It feels great to read a scientific study that confirms what you already know about music education. You are affirmed, emboldened, reassured.
But there are two problems.
First, you and your colleagues didn’t need convincing. If you’re a music teacher, you’ve already seen plenty of examples of how it works. You don’t need “scientific” proof.
Second, I have never seen a comment saying, “I used to think music education was frivolous, and this article changed my mind.” You are literally preaching to the choir (and their directors).
We all need to get better at advocacy. But sharing these is harmful because they feel like advocacy but aren’t.
Next time you read an article like this, try one of the following things:
1. Send it to your state and federal congresspersons.
2. Even better: print it and bring it to their open local meeting times.
3. Send the article privately to someone you think might disagree about this with a note, “I’d love to discuss this with you.”
4. Come up with a five- to ten-minute presentation highlighting these things that you can take to local organizations: Rotary, Lions, your local Chamber of Commerce.
Actually, I’ll do you one better. In a few weeks I’ll be posting a presentation with a script you can use for such occasions. Watch for it!
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