Spring Advocacy Season is NOW! NAMM Members Reach Parents and Students With “Why Learn to Play Music?”

In This Article:

The SupportMusic Coalition’s advocacy materials were developed to strengthen local advocacy efforts. You can use them at hometown events, at your school board meeting and when you visit elected officials. They are especially effective in reaching out to parents who may not fully grasp how important music education is for their children.

With the “Spring Advocacy Season” in full bloom, NOW is the time to pump up the volume! Let parents and others in your community know how vital it is for all children to have the benefits of a complete education that includes music.

“Music education is a path to life-long learning and knowledge of self and culture. It facilitates student academic achievement, and supports healthy social development and the quality of a young person’s life. And, it prepares young people for the 21st century workplace.”

Or, as Bono puts it so eloquently:

“Music can change the world because it can change people.”

-- “Why Learn to Play Music?” brochure

A few NAMM members recently shared how the brochures help them to reach parents and inspire students in their communities. Available in print and as a free download here, the updated, bilingual (English and Spanish) brochures make it easy to convey new research and statistics about how music makes big differences in a child’s education and all throughout life.

“I am more than happy to share some experiences on the “Why Learn to Play Music” brochures: they have been fantastic and play an integral part in our efforts to boost the number of music students in school,” says Shane Deuel, Director of School Services at Summerhays Music Center in Murray, Utah. “We are very involved with area music teachers in their recruitment process, and we have given thousands of these brochures to band and orchestra student musicians.”

“The brochure tells parents in a clear and convincing way that learning to play an instrument is beneficial to their children in all areas of life,” Deuel adds. “‘Why Learn to Play Music?’ has immense credibility since it comes from a national organization and cites specific scientific studies.”

“The skills gained through sequential music instruction including discipline and the ability to analyze, solve problems, communicate and work cooperatively are vital for success in the 21st century workplace. According to a 2008 report, employers identify creativity as one of the tope five skills important for success in the workforce.”

-- Why Learn to Play Music?”

Each year, Fuller’s Music in New Bern, North Carolina creates about 2,000 information packets: they give them to Band and Orchestra Directors who then share them with prospective students during their recruiting sessions. Fuller’s has included copies of the “Why Learn to Play Music?” brochure for the last four years and, says Wade Fuller, President, “we have found them to be a very effective tool to help educate parents on the need to expose their children to music education. The brochure has become a great recruiting tool for us because it’s very colorful, easy to read (in Spanish, too) and the information applies to beginners who want to learn to play all types of music. ‘Why Learn to Play Music?’ incorporates the current data on what music education can do for students, and it’s become a big hit with our band and orchestra directors too, because it reinforces what they’re telling prospective students.”

In Ohio, Royalton Music Center uses the “Why Learn to Play Music?” brochures at rental and information nights for beginners. “This is a great resource to hand to a parent who may be choosing among many activities for their child, and we give it out along with our rental information,” says Lauren Haas Amanfoh, President and COO. “The pamphlet shows parents the numerous benefits of playing an instrument, and does so in a succinct, visually appealing format. It also showcases that music education is NOT an elective, but a necessity to a school’s core curriculum.”

“Music and the arts are vital elements of the core curriculum. The U.S. Department of Education designates arts education as part of the core curriculum. A Gallup Poll revealed that 94 percent of Americans consider music to be a part of a well-rounded education.”

-– “Why Learn to Play Music?”

Peter Sides, President of Robert M. Sides Family Music Centers in PA and NY, says the “Why Learn to Play Music?” brochures are an integral part of their fall back-to-school instrument rental season promotions. “We include a comprehensive accessory kit that is customized by instrument so parents, students and teachers don’t have to worry about showing up to the first lesson without the proper materials. Of course, the “Why Learn to Play Music?” brochure from the SupportMusic Coalition is in the kits along with products from NAMM members. The brochures provide the much-needed ‘reasons why’ parents should feel good about their decision to bring music into the lives of their children, now and in the future. More and more of our rentals are being done online these days. Since busy parents are unable to attend the recruitment meetings where this type of information is shared by many music educators in our area, we can’t afford to miss any opportunity to educate our customers, the parents: this brochure does that for us.”

Here are a few more suggestions on how YOU can use “Why Learn to Play Music?” brochures in your community during the Spring Advocacy Season:

- Share them with audiences at school spring music concerts.
- Make them available at community events such as farmers markets, holiday parades, arts and crafts festivals, open houses and community events where student musicians perform, and include them in Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Center and realtor brochure displays.
- Personally give a copy of the brochure to each of your school board members, school board administrators and elected officials – either at an informal meeting over coffee or drop one off at their office with a handwritten note.
- Email a personal note to parents, teachers, students and community leaders with a link to the brochure and other advocacy materials: there, you may also download the free PDF file and send it as an attachment.
- Submit the online link/PDF file to your school newsletter, local newspaper or other community mailing lists that reach parents, along with a brief note suggesting an article.

Have a great Spring Advocacy Season!

Please send an email to supportmusic@namm.org if you have success stories to share about how you’ve used “Why Learn to Play Music?” in your community, or let us know if you would like print copies of the brochure.