Press release from the Michigan Music Task Force
MUSIC LEADERS CREATE CAMPAIGN TO REPAIR MUSIC EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN
Michigan Music Education Task Force tries to mitigate damage caused by COVID-19
East Lansing, MI … As health care professionals vaccinate thousands of people each day in Michigan, a team of music educators across the state created a campaign to give a much-needed shot in the arm to music education. With the help of Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, a package of messages and encouragement to support music programs was developed for school administrators.
According to members of the Music Education Task Force, the pandemic has dealt a serious blow to music education for a variety of reasons; from classes being cut and the loss of social or “team” aspects music students get from performing, to the forfeiture of an entire class of beginners.
“Experts believe COVID-19 will negatively impact music education for six-to-seven years, as fifth and sixth graders make their way out of K-12 schools,” explains Greg Normandin, chair of the task force. “And some performance opportunities – often a pinnacle for music students – has lost much of the excitement and collaboration in a virtual world.”
The task force has worked for more than a year on issues like how to teach music using safety guidelines and innovative approaches to organizing music festivals. This project however, is focused directly on adults – either school educators & administrators or parents – and asks for help in supporting endeavors to keep students studying music. Normandin says the messages are strong.
“We’ve been really moved by the encouragement we’ve received from both Michigan’s senators, Normandin says. “Senator Peters recognizes how crucial music is in giving young people an outlet for expression, and Senator Stabenow gives a very respective story about the impact music had on her personally. It’s obvious our leaders understand the social/emotional well-being that comes from studying music, and we appreciate the endorsement.”
The Michigan Music Task Force is made up of leaders from The Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA); The Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA); The Michigan Music Education Association (MMEA); and The Michigan Chapter of the American String Teacher’s Association (MASTA).