This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
ations, it really is about the relationship between music teachers and administrators. There are many administrators saying, ‘What should we do?’ and asking music teachers to give input on the process so they aren’t made to feel like something is being done to them. There are many districts that aren’t wrapped up in teacher evaluations. They trust teachers to do what they do. It’s hard for the administra- tors too, though. They’re middle management and have to answer to both teachers and the state.

4. Some of the discussion about music education seemed to place the focus of music education as a means for improving skills in other subject areas and a means for driving the economy. What are your thoughts on this?

It’s music for music’s sake versus reasons of student out- comes and economical growth. I was recently at an arts education conference where a former governor of Pennsyl- vania said, ‘I like arts education, but you can’t stick to arts for arts’ sake when the economy is the issue. I will support arts education if it helps learning in other content areas and the economy.’ That was rough, but ultimately you have to strike a balance in your argument and grapple with where you are going to draw the line. Yes, music might make you smarter. It also changes lives. We do this with our festi- vals. We talk about our ratings and make it competitive because our communities want that. Festival competition is not who we are and yet we still have to find that advocacy piece. It’s a weird balance.

5. Sometimes affecting change on a national and state level can seem an overwhelming task. On a local level, how can teachers, parents, and community members make an impact in their own school communities?

One of the things that I found inspiring from the policy summit was that I came away with a sense of responsibility. Our lawmakers said, ‘Come talk to us. Tell us what needs to be done.’ Now, sure, it’s good politics to say that, but there’s some truth to it too. I complain with my colleagues, but have I done my part to say, ‘Hey, I’m worried about this?’ Have I spoken to people at my local school board level, to my local politicians? We think our hands are tied because policy comes from above, but really on the local level, we can make change. Michigan is a local control state, meaning the most important policy work you can do is with your district, your school board, and your adminis- tration.

Every school district needs a music advocacy group. Someone from your music interest group needs to be at- tending every school board meeting, no matter how unrelat- ed to music the agenda appears to be. Be on school plan- ning committees and on union leadership. Be active in your

building and know your school board. Bring your students to perform at these meetings because it’s meaningful and people remember you. Sometimes as music teachers, we try to be curricular and want to avoid being a dog and pony show, but by not being visible, we lose opportunity.


simple, but huge. By being involved, we can be proactive instead of reactive.

6. Any final reflections from the PMEPD summit?

This is PMEPD’s first effort to pull together a group to talk specifically about policy like this. I know there are a num- ber of individuals who were unable to attend this summit, but are interested in being a part of the discussion in the future. PMEPD is planning two sessions at the Michigan Music Conference in January. We’re also thinking about holding a policy summit annually. We were thrilled to see an audience filled with such a cross-section of educators - coordinators, school board members, administrators, vet- eran teachers, and so many new and pre-service teachers. There is momentum and we want to hit the ground running.

For more information about PMEPD, please visit www.

Colleen Conway is Professor of Music Education at the University of Michigan and Editor in Chief of Arts Educa- tion Policy Review. She has published more than 70 articles and six books on beginning music teachers, instrumental music education, teaching music in higher education, and qualitative research.

Andrea VanDeusen is a PhD student in music education at Michigan State University. Previously, Andrea taught cho- ral and general music in Michigan, New Jersey, and Swit- zerland. She received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Western Michigan University.

MMEA wishes to thank JWPepper & Son, Inc., for their generous sponsorship of numerous MMEA events, including: • Fall Elementary Music Workshop • Collegiate Conference • Elementary Choral Festivals • Spring Board Meeting Luncheon

Please visit their website: 34

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40