This past October, I had the pleasure of meeting Christopher Woodside (@MarylanDChris), Assistant Executive Director at National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and music lobbyist, at the PMEA District 7 Music Conference. He opened the conference with a talk about reinventing music advocacy, which inspired a previous blog post on this.
Christopher’s National Voice of Music Education talk brought focus to the idea that music educators we are advocating that learners participating in music helps score better on standardized tests. This is what we think that administrators and classroom teachers want to hear and will keep us in our classrooms. This is one way of advocating. NAfME and the Broader Minded movement has another idea.
I share the belief that music positivley impacts academic achievement. I think that it goes beyond that. Understanding the world better is a residual of learners engaging in the authentic processes of creating and expressing musically. Music shapes the way our students understand themselves and the world around them. The Broader Minded Movement asks everyone to think beyond the bubbles of standardized tests and educate the whole student.
Here is the thing, learning is learning and thinking is thinking. Content areas are a way to curate thinking, much like hashtags. Teaching conceptually and through processes makes the learning holistic. There are unique ways of knowing the world through music that beings out expressive qualities in learners. Performing, composing, arranging, remixing, and genre shifting are a few processes in which learners are asked to collaborate, think critically, communicate, create, revise, and make decisions, all within the constraints of an essential question.
The video below shows how music can be a way to model and practice grit. “I wasn’t good when I started playing music, but I kept practicing and worked hard because I loved it, and I got better. I got blisters on my fingers when learning the guitar, but I played through them and it has made all the difference.”
If you think there is more to a music educate than scoring higher on a standardized tests, please consider joining the Broader-Minded: Beyond The Bubbles Movement and Share Your Story Here.
Thank you NAfME and Christopher Woodside for advocating for us. Read the Press Release Here