The National Association for Music Education and the Music Education Policy Roundtable, of which the National Music Council is a member, have been invited to develop and participate in a Congressional briefing on the importance of maintaining access to music education programs. The briefing, sponsored by Rock and Roll Caucus and Caucus Co-chair, Marcia Fudge (OH -11), is slated to take place on April 3rd, from 2 – 3 PM EDT in the Rayburn House Office Building Room 2456.
Titled “Music Matters,” the briefing will feature a panel comprised of representatives from several prominent music education organizations, including Roundtable Member-Groups NAfME and VH1: Save the Music Foundation. The focus of the proceedings will be on informing the masses about the importance of our legislative agenda and support for it through the Music Education Policy Roundtable.
We will also introduce, and share with attendees, the exciting new “Broader Minded” advocacy campaign. If you would like to add your organization to the list of groups endorsing Broader Minded, please contact Chris Woodside, and your logo will be added to the endorsements page: http://www.broaderminded.com/endorsements.html.
We have also set up a “write your member of Congress” page where constituents can urge their legislators and their staff to attend this Thursday’s briefing. We invite you to please share this with your members as well. Encouragement from constituent voices to their members of Congress could effectively drive the target audience we want to this briefing to promote music education. The web page is: http://www.broaderminded.com/congress.html.
Thank you, as always for your continued support of our collaborative music education advocacy efforts. Opportunities such as this one are extremely precious and rare, and demonstrate the progress that we are making as a coalition in both furthering the cause and asserting our relevance.
The 57th Annual New York Emmy® Award nominations include two for the National Music Council/ Music Publishers’ Association “Copy Kid” animated PSA that encourages kids to respect the rights of creators. The piece is nominated in both the Community/Public Service and Graphic Arts/Animation categories. The animation is part of a new, innovative education tool for primary school students designed to teach respect and admiration for creators, inventors and their works.
Developed by NMC Executive Director and Montclair State University Professor, Dr. David Sanders, entertainment attorney and Songwriters Guild of America counsel Charles J. Sanders, and award winning animation creators Bevin Carnes, the lesson plan and educational extension activities is available to educators via a free website, http://www.IMadeIt.org. The program was created to teach young students the consequences of disrespecting the rights of creators, and how activity such as appropriating the work of others without permission negatively impacts upon creators and stifles creativity in general.
“This project is part of a world-wide effort by creators to foster an understanding that the online protection of creative work enhances freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas, rather than encroaching on them.” said Dr. David Sanders in announcing the curriculum.” The rampant disrespect for the creative and property rights of not just music creators, but creators of in all types of media, has resulted in incalculable harm over the past decade not only to the individual creators, but also to American culture as a whole. It is impossible to determine exactly how many composers and songwriters have stopped creating because they can no longer afford to do so, but suffice it to say that the problem of Internet piracy which has resulted in the diminution of music community income by well over fifty percent since 1999 has been personally devastating to most. One of the best long term ways to address and eventually reverse this trend is through education, starting in the youngest grade levels, by teaching respect for creators and their rights.”
Plans are underway to hold the NMC’s 2014 American Eagle Awards, Leadership in Music Symposium and annual membership meeting in Nashville this coming July. The presentations will coincide with the International Musical Product Association’s Summer NAMM Show. This will be the first time the American Eagle Awards will be held outside of New York City. Details to follow!
January 15, 2014
Earlier this week, Congress released a final, bipartisan omnibus spending bill to fund all discretionary federal programs through the end of the current fiscal year. The bill is generally good news for education, restoring nearly all pre-sequester levels and including significant increases for early childhood education.
The bill contains $67 billion in discretionary funding for education, approximately $811 million less than in the 2012 fiscal year, the last year that Congress passed a final spending bill. In particular:
• The bill clearly supports early childhood education programs. Head Start would get $612 million above sequester levels. Appropriators also expanded Early Head Start by $500 million, in addition to a Race to the Top set-aside of $250 million to develop and enhance pre-K programs for four-year-olds.
• Formula grants, including Title I, were also favored. Title I programs are funded at $14.3 billion, close pre-sequester levels. Impact Aid and IDEA state grants are also funded close to pre-sequester levels; $1.3 billion and $11.5 billion respectively.
• Competitive grants, including Race to the Top and the School Improvement Grants program, were not favored as well. Funding for RTTT grants was reduced to $250 million, with all moneys going to early learning. The School Improvement Grant program is funded at its sequester level of $505 million.
• The bill includes $25 million in funding for the Arts In Education program at the U.S. Department of Education (previously zeroed out in other funding efforts).
Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, praised the spending bill’s focus on early learning. “The funding announced today makes critical investments in early learning because we know that learning begins at birth and preparation for learning begins before birth,” Harkin said. “We took a thoughtful approach to funding these critical programs because this bill funds America’s priorities; it is the bill in which we invest in our future.”
The bill is expected to come before the House for a vote on Wednesday and before the Senate by the weekend.
A few additional updates on national funding, programs and initiatives:
• Title I funding continues to be so very important, as it serves the nation’s most disadvantaged students. Music and the arts, among other core classes, have benefited greatly from access to Title I funding streams. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) links Title I funding relief to “annual measurable objectives,” or improvements linked to standardized tests. Despite strong incentives, most states have failed to achieve the minimum standards. In fact, since fall of 2011, 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Bureau of Indian Education have requested waivers for their schools. A top priority for education advocates, a new draft of ESEA is likely to be on agendas again at some point this year.
