Founded a little more than one year ago, National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) new Broader MindedTM: Think beyond the bubblesTM campaign is the actualization of thousands of voices – music educators, college professors of music education, music students, parents, and other music education advocates – all speaking in unison for music education’s value in and of itself in preparing our students for today’s educational and professional demands—and fulfilling their needs as whole students.
Today, Broader Minded is in the running for a Nonprofit PR News Award in the website category. “This is the culmination of a year’s work in music education advocacy’s recalibration,” said Christopher Woodside, NAfME’s Assistant Executive Director. “We’re excited for where the next year will take us as we speak for our members and the students they serve.” The awards ceremony takes place at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
As the nominee for a 2015 PR News Nonprofit Award in the website category (the winner will be announced March 12), NAfME’s Broader Minded campaign has grown exponentially in its first year post-launch. Ovation’s Stand for the Arts campaign highlighted Broader Minded in June 2014. And Broader Minded received a Power of A Silver Award from ASAE in July 2014.
Most recently in March 2015, the Broader Minded campaign has mobilized supporters to send more than 10,000 letters to Congress, as well as encouraging 50+ phone calls to congressional offices, during the debate over the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization. Congress has not reauthorized ESEA in over a decade. And now legislators are contending with a vocal music education community empowered by a strong Broader Minded music education advocacy campaign, with compelling arguments and effective advocacy tools.
Once deemed a mere elective, an “extra” in the school day schedule for the privileged few, music education classes (band, orchestra, chorus, general music, among other related classes) quietly staked their place in students’ daily and weekly studies. Thus began a new drumbeat for music education advocacy. Music classes are not electives—they are core.
A visit to the interactive website http://www.broaderminded.com and a click on the Beyond the Bubbles “heart” icon (“Beyond the Bubbles”) reveals those instrinsic benefits of music education: creativity, decision-making, grit, communication, collaboration, emotional awareness, and more. The website also does still include the typical extrinsic benefits (“Inside the Bubbles”) for those looking for that information: higher grade point averages, engagement, higher attendance and graduation rates, and the like.
But those 21st century skills that are prevalent in education policy discussions are the elements the Broader Minded campaign seeks to emphasize in both national legislation and in empowering members to make their case for their music programs.
NAfME looks forward to continuing to equipping its membership and supporters to speak out for all students’ right to a complete, high-quality music education.
National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century. With more than 130,000 members, the organization is the voice of music education in the United States.