I had the chance to sit in on a few webinars this week about where we are and where we are headed. I’ll link them both below, but wanted to share some bullet points that I feel are very important for each and everyone one of us as we begin to close out this school year and look to the future. Credit and thanks go to Bob Morrison and Scott Lang for the work they put into both of these presentations!
- CHANGE THE HOW, NOT THE WHAT.
Whatever the teaching structure is that we’re going to involved with this fall, remember that the components of the curriculum shouldn’t change! Every single of us will need to adapt in some way, and the quicker we’re able to do that, the better off your situation will be.
- SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING MUST BE AT THE TOP OF THE PRIORITY LIST.
We know all of the “soft skills” that music education fosters in students – and we use them constantly in our recruiting and retention efforts. Now is the time to really take stock of those and how you can let those in your community know as well!
- DON’T SAY “CAN’T” TO ANY IDEA!
Students WILL seek out music programs that offer what they want if your program can not give it to them in a new environment. The same can be said for any program that exists in your school district.
- EVERY CHILD STILL NEEDS ACCESS TO MUSIC EDUCATION IN A NEW LEARNING ENVIRONMENT.
- GET INVOLVED WITH YOUR DISTRICT’S RE-OPENING DISCUSSION. NOW.
While you may not have heard about anything in your own district, every district has been having this conversations, even if it’s just at the administrative level. I would strongly recommend that someone in your department reach out now and offer to be a part of the conversation. The last thing anyone wants is to be
- ADVOCATE FOR YOUR PROGRAM – BUT BE A TEAM PLAYER!
PMEA, PIAA, and other organizations state wide have begun conversations on how to create a unified approach to whatever happens to education. Personally, this is the best news that I’ve read about the state of education in PA in the last month! You need to approach this the same way within your districts. What is good for music is going to be good for every other encore, special, related arts or athletic endeavor.
Bob’s session this week was part of the larger one hosted by NAMM. I’d recommend skipping to 50:00 in the presentation to listen to his portion.
Like I said last week – there is a LOT out there, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The same goes for every single person in your building – up through and including your superintendent.
PLEASE keep me posted if you run into any “red flag” conversations within your school systems. The more we know, the more prepared we can be to assist you!