Why Does My Head Spin?...when I read the following list from NAMM - the National Association of Music Merchants. Here they proudly announce gifts of '$848,807 to support Innovative Music Learning Programs, Research and Student Projects'.
Granted, the 31 groups who benefit from NAMM's generousity may be worthy and are undoubtedly appreciative, but it is such a crying shame that our industry (music education in particular) has come to rely on these kinds of gifts for its very existence.
It seems that other industries have been very, very good at this; doctors, lawyers, accountants...the PGA! Organizations within these groups actually raise money and are able to help their communities. Why don't music educators learn from these models? When will we break the stereotype of being 'needy, do-gooders' and take the bull by the horns to promote music education as a viable service that can be accessed by our general communities?
Here are a few shocking statements from a veteran music educator:
1. All music teachers do not aspire to be Mr. Holland - the 'band guy'.
2. Every person who studies music does not aspire to play professionally.
3. Not every kid who studies music is made smarter.
4. Not all music schools rely on the 'kindness of strangers' for support.
5. We don't need grants and funding to realize that learning music is important.