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choral Connecting Administration With

Music Education Lynn Seidl, WMEA State Chair, Choral

The following is a fictional letter to an equally fictional administrator, demonstrating just a few ways for music educators to connect with administration. The italics at the end of each paragraph are “asides” tell- ing the reader what point the fictional writer is trying to make in the paragraph.

Dear Administrator,

Lynn Seidl teaches music at Luxemburg Casco Middle School.



The holiday season concert season is over and the music department is working on solo and ensemble music and looking forward to our spring break trip (March 7-11) and concert festival (May 4 and 11). We are preparing many challenging music selections for all of these events. (Keep your administrators informed about what you have been doing and what you will be doing.)

I appreciate your attendance at the music department’s holiday concert and the thank you card that you sent to the musicians and directors. It meant a great deal to the students that their principal, assistant principal and district superintendent all attended their holiday concert. The many teachers from my building who were also in attendance were also pleased to see that our school district’s administration is supportive of the arts, in addition to academics and athletics. Our collaborative effort with the art department exhibit and the consumer education department display of holiday gingerbread houses was well received and brought many parents, grandparents and other family members to the concert to view the efforts and admire the students’ creativity. (A thank you is appreciated.) (Collaborative work benefits all the parties involved. Esprit de corps is valued in all workplaces.)

We will continue to send complimentary tickets to all faculty, staff and administration members, as it gives the musicians great pride to see the support of the academic community. We are proud to have raised $500 for the area food bank and had several boxes of donated food items to deliver after the concert. The community food center was happy to get our donation in time to help fami- lies during the holiday season. (Sending complimentary tickets to your events is worth much more than the monetary value of the ticket.) (Community service as part of your event is valuable, as it develops a connection between the school district and the local community. Administrators can speak positively about a music program that benefits the community in tangible ways.)

In addition, I have also included copies of our holiday concert program and a three-minute video of clips from the concert for the upcoming school board meeting. I hope that you can open your next meeting with our video in order to share with the school board a little bit of what is happen- ing in the music department. (Reaching out to the school board can help your cause when it comes to budget time. Don’t forget to include the board members when giving out complimentary tickets.)

In addition, here is a link to a video about the importance of music programs in schools. There are several videos, but the one titled “A Case for Music” is the one that I highly recommend. It is less than three-minutes long.

(As music educators we can never put advocacy on the back burner. Our economic and political cli- mate dictates that our programs need to be kept to the forefront in order to maintain their visibility.)

Thank you for your time and your support. Sincerely,

Fictional Music Department Chair 12 January 2011

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