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?