How Can I Support Music Programs in Schools?
We’ve enjoyed celebrating Music In Our Schools Month, this March. The month may be coming to an end, but Music in our schools does not become any less important throughout the other 11 months of the year. If you’re like me, you care about music and you want children to be given the opportunity to learn to play musical instruments. However, at times it is difficult to know how you can make a difference, and make sure children in our community are being given musical opportunities. Here is a list of ways you can show your support for local music programs.
“You can attend school board meetings to let board members know that music in the schools is important.”
By doing this, you go straight to the heads of your local schools, to let them know that you care about music programs. If enough people show up at school board meetings and fight for this, they cannot be ignored. You can find information on the Lancaster school system and board meetings, here:
Below are links to all 16 school district governing boards containing contact information for your district.
Columbia School District
If you write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, you can let the community at large know that you think music education is important. The more people who realize how music education is often a neglected aspect of young students‘ education, the better. By writing editorials in your local newspaper, you can let the community know, and spur others into action. You can submit a letter to editor of the Lancaster Newspaper this link: http://lancasteronline.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/
“You can do something to support a school music teacher. Maybe give a gift or at least tell them how much you appreciate all that they do.”
If you know any school music teachers, let them know how much you support them. If you have a child who is in a school music program, give their music teacher a gift, a
note, or even a kind word. In some schools, music educators feel alone in the fight for more music programs and funding. While Math or English teachers can feel secure in the knowledge that their program will always be considered essential, music teachers are often taken for granted. Let them know you support their work, and let them know what you are doing to support music programs in their school.
“You can write a check to an organization that promotes music or supports music education.”
Nonprofit organizations such as Music For Everyone work to support music programs by donating instruments and funds directly to the music programs of local schools. You can support Music For Everyone by donating directly to us, or by attending one of our events, such as this weekend’s Festival of Voices, which you can find more information on here: https://musicforeveryone.org/event/the-2016-festival-of-voices/.
“You can attend a music performance at a school.”
Many Lancaster schools will be having spring concerts in April and May. You can find the information for several upcoming Lancaster School District concerts here:
http://www.lancaster.k12.pa.us/. The McCaskey Gospel Choir Spring Concert will be held at the JP McCaskey Auditorium on April 16 at 6:00 p.m. This Friday, the Pequea Valley High School Choir and the Susquehanna Waldorf School will both be performing at MFE’s Festival of Voices.
Another way you can make your voice heard is by contacting your representatives at the state and federal levels.
You can find a list of all the Lancaster County State Representatives here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/county_list.cfm?CNTYLIST=LANCASTER
Contact Senator Bob Casey here: https://www.casey.senate.gov/contact/
Contact Senator Pat Toomey here: https://www.toomey.senate.gov/?p=contact
Contact your Federal Representatives here: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/PA
There are many different ways you can advocate for music programs. Pick one or two, or click on one of the links we’ve provided, and go from there. Another simple way you can support music programs in our local schools is by letting your friends and family know what you are doing, and why you are doing it. Word of mouth is a great way to spread the word and raise support. Find a friend to accompany you to a local school’s spring concert or board meeting. Together, we can raise so much more support than any of us can alone.