Posted by on May 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

(Last updated 01.08.19)

Recently added to our list:

Music Matters (in brochure format) – “Building on the first release of Music Matters in 2011, the Arts Education Partnership reviewed multiple research studies identified within ArtsEdSearch — the national clearinghouse of rigorous arts education research — to explorethe importance of music on student learning outcomes. This updated resource explores the demonstrated effects of music education and how it helps students develop the foundational capacities for lifelong success.” (Provided by Arts Education Partnership)

Arts Education Field Guide – BOOKMARK THIS ONE! The Ecosystem of Partners, Players, and Policymakers in the Field of Arts Education – What role do the governor/White House/mayor/teachers’ union/school board, etc. play in promoting and preserving your ability to deliver arts education to our country’s children and citizens? The Arts Education Field Guide illuminates the complexity of citizens, policymakers, government entities and organizations that influence arts education from the schoolhouse to the White House and from the living room to the boardroom. Use this Field Guide to inform grant-making; professional development for teachers; federal, state, and local policy; school board and administrator practice; parental advocacy; nonprofit leadership; and more. An extremely comprehensive guide detailing all the constituencies in the arts education “ecosystem” from and the Arts Education Network and Council.

3 Awful Things That Happen When Children are Denied Daily Arts Instruction in Schools – Three awful truths about the adverse effects from a lack of arts in schools from The Music Parents’ Guide, by Tony Mazzocchi.

3 Reasons Music and Arts Education is a Shining Light in a School System that Values “Sameness” – “Somehow, some way, our school system has become completely standardized — yet our children are anything but that.” from The Music Parents’ Guide, by Tony Mazzocchi.

A Child’s Brain Develops Faster with Exposure to Music Education – A two-year study by researchers at the Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) at the University of Southern California shows that exposure to music and music instruction accelerates the brain development of young children in the areas responsible for language development, sound, reading skill and speech perception.

Music Education Works – A website created by Anita Holford and Dyfan Win Owen as a “labour of love,” this site houses a bevy of research collections, summaries, and evidence of the impact of music education. Want to back up your advocacy efforts with research? – chances are you’ll find it here.

Derelict school becomes national leader by making a surprising subject compulsory – Justin Brown’s blog entry “As music and the arts are being systematically removed from school curriculum in favor of so-called STEM subjects, creativity is becoming an endangered species. Yet, the performance of the children at this school is blatant proof of the value of teaching the art…” This “surprising?” turnaround was originally highlighted by Josh Holliday in The GuardianHow to improve the school results: not extra maths but music, loads of it.

Music Lessons Were the Best Thing Your Parents Ever Did for You According to Science – by Tom Barnes – “A sampling of the vast amount of neurological benefits that music lessons can provide. Considering this vast diversity, it’s baffling that there are still kids in this country who are not receiving high-quality music education in their schools. Every kid should have this same shot at success.”  

Musicians Have Superior Memories – by Pacific Standard’s Tom Jacobs – “A new meta-study finds they out-perform non-musicians on memory tasks, including the critical ability to retain and process information.”

There’s New Evidence that Music Lessons Boost Kids’ Cognitive Skills – by Pacific Standard’s Tom Jacobs – “Dutch schoolchildren reported higher scores on several key tests if they took supplemental music lessons.”

Our archived list: (A-Z)

ArtsEd Search ( – BOOKMARK THIS ONE! “The nation’s hub for research on the impact of the arts in education.” / and Browse Research on – Check out how the browse selection can filter outcomes by student, teacher, school day, and out-of-school-day. Also note the “Age Level” and “Policy Implications” tabs. 

Arts Education Matters: We Know, We Measured It – from Education Week, Dec. 2, 2014… research looked at “whether exposure to the arts affected students’ knowledge of the arts and altered their desire to consume the arts in the future… whether art experiences had an effect on student values, such as tolerance and empathy. … and whether students’ ability to engage in critical thinking about the arts was affected by these experiences.”

Be Part of the Band ( – “a menu of high quality tools to help band directors attract as many students as possible to their program. Student recruitment is one of the most critical, yet often overlooked, parts of a band director’s job. With limited time and dwindling resources, it’s getting harder to effectively and efficiently communicate to students and parents what we already know: Band Is A Life Changing Activity!” Includes instrument-specific videos. …Highly recommended

Carry the Tune ­­– Sadly, “researchers estimate that 75% or more of high school music students will quit their musical studies after high school.” An over-emphasis on STEM education (no “A”) and a societal drive to educate merely for the production of financial and economic success may big reasons, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Carry the Tune is “a documentary that shares the stories of people who have discovered opportunities in college and beyond, and how music provided a vital sense of balance in their lives.” … a great way to support the life-long concept of music education. Click here for more information. I have a personal copy of the DVD that I would be glad to loan out to Berks County teachers – just let me know.

Grassroots Advocacy Guide (.pdf file download) (NAMM Foundation) Community Action Kit:Turn your passion for music into citizen action for music education.

