education programs shall include career education, where appropriate.
- 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.