This week I continue my conversation with Donna Schwartz of Music Teachers’ Resource Guide. We talk about her two masters degrees and whether she’d do it all again, why she believes music education in our schools is so vulnerable, and her two biggest goals.
- How Donna got into music education
- Why she got out of music education, and how her side trip helped her
- Why Donna left New York for California
- Why this music educator will never stop educating herself
- How students learn music, and why and how they should learn it differently
- How learning music is like learning a foreign language
About Tony Mazzocchi, author of The Music Parents Guide
A GRAMMY® nominated music educator, Anthony Mazzocchi has performed as a trombonist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, San Diego Symphony, San Diego Opera, Riverside Symphony, Key West Symphony, in various Broadway shows and numerous recordings and movie soundtracks.
Tony has served as faculty or as a frequent guest lecturer at The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and Mannes College of Music. He has taught students from kindergarten through college, and has served as a district Director of Fine and Performing Arts in the South Orange/Maplewood School District. Tony has been a consultant for arts organizations throughout the NY/NJ area.
Tony is currently Associate Director of the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University in New Jersey. He is also Executive Director of theKinhaven Summer Music School in Weston, Vermont. Tony is a clinician for Courtois – Paris.
Bless your heart.
The Texas Classroom Teachers’ Association TRIED to help celebrate Music In Our Schools month (MIOSM).
It just didn’t quite work.
Here is the story of the MIOSM Sax Fail of 2015.
For the record, the sax is missing its mouthpiece and neck strap altogether, and her hands are holding the instrument incorrectly.
A few people noticed, apparently, and down came the post.
Facebook took it more seriously. (Most of them, anyway.)
As you can see, some of the replies by teachers are borderline vitriolic. And really, it was a mistake that got fixed (arguably—some commenters feel that a new, correct image should be posted in support of Music in Our Schools month).
So why all the venom toward the Texas Classroom Teachers’ Association?
Perhaps it all boils down to disrespect.
Teaching, as a profession, is not well respected in our current political climate. Music educators are respected even less. Programs are getting slashed.
The unenlightened feel that music isn’t a “real” or an “important” school subject, that kids enrolled in music are “just having fun,” which of course they should be doing on their OWN time, not on the taxpayers’ dime.
Music educators have to fight these biases and misinformation EVERY DAY. And to have an organization—whose sole purpose is to support educators—post an image that propagates music education illiteracy? It’s too much.
It’s not fair that music education has to advocate so ardently for their existence, in a way that math or English never will. An image like this practically advocates AGAINST music education.
I think THAT’S why this makes music educators so mad. It makes a mockery of their life’s work.
How to avoid—or handle—a situation like this
As a social media manager, I’ve been in the same shoes as the unfortunate TCTA admin who created and originally posted the image. It’s not fun.
If you see something off about a social media post, privately message the account and let the admin know. They’ll be so grateful that you did. Try to be gracious about it—there’s enough hate on the internet already.
If you’re the one posting the offending content, time is of the essence. Where possible, react quickly and apologize. Make it right to the best of your ability.
To TCTA’s credit, they’re not deleting negative comments. Deleting comments just escalates things. You look like you’re not willing to acknowledge your mistake, and commenters feel they’re not being heard. That makes them want to step up their efforts and let more people know not just about the original offense, but your disappointing response to it.
Mistakes happen. We can turn them into teachable moments, like the music educator who posted the unfortunate saxophone image on a bulletin board, and invited his students to find “What’s Wrong With This Picture?”
We’ll laugh about this one day, TCTA. I promise.
Want to sound off about this? I’d love to hear what you have to say!
I was thrilled to have a chance to speak with Christopher Woodside of the National Association for Music Education, otherwise known as NAfME. In a nutshell, he makes sure that everyone inside the Beltway knows how powerful music education is.
This episode of Promoting Your Music Program will be the last for this season. For forever and ever, really.
That’s because when we come back after the holidays, the podcast will have a new name. To learn the details, join my email list here.
In the meantime, check out some of my favorite clips from this season:
On this episode, I talk with DJ Corchin, also known as The 13th Chair Trombone Player. He’s a former band director turned prolific author whose works include poetry, children’s books, and even a musical. He’s just published the 3rd book in the Band Nerds series: Band Nerds Confessions and Confusion. He’s a regular columnist for both Marching.com and the Association of Music Parents.
Enter to win a digital iBooks copy of Band Nerds Confessions and Confusion!
I never intended to care about education reform. So boring, right?
When my firstborn child became old enough to start playing a band instrument, THAT’S when I started paying attention. Anyone who cares about music and arts education SHOULD care about education reform.
Eugene Cantera of the Dallas School of Music:
Are You Making These Common Website Mistakes?
Eugene Cantera is a partner at the Dallas School of Music and a founding member of the dlp Music Program. He serves as the Director of Social Media for both organizations. He is a saxophonist but teaches many instruments and performs in the Dallas area in the rock and jazz genres. Eugene recently returned from an artist in residency at the Wilderness School in Adelaide, Australia where he taught and performed with several ensembles.
Eugene was kind enough to join me on this week’s podcast, where we talked about some tips & tricks to optimize your website and social media. A large percentage of the Dallas School of Music’s clientele is online, so they’ve developed some serious digital chops along the way.