How Playing A Musical Instrument Benefits Your Brain — Anita Collins / Have you seen this viral video brought to us by the people at TED-Ed? Information that everyone responsible for making curriculum decisions in our schools should have. PLUS — Here’s a link to the full lesson:

How To Be the Special Interest Students Deserve… Originally directed at the election season, this article contains timeless tips for how to communicate with decision makers at all levels. (From NAfME News, Newsletter, October 23)

Music Advocacy Articles and Videos… This could be the mother lode of music education advocacy resources, brought to us by the Children’s Music Workshop.

Music Education Advocacy Tools and Ten Tips for Launching Your Music Education Advocacy Effort – Two great links from the League of American Orchestras.

Music Lessons Help Boost Brain Power: Study – Learning to play an instrument increased the number of connections in the brain after just nine months of practice. Researchers think music lessons could potentially help treat learning disorders like autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

NAMM Foundation (of the National Association of Music Merchants) (a variety of advocacy and research links)

National Association for Music Education (NAfME) (click on the “Take Action” menu)

The National Association of Music Parents – Created by a board of directors that includes Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser and a variety of music retail and strategic partners, this organization “brings together ALL STAKEHOLDERS of music education to defend the interests of our students and ensure that music and the arts remain an integral discipline within the core education system in America.” An annual membership fee (individual and group memberships are available) gains access to a seemingly endless number of resources. A trial membership option is also available (and there are several open “non-membership” areas). Check it out:

The 9 Common Lessons of Music Education That Translate into Success… From NAfME News: An excerpt from Everything We Needed to Know about Business, We Learned Playing Music.

The Other Music Advocates from Music in a Minuet, Orchestrating Success Newsletter, Jan. 29, 2015…  “We’re convincing policymakers at all levels that music education is not only worthwhile, but necessary. We’re communicating that music education prepares students not to become Grammy winning recording artists, but to be hardworking, productive, resourceful members of a cooperative society. However, the hard part is convincing people to take the attention and the time to share with those who need to hear it. That’s where your parents and the wider community around you have an important role. They may not realize the power of their voice along with yours…” Includes a concert program insert idea.

Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) Advocacy Page

PLAN: The PMEA Leadership Advocacy Network – “the official PMEA facebook® group dedicated to strengthening and/or saving school music programs” (administered by Rich Victor).

Practical Guide for Recruitment and Retention (NAMM) – Created by the Music Achievement Council, this 24-page booklet is a true “must have,” and an even truer “must use” – full of useful tips, forms, and lists for all ensembles and levels. Click here to download the .pdf version of the booklet. It’s one you don’t want to get lost among your digital files and forget; you’ll want to print it out and keep it handy right on your desk!

Pre-concert Video – Use this superb video at your concerts! – Andrew Spang and the Music Advocates of Carroll County (MD) have created and made available this short video presentation that’s the “perfect scrolling presentation to play prior to the start of a concert (or during intermission).” Educate your audience on the benefits of music education with this research-based video presented in an engaging manner. You have to check this one out! Two formats are available for downloading via the or view it on youtube.

Singing Changes Your Brain from, Aug. 16, 2013… “As the popularity of group singing grows, science has been hard at work trying to explain why it has such a calming yet energizing effect on people. What researchers are beginning to discover is that singing is like an infusion of the perfect tranquilizer, the kind that both soothes your nerves and elevates your spirits.”

Standing Up for Music Teachers on Capitol Hill (NAfME News, Jan. 15, 2015) Priorities for Congress, as outlined January 14, 2015, by the Music Education Policy Roundtable, for th reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

STEM vs. STEAM from the University of Florida… includes a great infographic with a multitude of additional research source links.

Join the SupportMusic Coalition (an advocacy program of the NAMM Foundation)

Stop Obsessing Over Talent – Everyone Can Sing – “Just mouth the words”… REALLY?

Student Voice: Why the Arts are Important in Education – the (now viral) guest blog by Abby Huston

Surprising Findings in Three New National Endowment for the Arts Reports… Released Jan. 12, 2015, this NEA reports focus on the following questions (with great graphics to illustrate the results):
• Why do people attend the arts?
• Why do Americans participate in the arts?
• What is the economic value of the arts?

The Top 17 Ways Learning a Musical Instrument Gives You The Edge from… “Quite aside from the(se) ideas that have been kicking around for some time, there are many other benefits of playing a musical instrument. Some may surprise you!”

25 Things You Can Do Today – Brought to us by the VH1 Save the Music campaign… post this convenient two-pager in your office as a great idea trigger or reminder of some things you can do on a daily basis to keep your program healthy.

What School Leaders Can Do To Increase Arts Education From the Arts Education Partnership (AEP): “Actions that school principals can take with little-to-no cost to increase arts education in their schools.” (A succinct .pdf publication that could be provided to your local school principals.)

Why musicians are better multitaskers from The Week, Oct. 27, 2014…“We all call it ‘multitasking,’ but psychologists insist that’s a misnomer. Since we can’t actually focus on more than one thing at a time, the skill is really “task switching” — the ability to alternate smoothly and easily between two sets of mental tasks. New research from Canada suggests one group of people is able to do that better than the rest of us: trained musicians.”


If you have an advocacy link you would like to add to this list, please email it to Mike Buterbaugh, RMF’s Music Education Advisor, at