Mar 22 2021

SIGN THE PLEDGE – Arts ARE Education

Mar 01 2021

THANK YOU to music educators and administrators for keeping music alive during COVID

Artists from across the scope of music and songwriting have come together in collaboration with the National Music Council (NMC) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) to thank music educators and administrators for their continuing perseverance during these challenging times. The hope is that the messages of appreciation in this video are able to help uplift and inspire music educators to keep the music playing.

This video kicks off Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM), which occurs every year in March as a push for schools across the nation to focus on the importance of music education. The events and programs surrounding MIOSM are a perfect way to increase the awareness of the lifelong benefits that K-12 music programs provide students.

Many of America’s greatest artists want to let music teachers know that their efforts really do make an enormous, positive difference in the lives of students, especially in times of a crisis. Award winning musicians and songwriters Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Paul Shaffer, Rosanne Cash, John Rich (Big & Rich), Jim Lauderdale, Steve Winwood, Nile Rodgers (Chic), Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Take 6, and the late Chick Corea – along with Country Music Television’s “Next Women of Country” Class of 2021 group Chapel Hart and up and coming singer-songwriter Paige King Johnson, all offer inspirational words throughout the video. We join them in celebrating our music teachers during Music in Our Schools Month!

Feb 12 2021

Paying Tribute to Chick Corea

The National Music Council of the United States mourns the loss of its longtime friend and colleague, the musical genius Chick Corea. Few artists and composers have ever given so much of their time and energies in support of music education and the mentoring of the next generations of music creators as Mr. Corea did. He will be missed by everyone with whom he came in contact, but the memories of the musical gifts he bestowed on so many will last lifetimes. Enjoy this wonderful clip from the NMC American Eagle Awards in 2018.


Chick Corea at the American Eagle Awards 2018

Feb 12 2021

National Music Council’s Winter 2021 Newsletter

National Music Council Thanks and Honors Music Educators Across America
To honor the heroic efforts of our nation’s music teachers and administrators, who are working tirelessly to “keep the music playing” in our schools and for our children during the pandemic, the National Music Council invited artists and songwriters to share their support for music education and music teachers.

Nov 23 2020

Performing Arts Aerosol Study Reports 3rd Release of Preliminary Results

The COVID-19 related Performing Arts Aerosol Study, being sponsored by an unprecedented coalition of music and performing arts organizations including the National Music Council, is entering its final phase.  We are pleased and proud to share this third, updated Report with you, which can be accessed at the following link:

https://www.nfhs.org/articles/unprecedented-international-coalition-led-by-performing-arts-organizations-to-commission-covid-19-study/

Updates include:

We cannot thank NMC members and our other partners enough for their support in making this crucially important project possible. It has saved thousands of music and performing arts programs across the country. We are working hard to ensure decision makers at the local, state, and nation levels have access to this information when making decisions on the needs, health and welfare of music students everywhere.

Sep 06 2020

National Music Council Invites Artists to Share Their Appreciation for Music Educators During the COVID Pandemic

The National Music Council of the United States invites artists to share their support for music education and music teachers by submitting a brief video thanking them for their commitment to our children. Tell them how important school music was for you. Tell them how big an impact your school music teacher had on you as a student. Let them know that their efforts really matter, especially in times of crisis.

Submit your 30-60 second video to David Sanders at sandersd@montclair.edu.

 
Here’s what some friends of the Council have to say to music teachers and administrators:

Sep 06 2020

National Music Council Thanks and Honors Music Educators Across America

We thank the heroic efforts of the nation’s music teachers and administrators who are working tirelessly to “keep the music playing” in our schools and for our children.

We support you.
We appreciate you.
We love you.
We need you.
We want you safe.

 
Here’s what some friends of the Council have to say to music teachers and administrators:

The NMC continues to invite artists to share their support for music education and music teachers by submitting a video thanking them for their commitment to our children to sandersd@montclair.edu.

Aug 13 2020

National Music Council’s Summer 2020 Newsletter

Over 125 organizations have pledged their support and donated time and resources to find ways to reduce the risk of returning to rehearsals and performances for music, speech, debate, theatre, academic, and aerobic activities. Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Maryland are over one month into a six-month study.

Aug 12 2020

Second Round of Performing Arts Aerosol Study Produces Encouraging Preliminary Results

Over 125 organizations have pledged their support and donated time and resources to find ways to reduce the risk of returning to rehearsals and performances for music, speech, debate, theatre, academic, and aerobic activities. Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Maryland are over one month into a six-month study.

The study, commissioned by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) and a coalition of more than 125 performing arts organizations, including the National Music Council, has generated a second set of preliminary results that provides further optimism for mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on performing arts activities.

Preceded by initial results released on July 13 that centered on aerosol pathways from a soprano singer and subjects playing four different musical instruments, the second phase of experimentation investigated aerosol from additional singers and instruments, as well as theatre performers. A final report, which will incorporate more testing on the aforementioned areas along with speech and debate activities and an aerobic simulation, is expected with the completion of the study in December.

“The goal of this study from the beginning was to identify the issues of aerosol production in performing arts activities, and to find a way forward so these activities will survive the pandemic,” said study co-chair Dr. Mark Spede, CBDNA President and Clemson University director of bands. “We are identifying ways performing arts participants can meet in person with the lowest risk possible.”Powered by research teams at the University of Colorado and the University of Maryland, the study’s second round of findings is highlighted by five principal takeaways related to masks, distance, time, air flow and hygiene with the goal of creating the safest possible environment for bringing performing arts back into classrooms, band rooms, rehearsal spaces, performance halls and on athletic fields.

