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2009, May

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The NAMM Foundation and Disney Channel Announce Grant Recipients
The NAMM Foundation and Disney Channel announced the recipients of “Disney’s High School Musical: The Music in You Grant Program” that encourages middle and high schools across the U.S. to put on their own school stage production of Disney’s “High School Musical.”

This is the second year that the two organizations have teamed to support this public affairs initiative, which is designed to utilize the popularity of the “High School Musical” movies to encourage kids to get involved in music and the arts in school.

The grant program supports a $5,000 monetary grant and school license to produce an adapted version of “High School Musical.” The funds are to support music and arts-related educational costs of the production such as hiring music and dance coaches, and to help schools that do not have sufficient lighting and sound equipment for the production.

In 2007, the NAMM Foundation and Disney Channel teamed up to create projects supporting the public affairs initiative, which included “High School Musical: The Music in You,” a “documusical” that chronicled a school theater production of “High School Musical” in Fort Worth, Texas. Additional joint initiatives were “The Music in You” micro Web site featuring interactive music and arts activities; public service announcements encouraging students to get involved in music and arts and communities to invest in more performing arts opportunities for kids; and a series of interstitials illustrating students involvement in the arts as part of their core curriculum.

For more information, visit www.namm.org.

“The Green Anthem”
“The Green Anthem” beginner’s choral version will reach six million participants when MENC includes it in the 2010 World’s Largest Concert. Submit a choral recording of “The Green Anthem” to participate in the national competition for best-recorded version and if you win, your audio will be used and credited on the CD that will be used by educators and choruses world-wide to learn the song. Please include the name of your chorus, location, and contact information. Submit your recording in .wav, mp3, or aiff format via e-mail by August 15, 2009 to greenanthem@greenanthem.org.

MENC has endorsed “The Green Anthem” and will be running the national choral competition, the lyric-writing competition, and the best melodic variation competition. MENC plans to link their “Music! Just Imagine #149;” essay-writing contest to green topics for 2010.

“The Green Anthem” by Julie Lyonn Lieberman started out as a piece of music. Then the project organically evolved into an interdisciplinary teaching curriculum designed to simultaneously foster 21st century music education and mobilize America’s youth with eco-friendly projects and concerts. The curriculum is free to music educators and the scores are available for a nominal fee.

For more information, visit www.greenanthem.org.

Jazz Education Network Joins The National SupportMusic Coalition
NAMM has announced that the Jazz Education Network (JEN) has joined the SupportMusic Coalition, a public service led by U.S.-based NAMM and MENC, the National Association for Music Education that seeks to strengthen community commitment and support for quality music education in schools.

The coalition comprises more than 190 organizations, representing more than seven million concerned citizens, working to ensure that music and arts instruction are part of a complete education for all children. Since strengthening music education is a worldwide concern due to its many proven benefits for students, several international organizations also participate in the SupportMusic Coalition.

The JEN is a network of teachers, students, performers, and jazz aficionados from around the world. The network is dedicated to building the worldwide jazz arts community by advancing education, promoting performance, and developing new audiences.

“Our organization is pleased to be a part of this team dedicated to increasing support for all kinds of music involvement,” said JEN President Mary Jo Papich. “Making music, especially jazz, is about expressing ideas that words alone cannot convey. Getting involved in music – whether it’s learning to play an instrument, singing, listening, or performing – enriches our lives. NAMM’s SupportMusic Coalition is just what we need today to help everyone involved in music become better advocates because of the power of music to change lives.”

The coalition invites all interested arts, parent, education, civic engagement, and youth-serving organizations to become affiliates. Affiliate organizations actively participate by contacting local, regional, and state school officials, distributing pertinent information to other supporters in their communities as well as networking with other coalition members.

For more information and links to national, state and local organizations working together to keep music education strong, interested parties should visit www.supportmusic.com. Organizations interested in participating in the SupportMusic Coalition, can write to info@namm.org.

MENC’s Music Education Week in Washington
Music Education Week in Washington, DC will take place June 17-23, 2009. It will be a week of music education advocacy, professional development, and performances against the backdrop of the nation’s capital’s historic monuments. Music educators, students, and their family members are encouraged to attend this new annual event sponsored by MENC to serve the music education profession.

For schedule and registration information, visit www.menc.org.

$1 Million Gift Supports New Music at MU
A donation of $1 million to the University of Missouri will enhance the School of Music’s ability to support composers and performers of new music throughout Missouri and beyond. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield recently made the donation to expand the emphasis on new music in the School of Music. This gift will establish the School of Music as a center for new music, a destination for the best and brightest young composers, and a place where they can pursue their craft in a uniquely supportive environment.

The donation will provide funds for scholarships for student composers and a graduate-level new music ensemble, which will perform in non-traditional venues on campus, in the community, and throughout the state, to develop new audiences for new music. The donation also will fund a summer composition festival for college and graduate students that will feature distinguished guest composers and professional ensembles-in-residence that will perform new compositions.

The School of Music is home to the Creating Original Music Project (COMP), an initiative in its fourth year, funded by the Sinquefields and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. COMP is an incubator for new music and composers and consists of three programs: an annual competition for MU student composers, an annual competition for young composers in kindergarten through 12thgrade throughout the state, and a summer camp for high school composers.

To find out more, visit www.music.missouri.edu.

Findings of GAO Music and Arts Education Study
Senators Chris Dodd (D- CT) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) have announced the release of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study addressing access to music and arts education for public school students as a result of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Dodd and Alexander called for the study in response to reports that the testing requirements of NCLB were forcing some schools, particularly those that serve low-income and minority students, to narrow their curriculum and restrict access to music and arts education.

The study, entitled “Access to Arts Education,” outlined the following conclusions: The study identified a decrease in instruction time for arts education with “statistically significant” differences across school characteristics (low-income, minority, urban/rural). Specifically, teachers at schools identified as needing improvement and those with higher percentages of minority students, were more likely to report a reduction in time spent on the arts.

Teachers at elementary schools with high percentages of low-income or minority students reported larger arts instruction time reductions than teachers in schools with low percentages of low-income or minority students.

Of 32 states that awarded arts education grants (in school years 2001-2002 and 2006-2007), 37 percent had funding decreases and 15 percent had funding increases. Arts education officials attributed this to decreased budgets and competing demands on instruction time.

The GAO study recommended that the Department of Education, in its planned study of NCLB implementation, include questions that would help clarify why instruction time in music and arts education has decreased for some students. The study also indicated that from the perspective of the GAO, research on the effect of arts education on student success is inconclusive. However, the GAO’s referenced research was published in 2000 and fails to take into account current and ongoing research, both qualitative and quantitative, that provides contemporary knowledge about the role and impact of arts education.

To read more about the study, visit www.gao.gov.

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