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wisconsin advocates for music education

about your musical journey? Has it been camps, clinics, guest artists, composers in residence, tours, trips, sharing music with parents in side-by-side concerts, outreach to other schools, contest, festivals, solo and ensemble opportunities, parades, field shows, etc? You need parental involve- ment and support for nearly everything that takes places for music ensembles. Do you offer trips to attend professional events with parents, students, and commu- nity members? When a parent chaperones, do you buy them a cup of coffee? Send a thank you note? Offer a mug with the logo of the musical ensemble? If you want to figure out how to motivate someone, treat parents (and students) like you would like to be treated. Appreciation is more valued than money. Simple pleasures go a long way with kind words and deeds as motivators.

The Art of Collaboration

It is important to show appreciation to par- ents and administrators for their support. If there are administrators or school board members at your concerts, make sure they are properly introduced. If parents serve a leadership role, make sure their names are in the program with thanks. Keep people informed about the music curriculum, the sequence, activities and the importance of music in the school, both classroom and performing ensembles. Involve others and share credit and contributions for program excellence and in finding solutions to con- tinuing challenges. Ownership is a result of involvement. Create pride and support along the way by being a great collabora- tor and communicator.

The Art of Maximum Impact

In an era when programs are scrutinized, community support is probably the most important element needed to protect a mu- sic program. There are many supportive activities that can accomplish visibility, community awareness and generate ex- citement about the role of music. Involv- ing parents as public relations agents is critical. Keep the community involved about concerts, activities and achieve- ments. Parents can monitor Media photos, web sites, Facebook and blogs if the music

Wisconsin School Musician

teacher wants to delegate for maximum impact. Public constituents need to see the connection between school music and a deeper experience the arts can bring. Music education is a curricular subject with the power to transcend beyond the walls of the school into the community. To create the maximum impact music can bring, a teacher can mobilize parents,

students and leaders to enrich the lives of everyone involved.

Kristin Tjornehoj, Ph.D. is a professor of music at UW-River Falls where she conducts the band, orchestra and teaches classes in conducting, instrumental literature and a variety of music education related courses. Email:

It’s no secret that college requires a lot of note taking. Our music program encourages note playing.


To discover more or schedule a personal visit, call or visit

800-249-6412 e-mail

Whether you dream of a career in music or want to make music for your personal enrichment, St. Scholastica’s music program has note-able opportunities for you. We offer scholarships for both music and non-music majors. Students can participate in ensembles such as concert and jazz bands, one of several choirs, string orchestra, drum line, steel band, hand drums, guitar and other chamber ensembles. Learn more about our music program and scholarships at or e-mail

1200 Kenwood Avenue, Duluth Follow St. Scholastica on: • An equal opportunity educator and employer.


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