Tag Archives: daniel pink

david vandewalker music problem

David Vandewalker, author of Boosters to the Rescue!


Before I recorded this interview with the amazing David Vandewalker, I’d participated in the first half of the Music for All Parent/Booster Institute. It was a hugely valuable experience, and I am so glad that he agreed to sit down with me over our lunch break. The rest of the day was packed with awesome, as well. If you ever get a chance to attend one of David Vandewalker’s sessions, RUN—don’t walk.

In this interview, I feel like we barely scratched the surface, so I hope this interview will be the first of many. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

David VandewalkerDavid Vandewalker is the assistant director of bands at Georgia State University, where his primary responsibilities include conducting the University Band, teaching the Marching Band and directing the Basketball Pep Band.  He is also the music director and conductor of the Metro Atlanta Youth Wind Ensemble (MAYWE), hosted at Georgia State University.

Prior to his appointment at GSU, Mr. Vandewalker taught for 23 years in both middle and high school settings in Texas and Georgia. As a 2006 recipient of the Sousa Foundation’sSudler Flag of Honor,” the Harrison Band (GA) program, under his leadership, was distinguished as one of the strongest, respected, and well-rounded band programs in the United States.

Mr. Vandewalker is the author of the recently published Strategic Plans for a Successful Booster Club and Foundations for a Successful Booster Club Workbook, as well as Boosters to the Rescue101 Ways to Harmonize the Madness for Music EducatorsFoundations for Wind Band Clarity, Foundations for Wind Band Clarity Instructional DVD, and Everyday Stuff Every Director Needs to Know: A Quick Start Guide published by Vision Publications.

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musiced advocacy videos

Music Education Advocacy Videos You Need to Watch

There are a lot of great resources out there, but these are music education advocacy videos I keep coming back to. 

In this first video, Roger H. Brown, President of the Berklee College of Music, talks about the value of music education in public schools.


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Favorite quote:

“I would argue to a pragmatist you need to [provide access to quality music education] because it motivates people to learn….A lot of the spiritual strength of people resides in ways that can’t be reached necessarily through academics.…Athletics and music have been the two things that kept people who hated school willing to come, to show up and at least finish.

The next video is audio of a talk by Jack Stamp, professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, on “Why Music Matters.” Listen to the demonstration of different levels of proficiency using the piece “Shenandoah.”

Tweet: Jack Stamp quote

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Favorite quote:

You can’t let someone who doesn’t know about music take music out of our schools. You’ve gotta realize, parents, they won’t listen to us teachers. They think we just want to keep a job. They’ll listen to you.”


This next video is distilled music education advocacy, accompanied by a sweeping inspirational soundtrack. It would be perfect to play before or during your next concert.

Sadly, I’m not able to embed it here, but this 2009 TMEA keynote by the incredible Daniel Pink is a MUST WATCH. Seriously. Go.


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Favorite quote:

Arts education, especially music education, today is not ornamental, but is fundamental: that we should be for economic reasons adding it rather than subtracting it.…Arts educators are actually one of the most important bridges in bridging the education system… away from routines, right answers and standardization into into novelty, nuance, and customization.”

dan pink TMEA 2009

Broaderminded is a new initiative from the National Association for Music Education. If you haven’t been to that website yet, GO. Pick up a tee shirt while you’re there.


“While listening to music engages the brain in some pretty interesting activities, playing music is the brain’s equivalent of a full body workout.”

For more on music and arts education advocacy, follow me on Twitter!

Marketing music education

I honestly never thought it would come to this.

If you had told me twenty or even ten years ago that I would have to actively fight to ensure my child access to the same music education I enjoyed, I would have thought you were Chicken Little.

Unbelievably, it’s become necessary to market music education to students, parents, administrators, school boards and policymakers. We need to “sell” them on music education.

“To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources—
not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.”
—Daniel Pink, To Sell is Human

In marketing music education, we’re convincing students to part with their free time or to give up other activities. We ask them to devote energy to practice, rehearsals, and performance.

We’re convincing parents to part with cash, the time and gas to transport their child to lessons, rehearsals and performances; and furthermore, to assist the organization by volunteering and fundraising.

We’re convincing administrators to allocate time and the school board to allocate funding to music and arts classes during the school day.

We’re convincing policymakers at all levels that music education is not only worthwhile, but necessary. We’re communicating that music education prepares students not to become Grammy winning recording artists, but to be hardworking, productive, resourceful members of a cooperative society.

Luckily, there’s a lot of good news on the benefits of music education out there. The hard part is convincing people to take the attention and the time to share with those who need to hear it.

How can you sell music education today?