Advocacy


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    UPCLOSE: MENC AND NAMM JOIN FORCES

    Mike Lawson | December 1, 2003


    Perhaps it seems obvious that a century-old association of music educators and a century-old association of music merchants should join forces for the betterment of musickind. Both the MENC: National Association for Music Education and NAMM: International Music Products Association are committed to the advancement of music-making and the belief that the benefits of studying and performing music are invaluable. Both organizations actively promote their missions on a national and international scale and have continually advocated for better support of the arts and arts education.

    The MENC holds national biennial educators' conferences and NAMM conducts two trade shows for its membership each year. But, for the first time, MENC and NAMM will work side by side on an event that will bring their two worlds into the same orbit - a move that many members feel is long overdue. For five days in April 2004, Minneapolis will become the musical hub of the universe, welcoming music educators, manufacturers, dealers and the general public. The MENC's 59th National Biennial Conference, featuring the first NAMM-produced Music and Sound Expo, will take place at the Minneapolis Convention Center, April 14-18.

    MENC's Executive Director, John J. Mahlmann, and NAMM's President and CEO, Joe Lamond, took time to speak with School Band and Orchestra about their groups' plans for this ground-breaking event.

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    Conducting a Historical Inquiry

    Mike Lawson | May 1, 2002

    Our school was about to close and be merged with the other two high schools in our district, due to declining enrollment and budget pressures. Before the baby boom necessitated multiple high schools, our school was the original high school for the town. This lineage provided us with a history covering more than 125 years. As director of bands at the time, I wanted my students and the community at large to know at least a little bit about the history of bands at this school before it was dissolved.

    I did some homework of my own, going through old yearbooks, scanning old newspaper clippings, talking to former band members and, when possible, former directors. This process proved to be time-consuming but intensely rewarding. The more I found, the more I wanted to know.

    Already resolved to have the students learn something of the band’s history, I decided that telling them wouldn’t be enough. These students would have to experience the discovery process first-hand in order to take a greater interest in the band’s history. In this way, they could take ownership in their own band heritage.

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