• The STEAM movement, pioneered by the Rhode Island School of Design, has worked to combine arts with the push for science, technology, engineering, and math education. At present, the many STEAM recommendations focus on arts integration: that is, art-related projects taught by STEM teachers, which, in our opinion, do not adequately involve trained music and arts teachers. This means that, in theory, schools can claim to offer “arts education” even if students have no access to sequential, standards-based arts instruction. NAfME stands by the consistent findings of research showing that regular music classes cannot be replaced with occasional integrated projects. In 2014, we will work to strengthen STEAM recommendations, ensuring that music and the arts are given the same weight as other STEAM-centric subjects.
• Representative George Miller (D-CA-11) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) have been working on a draft of “The Early Childhood Education Improvement Act 2014” that seeks to expand access to early childhood education, drastically. The majority of the bill’s components focus on funding free pre-kindergarten childcare programs in schools and voluntary home visit programs for at-risk families. Early childhood education is strongly linked to academic achievement for children, and many education organizations, including NAfME, support it.
• Programs and initiatives such as Race to the Top, Common Core, and Turnaround Arts also raise questions about meaningful evaluations for students and teachers. NAfME will continue to monitor these fronts, supporting standards-based, sequential music education and a more comprehensive approach to measuring results than standardized tests.
As we move forward into 2014, state legislatures will look to national trends to see where they should be focusing attention.
The National Music Council is a Music Education Policy Roundtable Member and is celebrating its 72nd Anniversary as a forum for the free discussion of this country’s national music affairs and problems. The Council was founded in 1940 to act as a clearinghouse for the joint opinion and decision of its members and to work to strengthen the importance of music in our life and culture. The Council’s initial membership of 13 has grown to almost 50 national music organizations, encompassing every important form of professional and commercial musical activity.
The mobilization of the Music Education Policy Roundtable (which has grown to 27 member-groups with many additional groups expressing interest in joining) is more important now than ever before. In association with the Roundtable, NAfME plans to introduce new advocacy materials in the upcoming months, designed to help millions of students, parents and teachers advocate for music education’s place in our nation’s schools. We look forward to many exciting new advocacy ventures this year and beyond—stay tuned to NAfME’s Groundswell website (http://advocacy.nafme.org/) for ways to get involved.
The IMC, together with the Queensland Conservatorium, organized the 5th IMC World Forum on Music in Brisbane, Australia from November 21-24. Some of the Forum’s sessions were recorded and are available for viewing here. As part of the Forum, the IMC presented its Musical Rights Awards. The winners were ‘Orchestra of Indigenous Instruments and New Technology’ hosted by Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, Argentina; ‘Music and Resilience’ for the Palestinian Refugees of Lebanon hosted by Associazione Prima Materia, Italy; and ‘Remix the Orchestra’ hosted by Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO), New Zealand. Find the IMC’s press release here for more information on these projects.
The National Music Council of the United States is the official representative of the United States to the International Music Council.
Paris, 9 December 2013. – The 35th General Assembly of the International Music Council, held in Brisbane, Australia, 24-25 November 2013, adopted a series of key decisions that will pave the way to building greater capacity of the organization and its members to work towards its vision to be the world’s leading professional organization dedicated to promotion of the value of music in the lives of all people.
During the next two years, the IMC will, in co-operation with or through its members, focus its efforts on three external strategic objectives:
• Affirming culture as the 4th pillar of sustainable development
• Promoting and protecting creativity and creators’ rights
• Placing early childhood music education at the forefront of the music education agenda
Each objective will be achieved through policy-making and advocacy, collaboration and information exchange, projects and research, as well as targeted membership services.
The National Music Council of the United States is the official representative of the United States to the International Music Council.
The International Council of Music Creators (CIAM) and its associate partner alliances ALCAM (Latin America), ECSA (Europe), Music Creators NA (US and Canada) and PACSA (Africa) launched the FAIR TRADE MUSIC project at the 2013 World Creators Summit, co-sponsored last June by the National Music Council in Washington, DC. The project was originally proposed by Music Creators NA and approved by the CIAM Congress in Costa Rica last April.
Inspired in many ways by the well known “Fair Trade Coffee” movement, the project has the primary objective of certifying that all actors in the music business adhere to standards of transparency and fair compensation for music creators. These standards are to be developed and approved by music creators them-selves. The details of the project will be developed in the months to come.
The project has been announced by CIAM’s chair Lorenzo Ferrero at the Summit opening cocktail and at the CISAC General Assembly. The announcement received immediate attention from publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Business Wire.
The National Music Council once again co-sponsored Arts Advocacy Day, joining Americans for the Arts and a host of other national, state, and local arts agencies to lobby Congress on a broad range of issues that impact performers, educators, and local organizations that bring a robust arts presence to their communities.
NMC Director David Sanders led a delegation that included AFM Legislative Political Director Alfonso Pollard and several Montclair State University arts and education students. The schedule included visits to Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Lamar Alexander (RTN), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ). On the House side, the team visited Representatives John Kline (R-MN), George Miller (D-CA), and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) who serves as chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus. In addition to the arts advocacy focus on music education, Sanders and Pollard also discussed the importance of the National Endowment for the Arts, underscoring its positive impact on American orchestras, jazz, and folk music. The critical issue of copyright protection and performance rights were also raised.
A highlight of the advocacy activities centered on the 26th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy. Internationally renowned cellist and humanitarian Yo Yo Ma delivered this year’s lecture with remarkable intellect and outstanding talent. Ma’s riveting lecture, “Art for Life’s Sake: A Roadmap from One Citizen Musician,” centered on the “edge effect” and the important confluence of politics, economics, and culture.