The most recent findings for performing arts participants in music, band, choir, speech and theatre reinforced the masking measures from the original study results. Those results found that affixing masks to participants and applying bell cover “masks” to musical instruments significantly reduced the range of aerosol particle emissions.

Personal masks should be well-fitting, multi-layered, washable or disposable, and surgical in style. Ideally, bell covers should be made of non-stretchy material that has a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of 13 – a rating known to protect against cough and sneeze, bacteria and virus particles. However, any type of covering is better than nothing.

Long-established social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (6 feet by 6 feet) should be applied at all times, with additional space (9 feet by 6 feet) allocated to accommodate trombone players. Masks can be optional but are strongly recommended while performing or rehearsing outdoors; instrument bell covers, however, should be used in all settings.

Study statistics indicate limiting rehearsal times to 30 minutes or less significantly reduces the quantity and spread of aerosol among the individuals involved. Following an indoor rehearsal, activities leaders should wait until at least one HVAC air change has occurred prior to using the same room again although three air changes is the goal. Outdoors, playing should stop for approximately five minutes after each 30-minute segment to allow the aerosol to disperse.

As can be expected, optimal air flow is achieved during outdoor rehearsals. For programs looking to use tents as a means of sheltering performers outdoors, open-air tents – those with high rooftops and without walls – should be employed. HEPA filters are strongly recommended to increase the amount of clean air and the number of air changes per hour for indoor rehearsals.

Additional guidance can be found on the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-
Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) website: https://www.ashrae.org.

Finally, the second round of results places a strong emphasis on hygiene. In addition to basic hygienic measures like keeping common areas sanitized and encouraging frequent handwashing, it is recommended that instrument spit valves be emptied onto absorbent sheets such as puppy pads rather than directly onto the floor.

While several months of research remain ahead for the aerosol study, co- chair Dr. James Weaver, NFHS Director of Performing Arts and Sports, believes the preliminary findings and subsequent recommendations have already made a great impact on the feasibility of conducting performing arts activities in the near future.

“We know there are elevated aerosol productions that exist in performing arts activities,” Weaver said. “We feel strongly that the performing arts field is committed to the safety and well-being of all students, with a clear desire to understand what happens when
instruments are played, or people engage in singing, theatre or other expressive artistic experiences. We are beginning to understand what steps can be taken to mitigate concerns and allow students to engage in the many life- affirming experiences that are central to the arts.”

The National Music Council is proud to have been one of the sponsoring organizations of the study and recognizes NMC members NAMM, National Federation of High Schools, College Band Directors National Association, Country Music Association Foundation, Music Teachers National Association, Music Publishers Association of the US, National Association for Music Education, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies, and Songwriters Guild of America for their generous support of the project.

2nd Release of Preliminary Results on August 6th:

YouTube Presentation (Clean and Updated Audio)

Press Release on 2nd Round of Preliminary Data

PDF with 2nd Round of Preliminary Results

Preliminary results for woodwinds and brass released July 13th:

Preliminary Recommendations from International Performing Arts Aerosol Study Based on Initial Testing Results

Press Release on Initial Findings

PDF with information about how the study was conducted, preliminary results and general considerations

YouTube Presentation on Round 1 of Results

To learn more about the researchers and contributors, view past preliminary results and browse additional resources related to the aerosol study, please visit: https://www.nfhs.org/articles/unprecedented-international-coalition-led-by-performing-arts-organizations-to-commission-covid-19-study/

Aug 06 2020

Protecting the Lives of Music Creators Throughout the World

August 7, 2020. NEW YORK CITY. The member organizations of the National Music Council of the United States, an alliance representing over a million music professionals and supporters across the United States, wish to express both their grief and their continuing deep concern over the murder last month of celebrated Ethiopian singer-songwriter Hachalu Hundessa. Tragically, hundreds more Ethiopians have been killed or injured in the violent protest events that followed the murder. The National Music Council appreciates that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali has offered condolences, and assurances that a vigorous investigation is ongoing. Our hope is that this effort will be carried out transparently, providing foreign embassies the opportunity to closely monitor developments.

Through his music, Hundassa was an outspoken critic of the unequal treatment of Ethiopia’s ethnic Oromo minority, of which both he and the Prime Minister were and are members. And like other artists and songwriters before him, including revered Chilean folk singer and composer Victor Jara who was murdered by the Pinochet Junta a half-century ago, there is a distinct possibility that Hundassa was targeted because of his political influence as a music creator. We are optimistic that a thorough, independent investigation will uncover the reasons for this brutal crime, and that constructive suggestions for how bloodshed can be avoided in the future will be acted upon.

Political violence against singers, writers, journalists and other creators is on the rise in general throughout the world. The National Music Council joins the rest of the global community of music creators in condemning and demanding an immediate end to this viciously, anti-democratic trend, and will be petitioning governments to take immediate action in pursuit of that goal on an international basis.

The National Music Council and International Music Council also join the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed (2013) in the following statement: “All persons enjoy the right to freedom of artistic expressions and creativity…as well as the right of artists to dissent, to use political, religious and economic symbols as a counter-discourse to dominant powers, and to express their own belief and world vision.”