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How to start a music program

With budgetary blues playing all over the nation, music programs are getting silenced. Use this guide to bring music education back to your child's school.

By Rob Baedeker

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parents collaborating

A community chorus

Ensuring the place of music education in schools is "about educating parents as well as children," says Karen McKie, a parent who helped save the Berkeley Unified School District music program in the 1990s.  "Gather parents around, so they understand what's at stake, and make the case for why this is valuable to the community. Use numbers and facts, and give them the script for why this important." 

The first step to build support for a music program in your school? Share this article and the article about the importance of music on children's cognitive development with 5 parents or teachers you're hoping will partner with you on this project.  Then organize a community meeting -- or introduce the idea at a PTO meeting.  Be creative about drumming up interest for the event: combine it with a concert by local musicians (or even graduates of your child's school) who can perform and speak about the significance of music in their lives and careers. Build your network by collecting phone numbers and email addresses from parents and other supporters.

Rob Baedeker is a writer living in Berkeley, Calif. He is the coauthor, with the Kasper Hauser comedy group, of SkyMaul: Weddings of the Times and Obama's BlackBerry.

Comments from readers

"I usually say that once something like music is eliminated in schools it is always boring, i like music so much and my son likes it too, their school eliminated music and he wanted to do it as a career and so i had to transfer him to a school that is best in music. Good post."
"I love the fact that some schools feel that a music program is essential!"