The NAMM Foundation designated 307 school districts across the country as Best Communities for Music Education...The NAMM Foundation designated 307 school districts across the country as Best Communities for Music Education in a record-breaking year for participation. In addition to the Best Community districts, 66 individual schools earned the 2013 SupportMusic Merit Award for providing students with access to comprehensive music education.

The Best Communities designation recognizes collaborative, from-the-ground-up efforts of teachers, administrators, students and parents who continually work to keep comprehensive music education as an integral part of the core curriculum. This year, nearly 2000 schools and school districts participated in the survey - an increase of 366 percent from 2012, resulting in a record number of designations. This year’s increase in survey participation is an indication of growing support from both parents and administrators who recognize the vital role that music learning plays in student achievement.

Now in its 14th year, the BCME program requires each school and district to detail funding, staffing, commitment to standards, and access to music instruction. Responses are meticulously reviewed by researchers at The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas (an affiliate of the University of Kansas) and the NAMM Foundation to calculate the designated districts and awarded schools.

As school districts across the United States finalize 2013-2014 budgets, the announcement of this year’s Best Communities for Music Education designees focuses attention on the importance of keeping music education part of school’s core education. Past designees report that receiving a BCME designation significantly improved their ability to preserve their schools’ music education programs.

For a full list of 2013 designees, visit www.nammfoundation.org.

 

Music & Arts officially kicks off its 60th anniversary celebration this month by hosting the ‘Share Your Passion’ Facebook contest. Music & Arts, the largest band and orchestra instrument retailer and lesson provider in the country, officially kicks off its 60th anniversary celebration this month by hosting the ‘Share Your Passion’ Facebook contest. Student musicians ranging from ages 13 to 18 are encouraged to submit a picture and brief description that represents why they are passionate about music. The top eight finalists will be determined through a vote by Music & Arts’ Facebook community. A panel of judges will award one winner $10,000 in Yamaha instruments for the winner’s school, $2,000 towards a Yamaha instrument and an entire year of lessons from Music & Arts.

Musicians are encouraged to visit www.facebook.com/musicandarts, “like” the page and follow contest instructions. Submissions will be accepted until April 1, 2013. Starting on April 2, fans across the nation will vote to select the top eight finalists. A panel of judges will measure the finalists based on the originality and quality of their photo, description and emotional appeal, and the winning student musician will be announced in early May.

A new U.S. proposal to hopefully streamline customs checks for travelers carrying musical instruments by creating passports for the instruments themselves was debated at a recent global biodiversity conference in Bangkok.A new U.S. proposal to hopefully streamline customs checks for travelers carrying musical instruments by creating passports for the instruments themselves was debated at a recent global biodiversity conference in Bangkok.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife service director Dan Ashe told the delegates at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species that the goal of the program is to make travel easier by doing away with import and export permits.  The proposal may be voted on as early as Friday and would create musical instrument passports, each valid for three years.

Concern over the issue of travel with exotic and protected woods has grown in the U.S. music industry since 2011, when federal agents raided the factories of the Gibson guitar company to seize allegedly illegal ebony wood shipped to the guitar maker from India. Violin bows could cause a similar concern, which presents the need for universal certification.

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) broadcast the following message in honor of this year’s “Music In Our Schools” month...The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) broadcast the following message in honor of this year’s “Music In Our Schools” month:

“Music programs nationwide are in danger. State and local legislators are attempting to make up for funding shortfalls in this difficult economy by cutting education budgets, which can place school music at risk. Advocacy takes place on many fronts, and advocates for music education need to learn to speak to different audiences, each of whom has a key contribution to make. Music In Our Schools Month – March 2013 – is a perfect time to get involved and do your part to ensure that America’s students have access to a comprehensive, sequential music education taught by exemplary music educators!”

The organization listed new programs such as their new “Why Music?” celebrity PSAs, commemorative flag certificates, and more.

Music In Our Schools Month Official Website [http://musiced.nafme.org/events/music-in-our-schools-month].

The Cleveland Orchestra recently spent an entire week coaching, teaching, and performing with local students in an effort to increase public participation in music and highlight the organization’s own educational ambitions.The Cleveland Orchestra recently spent an entire week coaching, teaching, and performing with local students in an effort to increase public participation in music and highlight the organization’s own educational ambitions.

Some of the orchestra’s activities had never been tried before in Northeast Ohio, like a special concert that featured all three of the Orchestra’s affiliated youth ensembles (along with participants in an after-school music program at Cleveland's Rainey Institute) under the direction of music director Franz Welser-Most. The concert also served to inaugurate a program called “Make Music!”

www.clevelandorchestra.com 

Carnegie Hall recently announced the names of the 120 exceptional young musicians from across America ...Carnegie Hall recently announced the names of the 120 exceptional young musicians from across America who have been specially selected to come together from June 30 through July 23, 2013 to create the first-ever National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.

