Help spread the word about your program by encouraging parents to invite your school choir to perform at their workplace. Use this Sample Letter to ask for performance opportunities.
Post this short video clip of Jazz Musician Walter Blanding (of Jazz at Lincoln Center acclaim) on your school music blog or run it in a loop before or after your next concert to stir thinking in both your students and their parents about the importance of making music – especially improvising – and the importance of practicing to develop a better skill level and realize full potential. This video will show parents how your program supports their desire for children to:
- Work hard and learn to do things well so they can realize their potential
- Collaborate – work well with others
- Think and Communicate their thoughts and ideas
Critical Thinking, a strong Work Ethic, Persevering to making things happen, and Collaboration / Working Well with others – these are characteristics and qualities that parents desire for their children and future employers are looking for, too. To emphasize the important role Music serves in bringing this out in students, post a link to this article, “My View: Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Music Class” on your webpage or put it in your parent newsletter.
Communication is one of the 4 C’s Parents are thinking about as they look to better their child’s learning. Listening is a big part of that! Get your Parents thinking about the benefits of music education for their child – increasing focus and listening skills through music – with this article. Musical experience actually changes how our brains interact with sound. This NPR talk can help get this important information out. Post this link on your webpage or put it in your parent newsletter: Say What?! Musicians Hear Better. And once your Parents are onto this NPR page, they might even dive into the other music article links that are there.
Some parents may question why music education really matters and whether it is really important to their child’s education (and test scores). There is science to back up the importance of music in education. Put this link on your web page or in your parent newsletter and let them read from a Nobel Prize winner in Medicine and Physiology. For some, it’s the science that speaks to them.
Let the new AOSA Advocacy Brochure do some speaking for you when you may not be available to speak up for your own program. Place a pocket on your music room door with some of the new What is Orff Schulwerk? brochures with the parents information cards inside. New families touring the building can take one and begin to get a sense of the value of Orff-Schulwerk for their child. Parents may also glean some additional ideas to support their child’s musical growth. These materials may be downloaded and printed for your use as often as needed. Information about ordering hard copies can be found on the About AOSA page.
Music and Your Child’s Brain: This short, animation video offers a clear description of ways in which music education directly benefits the development of a young child’s brain. This link would be great to add to your school website – or your music class webpage – so parents will understand how critical your program is for their child. If you need more information to summarize for parents, “Unpacking the Science: How Music Changes the Learning Brain” offers excellent background reading and is a great source of quotes. This article has an excellent section about ways in which music education develops strong executive function (i.e., problem-solving, switching between tasks, and focus).
Share Success Stories: In this college essay, published in The New York Post, parents may come to see the long-range value in sticking with music.
Share Video Vignettes: Another way to build parent support is to give them a view into their child’s experience in the music room. While many teachers share music performances – programs or “Informances” – another way to capture day-to-day happenings in the music room is through video snippets posted on a music web page. There are probably many ways to do this. Here is one simple way that should work for most people:
- Upload the video from your recording device (ipad, camera, phone, etc.) to your computer
- Open Google Drive and upload the file there; when the upload is complete, click share – anyone with the link
- It will take a little while for the video to become available for viewing, but once it has been processed by Google, copy the url link
- On your music website or blogger page, create a link to the video – first type in some text identifying the particular video; highlight that text; click link, paste in the Google url
Most parents are very willing to have videos and pictures of their children shared within their own school community, but not with the general public. Be sure to check for parental permissions before making videos or posting. Sometimes it is necessary to have some students off camera, where they can contribute sound, but not be shown on camera.
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