Program Health

When working with Paige's Music in Indianapolis, Indiana, local band directors give the game "red light, green light" a new twist. Tim Dawson, director of school sales at Paige's, works with band directors to put together presentations about instrument inventory based on red, yellow and green traffic lights.
When busloads of middle school students with the Mater Dei Music Academy pull up to Disneyland or Knott's Berry Farm, motivated young musicians disembark, ready to perform and have fun. After their concert, they enjoy the rides at these Orange County, California, theme parks.
In Case Study: Private School Outreach, we learned about the Mater Dei Music Academy. The middle school students in the program join the Mater Dei High School band — a close-knit group of about 50 — for several performances throughout the year. To form a cohesive unit among students from a variety of schools and ages, Taylor Smith — director of the Music Academy and associate band director at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California — created a mentorship program.
Dr. Emily Threinen, director of bands and associate professor of music at the University of Minnesota, talked about her teaching philosophy in the blog post, Emily Threinen: Music's North Star. Here, she focuses on how music educators have an opportunity to strive for inclusive musical experiences and repertoire for students and audiences. "Our music selections highlight our values. Making decisions on programming is incredibly personal, complicated, sometimes controversial and critical," she says.
You have grand plans for your music program, but money is tight. In 2015, music educators celebrated the passing of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which calls for a "well-rounded education" that includes music and the arts. But it's been almost five years since ESSA was signed into law, and your program is working to stretch every dollar.  
Socialization is typically a by­product of a music program. However, in one music class at Parkway Central Middle School in Chesterfield, Missouri, socialization is the goal. Parkway Central hosts a chapter of United Sound, a national not-for-profit program that provides musical performance experiences for students with special needs through peer mentorship.
In Case Study: Peers Support Peers at a United Sound Chapter in Missouri, we looked at how Parkway Central Middle School's band members have embraced being peer mentors to special-needs students through United Sound, a nonprofit that provides musical performance experiences for special-needs children.
You can feel the enthusiasm and hear the reverberating sound of music and movement. Every summer, 75 high school students in Fort Worth, Texas, can hone their percussion skills at one of the most opulent places in the city, the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall.
Responsible financial planning by the booster club is critical to the short-term and long-term success of your music program.
"It's sad that music has been cut from our public schools" is a sentiment that, unfortunately, is heard all too often these days. But I'm happy to report that the winds are changing. 

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