Alfred Music Advocates for Music Education in Washington, D.C. As Part of NAMM Music Education Advocacy D.C. Fly-In
June 5, 2019
Alfred Music, the world leader in educational print music publishing since 1922, helps the world experience the joy of making music and whole-heartedly believes that music should be accessible to anyone who wishes to learn, teach, or play.
During the week of May 20-24, Alfred Music business leaders Ron Manus, Chief Business Development Officer, and Jennifer Paisley-Schuch, Trade Shows and Partnerships Director, of Alfred Music joined more than 100 music industry leaders, notable artists, and arts education activists to advocate for all school-aged children to have access to quality, comprehensive school music education programs. As part of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Advocacy Fly-In, the delegation met with Members of Congress and other policy stakeholders to reinforce the importance of music as part of a well-rounded education and to urge Congress to fund the Title IV program at its authorized level of $1.65 billion in fiscal year 2020 to ensure that the goals of the Every Student Succeeds Act are realized for every child.
Ron Manus said, “This year we could really see the momentum building in our efforts to get the Every Student Succeeds Act fully funded! It was great showing up in Congressional offices and being greeted with, ‘My favorite meeting of the year’ by our friends in Congress. Music is so important for our schools, it unites the school and brings everyone together in a profound way, after all how can you have a High School Football game without a marching band?! We are fighting to ensure that every child who has the desire to learn and participate has access to a quality music education.”
Jennifer Paisley-Schuch added, “It is such a privilege to participate in the fly-in and fight to ensure that every child has access to a well-rounded education that includes music. Music is important to the growth and development of our youth and I want every child to have the same access and opportunities in music that I was fortunate to have growing up. It is extremely encouraging to hear several of the Congressional offices that we visited agree and offer their support to fully fund the Every Student Succeeds Act.”
The Advocacy week began on Monday, May 20 with a Day of Service at Charles Hart Middle School in Congress Heights. Nearly 60 NAMM Members provided one-on-one instruction on drums, guitars, and ukuleles to students as well as needed maintenance and repair to the school’s musical instruments. In the evening, the delegation delved into the opportunities to advance music education at a special panel session featuring arts leaders, school administrators, and the Save The Music Foundation.
On Tuesday, Manus and Paisley-Schuch prepared for their efforts on Capitol Hill by participating in advocacy training, during which the group was apprised of current issues facing public school music programs and briefed on the Every Student Succeeds Act and the current political climate from a variety of policy and arts leaders. Michael Yaffe, Associate Dean of the Yale School of Music, presented on issues on equity in music education as detailed in the Yale School of Music Declaration on Equity in Music for Students. The report examines the role of music making in the lives of students in America’s cities, both large and small.
That evening, Manus and Paisley-Schuch and the group joined The NAMM Foundation in honoring Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), Committee on Education and Labor, with the SupportMusic Champion Award. The award was presented by former Secretary of Education Richard Riley and NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond to the Chairman, in recognition of the Chairman’s unwavering commitment to music and the arts and for his role as one of the primary authors and champion of the Every Student Succeeds Act. The Act reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for the first time in 13 years and replaced the No Child Left Behind Act. Additionally, in 2017, he worked to secure passage of legislation to reform and update the nation’s career and technical education system, as well as the juvenile justice system in 2018, both of which were signed into law by President Donald Trump.
Upon presentation of the award, the Chairman shared, “I want to thank the National Association of Music Merchants for promoting music and arts education in public schools. We know that access to music and art programs can be a powerful tool for improving student engagement, attendance, and outcomes. We must continue the important work of ensuring that all students have access to high-quality arts and music programs that enrich their development and lead to better educational outcomes.”
On Wednesday, Manus met with Cong. Tony Cárdenas, Cong. Scott Peters, Cong. Duncan Hunter and legislative staff for Cong. Ted Lieu, Cong. Maxine Waters, Cong. Adam Schiff, and Cong. Katie Hill. Paisley-Schuch met with Cong. Kathleen Rice, Cong. Max Rose, and legislative staff for Sen. Charles Schumer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Cong. Jerrold Nadler, Cong. John Katko, Governor Andrew Cuomo's Office., and other elected officials to advocate for school-level music programs across the nation and to discuss the multitude of benefits music education espouses such as increased brain function, focus, and language development. Delegates also shared new research from the Kennedy Center’s Turnaround Arts program and The NAMM Foundation. Researchers explored music education instruction, specialists, and curriculum at Turnaround Arts schools, finding that as schools invested in music education, the quality of and access to music education increased from 27.8% to 75%, and the average number of minutes of music instruction per week increased from 17 to 33, nearing the national average of 40 minutes per week.
Read the release here:
Later Wednesday evening, the delegation, music and arts stakeholders, and others gathered to celebrate former NY Yankee World Series Champion, NAMM Foundation Board Member, music education champion, and accomplished musician Bernie Williams. Williams has served as a delegate on the fly-in for the past 10 years, citing his own passion for music as a catalyst to share the joys of music making and to influence education policy with music to benefit children for decades to come.
Alfred Music is a strong supporter of advocating for access to music education for all children and truly believes that Music Education should not be a luxury—Music Education should be a core requirement. Alfred Music shares NAMM’s vision for the world: “We envision a world in which the joy of making music is a precious element of daily living for everyone; a world in which every child has a deep desire to learn music and a recognized right to be taught; and in which every adult is a passionate champion and defender of the right.”
To download high resolution images from the trip, please click below: [Please note: photos of the NAMM Fly-In events are available for editorial use. Please credit ‘Kris Connor/Getty Images for NAMM.’]
Monday, May 20: NAMM Day Of Service at Charles Hart Middle School Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, May 21: The NAMM Foundation Honors SupportMusic Champion Chairman Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA)
Wednesday, May 22: NAMM Day Of Music Education Advocacy On Capitol Hill
NAMM Celebration Honoring Music Education Champion and former New York Yankee Bernie Williams:
Please see more photos in Alfred Music’s Facebook Album:
TheNational Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,400 member companies located in 104 countries. NAMM events and members fund the NAMM Foundation's efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit www.namm.org, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.