As we put the pandemic further and further in our rearview, many of us are confronted with new realities related to how, when and WHY we need to advocate for our programs, our profession and our art form. For example, I have found myself needing to have more conversations with school board members, administrators, parents and even colleagues about the value of a robust and rigorous music education. In this posting, I am going to direct you to TWO recent Choralosophy conversations which approach the topic of Advocacy.
So, what happens when you post a video on the internet from inside your classroom and it goes viral with millions and millions of views?! It’s up to you! This happened Myles Finn and he decided to use his powers for good, creating a TikTok account with approaching SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND followers that shows life inside a high school choir room as well as a treasure trove of great instructional ideas for those of us in the profession. But, perhaps the most valuable thing is the fact that thousands of people outside of our choir bubble are being exposed to our world. This is “advocacy” in the 21st Century in its purest form. Tune in as Myles and I talk about his instructional philosophy, his warm ups, teacher burnout, and how the internet fame has changed the dynamics in his classroom.
Conversations with Leaders and Parents
Our jobs as music educators, sadly, MUST include the ability to persuasively and passionately make the case in our communities that group singing opportunities are crucial. That includes keeping choirs in our churches and in our schools and community organizations. It includes having conversations with local leaders, fundraising and more. But, what makes or breaks those conversations is OUR ability to make that case air tight. Tom Metzger joins me to brainstorm and think through what happens in society when we have LESS people singing, and how we can explain it to people in more effective ways. Tom draws on his perspective as a computer scientist and choral singing enthusiast who works with choral organizations behind the scenes with the “business” side of choir. Tune in for this conversation, and TOOL UP for the Advocacy fight, because it never ends.