Music Education Group Drives Membership With Legislative Win
With the Every Student Succeeds Act underlining in federal law the value of music education for the first time, the National Association for Music Education is on an upswing—and to take advantage of the renewed interest in the subject, the group is boosting its educational resources for new members.
With a new law giving fresh attention to the role of teaching music in schools, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is using its recent legislative victory to attract new members.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which passed in December, specifically touts music education as an important part of the curriculum.
“Putting music on the same footing with subjects such as math, reading and science is not only profoundly symbolic, but also has several noteworthy benefits that can and should be exploited by advocates during implementation of the legislation,” NAfME Assistant Executive Director Christopher B. Woodside wrote in a recent post on Medium.
Some of those benefits are surfacing in NAfME’s membership drive, which was announced on Tuesday, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. The group is partnering with the nonprofit group Be Part of the Music to offer an expanded membership kit to all new members, who will be jumping into the organization at a time when the ground is shifting around music education as a whole.
“The experience of the first membership year is vital to membership retention,” NAfME’s director of membership, Thomas L. Stefaniak, CAE, explained in a news release. “We sought to create an onboarding strategy that would welcome and summarize membership benefits while also providing the new member with resources that could be immediately used in the classroom.”
NAfME is also working on legislative initiatives to strengthen the punch of music education, including requesting that the federal government ask states for data on the performance of music educators and supporting new legislation that would encourage afterschool music education programs.
“This marks a new day for music educators and music education advocates,” NAfME Executive Director and CEO Michael A. Butera explained in the news release. “And NAfME is leading the charge to ensure music educators are ready to take the lead in their profession, providing a quality music education for all students.”
Information on how the association is taking steps to prepare educators for ESSA is available on the NAfME website.