We Must All Rise to Honor Schools for Their Exceptional Music Education Programs

Mike Lawson • Commentary • June 11, 2015

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Speech of Hon. Joaquin Castro of TX to the House of RepresentativesWith this article, I happily share one example of the results of advocacy efforts for our Best Communities for Music Education program. I hope it inspires all of us to do more to assure that the music education programs we are close to and care about get the recognition and support they deserve.

On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, Congressman Joaquin Castro of Texas formally submitted a message of congratulations to Memorial High School in San Antonio for earning a SupportMusic Merit Award and to honor their exceptional music education program. As outlined in last month’s article, a NAMM staffer spent several days in early April going to door to door in House and Senate office buildings in Washington D.C. spreading the news about hundreds of school districts and schools that had earned the NAMM Foundation’s designation for Best Community for Music Education (district) or SupportMusic Merit Award (individual school). Over the past several weeks, Members of Congress and Governors in several states have sent letters of congratulations and commendations of various types to these schools, including the formal recognition that was entered into the Congressional Record, our nation’s formal archive for legislative proceedings and day-to-day business. 

Mary LuehrsenNational and state leaders are getting the message that music education is important for student achievement and that strong music education programs are a source of pride for communities of many sizes and types. As music education advocates, we must thank these leaders for their support. We must also share their statements as school budgets are debated, pro-arts education administrative hirings are contemplated, and school curriculum priorities are set. In other words, we all must rise to show our support for music education and if we do, we will continue to close the opportunity gap and assure that every child has the chance to learn and grow with music. 

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