The Music Achievement Council (MAC) has announced November 15th as the inaugural First Performance National Day of Celebration (FPNDoC) to celebrate, honor and encourage the early achievements of music students across the United States. The innovative program provides a platform for budding musicians to showcase their newly-acquired musical skills in a public venue within the first 6-7 weeks of school to encourage continued engagement in music, as well as to rally parents, the community and the school at-large in support of the music program.
The new program underscores the importance of active music programs in schools, and more so, to encourage the students’ performance of new musical skills in a positive environment. Studies continue to demonstrate that the benefits of robust, music education programs have ripple effects which enhance student’s acumen across the education spectrum: music students have higher achievement scores in English, math and biology than students who are not active in band; and that more music and art in school equivocate to fewer dropouts and suspensions, as well as a higher graduation rates.
“Just as in sports, with games starting shortly after the beginning of the school year, music students and band directors should also have the chance to honor and recognize their work in creating the skills that last a lifetime,” said Doug Lady, Chairman of the Music Achievement Council. “By celebrating and honoring the early achievements of music students, we’re able to encourage continued development in music and the arts.”
In a recent news story, South Holland School District’s Band Director, Mario Moody, shared that participating in the pilot program of First Performance has engaged his students: “Their attitude and enthusiasm for the school year were different from previous years because of the intensity and focus... I understood that I had to be intentional with each method that I taught to prepare my students to perform well in front of others.” Nyle Taylor, a Band Director at McKinley Junior High School, who also was part of the pilot program said that, “Parents felt like they got a first-hand look into the world of ‘what happens when my child goes to band every day.’ They were overjoyed at seeing their future Mozart, Charlie Parker, or Kanye West performing on such a grand stage.”
To support the effort for music teachers, band leaders and school administration, MAC has produced a First Performance National Day of Celebration Tool Kit, which includes links to scripts, letters to teachers, invitations to parents, and certificates of achievement for the students. Also included are links to an optional repertoire, otherwise the teacher can use their own selected pieces. The publications are available in physical form from local school music retailers or online. School music retailers may order physical copies from Hal Leonard. Download the Tool Kit here.
In the future, the organization will annually designate a date of celebration to be held in the third week of November, a time in which students can learn and practice their instrument, alongside working with their band, and for parents, to witness the progress made.
Participating schools are encouraged to share their progress of their students with national organizers, and to use the social media hashtag, #FPCelebration.
For additional information, please contact publicrelations@NAMM.org.
About The Music Achievement Council:
The Music Achievement Council (MAC) was founded in 1983 to enable more students to begin and stay in instrumental music programs, to share real-world, successful strategies developed by instrumental music teachers. The council reorganized in 1990, forming a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization.