Advocacy For Politicians
The benefits of music education on students’ academic success, quality of life, and psycho-social development have been well documented. However, there are still many schools across Canada where students do not have access to a quality music program. Some students are taught by non-specialist teachers, while others have no program at all.
We need politicians like you to help ensure music education gets sufficient support and protection, especially when budgets are being drafted. All children and youth must be provided with the opportunity to develop lifelong skills that will not only enrich their growth but also increase their competitiveness in an economy that demands creativity.
As a politician, here is how you can help:
- Understand the important role of music education in the lives of our children.
- Promote the importance of quality Music Education programs in all schools.
- Mandate Music Education as a core subject in school curricula.
- Provide sufficient budgets to enable a quality program that includes adequate resources, facilities, and qualified teaching.
- Support the importance of Music Education specialists.
- Hold schools accountable for failing to meet provincial requirements
To help you identify the attributes of a quality music program, here is an excerpt of a general description that has been drafted in collaboration with the Canadian Music Educators’ Association.
General Description of a Quality Music Program
Pre-Kindergarten to Graduation
- Every student shall study music in each grade in elementary school. In secondary school students will be able to choose from a variety of music programs which shall be available to every student in every academic year.
- The music education program shall be sequential and skill-based and include a wide range of activities leading to clearly defined musical skills and knowledge.
- The required music skills, knowledge and values shall be clearly articulated in a music curriculum that has been developed by qualified music educators.
- Every student shall be taught music by a teacher who is qualified to teach the subject. The music teacher should have a university degree, a teaching certificate, music education training as well as additional in-services and courses which qualify him or her as a music education specialist in the grades being taught.
- Every Board of Education shall have a music education specialist in the position of coordinator/consultant of music and adequate music consultative/resource staff to help maintain a high program standard in music education. All courses require the support of the principal and in the higher grades, the guidance departments.
- Every music education program shall stress creative musical experiences and the joy of participation.
- It is essential that musical sounds, activities, materials and repertoire be of high quality and lasting value.
- In all courses students will learn and express musical concepts using the language of music.
- All programs shall include a rich selection of styles and periods including authentic music from various world cultures.
- Adequate space, facilities, equipment and resources shall be available to support a balanced music education program in each school.
- Grade appropriate technology shall be made available for student learning.
- There shall be an adequate budget to support all instructional and co-instructional music activities.
- There shall be opportunities for students to participate in a variety of music performances in the school and the community throughout the academic year if this is appropriate.
- Music education programs shall include career education, where appropriate.
- Music must maintain its integrity in the curriculum and be taught for its own sake. In addition, music shall be used to enhance and support other curriculum areas.