Hailing from 42 US states, these young orchestral players, ages 16-19, have been recognized by Carnegie Hall as being among the finest in the country following a comprehensive audition process. The musicians of the first National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America will travel to New York in late June 2013 for a rigorous two-week training residency on the campus of Purchase College, State University of New York, working with some of the country’s best professional orchestral players. The young musicians will then have the opportunity to represent their country as the NYO-USA undertakes its inaugural international tour with stops at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, followed by dates in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and London. Internationally-renowned conductor Valery Gergiev will lead the NYO-USA in its first year, with the ensemble joined this summer by acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell as soloist. The orchestra’s concert program will include Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 in E Minor, and a new work by young American composer Sean Shepherd, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall especially for NYO-USA. Specific tour dates and venues for all cities will be announced in late spring 2013. “We have been thrilled at the response to our creation of the NYO-USA program,” said Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall. “We are very excited, but not surprised that there is such a depth of world class talent among young musicians across the United States, and we know this first roster will be wonderfully strong.” carnegiehall.org/nyousa

 

Providence, Rhode Island was transformed into a mecca for string players and teachers from February 27 to March 2. SBO was on hand for the 2013 American String Teachers Association national convention, which transformed Providence, Rhode Island into a mecca for string players and teachers from February 27 to March 2. This annual gathering featured over 200 education sessions, a lively exhibit hall, and star-studded performances and concerts. The show boasted over 100 exhibiting companies. Registration was still being processed this week, but records from the show had already topped 1,500 attendees.

"Providence has been an absolutely fantastic site," raved ASTA president Bob Phillips. "It’s great to be here on the East Coast. We’ve had a fantastic response. And the sessions have been going incredibly well." Keep an eye out for more with ASTA's Bob Phillips in the April issue of SBO. www.astaweb.com

On March 19 and 20, artists Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bernie Williams, former NY Yankee and Latin Grammy-nominated jazz guitarist join leaders of the music instrument and products industry in Washington, D.C. ...On March 19 and 20, artists Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bernie Williams, former NY Yankee and Latin Grammy-nominated jazz guitarist join leaders of the music instrument and products industry in Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress on the importance of comprehensive music education in our nation’s schools. The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) organizes the annual Advocacy Fly-In on behalf of school music education programs in public schools, to promote the benefits that playing music can have for children and teens, and to assure that federal education policy and funding advance access to music learning for all children.

Smith, long known for his music-education advocacy efforts adds his voice to NAMM’s Advocacy Fly-In and efforts to support music in America’s schools. “I am a perfect example of someone who's been musically educated exclusively throughout grade school, middle school and high school by the public school system,” the GRAMMY-winning drummer said. “If there hadn't been a music program in my public schools, I would not be where I am today. Every kid – and I mean everyone – needs a chance to learn and grow with music.”

The issue of music education in schools is also close to the heart of longtime music-education advocate and gifted jazz guitarist Williams, who attended previous NAMM Advocacy Fly-in and has taken up the cause as a national advocate for music education. “A lot of what music taught me led to my success in other areas - including professional baseball,” he said. “Music has a profound effect on kids, and education must include music and the arts.”

The College Board, in partnership with the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS), has released a new research report that details the alignment between the 2010 Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math and the National Core Arts Standards currently being written.The College Board, in partnership with the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS), has released a new research report that details the alignment between the 2010 Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math and the National Core Arts Standards currently being written.

The study analyzes parallels between the ELA and Math Standards and the foundations of artistic literacy outlined in the National Core Arts Standards: A Conceptual Framework for Arts Learning, the NCCAS document guiding the work of the writing teams. The Common Core report was prepared by Amy Charleroy, the associate director for the College Board’s Office of Academic Initiatives.

The College Board, an NCCAS partner, has conducted several research projects for the coalition, under the leadership of the Office of Academic Initiative’s senior director, Dr. Nancy Rubino. All of the reports are available on the NCCAS web page

Michael Blakeslee, deputy executive director and chief operating officer of the National Assocation for Music Education (NAfME), said NAfME staff and NAfME members have worked closely with NCCAS throughout the standards writing process for National Core Arts Standards.

The Standards are scheduled to be ready for review early this summer.

The College Board 

Superstar singer Barry Manilow recently donated a piano as part of an instrument drive designed to benefit Fort Wayne Community Schools in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Superstar singer Barry Manilow recently donated a piano as part of an instrument drive designed to benefit Fort Wayne Community Schools in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The drive continues through the spring, which will also bring a Barry Manilow concert to the city’s Memorial Coliseum. Manilow announced that anyone who donates a new or “gently used” instrument at the Coliseum will receive two free tickets to the concert, which is set for April 18. The charity work is part of a long tradition that Manilow has established as part of his Manilow Music Project.

www.manilowmusicproject.com

Directors who make a Difference

For over 20 years, School Band & Orchestra Magazine has been honoring amazing music educators from all 50 states. That's more than 1000 educators recognized for their outstanding contributions to music education programs!

Do you know a fantastic K-12 instrumental music educator who is deserving of recognition in SBO? Tell us why he or she should be featured in SBO’s annual "Directors Who Make a Difference" report.

Click here to nominate a director 

On the Road

Do you have a story to tell about taking your school music groups on the road? SBO wants to hear about it!

Click Here to Submit Your Story

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