What do I mean “I am their parent”? As music teachers, if we are fortunate to stay long enough in one school, we have a real chance to build a family. We could see our students for up to nine years in the elementary setting - maybe longer in a K-12 district. We see them year after year, growing and changing.
When Maestro Riccardo Muti became Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) in 2009, he made it clear he wanted his legacy to reach beyond the walls of Orchestra Hall, providing people all over Chicago with access to music.
Earlier this month the Illinois State Board of Education released Teach Illinois: Strong Teachers, Strong Classrooms. The implementation of this publication could have sweeping impact on teacher preparation in Illinois. (The publication is open for public comment until Tuesday, October 2.)
As music teachers, we often say that we teach humans first and music second. In the same spirit, as we approach policy, we need to advocate for policies that not only benefit the music program, but also ensure that students, both in our classrooms and throughout the state, are receiving an education that addresses their needs.