August 11, 2020
What is K-12 music education going to look like moving forward with a new, non-traditional “classroom?” Guest David Jewell says, “It is important to keep music at the forefront in the ‘new normal.’ …If you are not at the table, you are on the menu. One person can make a big difference. Take that step and be at the table.” We discuss the “why” and “how” of keeping music at the forefront in whatever form the “classroom” takes moving forward.
My guest today is David Jewell. Dave is the Partnerships and Alliances Manager for Yamaha Corporation of America. In this role, he has lobbied for Music Education in Washington, D.C. for the last 8 years. He is involved in leadership with the Music Trade association, NAMM; as well as many other educational and philanthropic initiatives. David holds a bachelor degree in Marketing and Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a masters in Percussion Performance from Louisiana Tech University.
- David was involved in the NAMM Advocacy Summit in June, and a quote of his from that event really caught my eye. He said: “It is important to keep music at the forefront in the ‘new normal.’ … If you are not at the table, you are on the menu. One person can make a big difference. Take that step and be at the table.”
- I ask David: “As you have your finger on the pulse of what is happening with these new school classroom scenarios, what are some trends you’re seeing in K-12 Music Education?”
- David references the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law on December 10, 2015.
- David is involved in many initiatives designed to help kids get a well-rounded education that includes music and arts.
- We discuss “why” and “how” music should be kept at the forefront in the new normal of education.
- We discuss action steps for parents, schools.
- We mention “The Curse of Knowledge” concept popularized by Chip and Dan Heath in the book Made to Stick.
- Yamaha Educators Suite website for educators
- Socials: @YamahaMusicUSA
- David recommends checking out the Arts Education Data Project for current arts education data. Look up the statistics for districts in your state; compare the music participate rates to graduation rates within various districts.
I mention the Soundtrack of My Life project from the book Music Mosaic (May 2020), by Anna Wentlent. Anna says: “This particular project tasks students with creating a personal soundtrack by selecting music to represent the elements of their lives: family, friends, hobbies, etc. First they will organize their thoughts on paper and then they will make a digital playlist by summarizing their selections in a Google Slides file and inserting a high-quality video file for each song choice (music video, movie clip, live performance, etc.).
“The self-reflective nature of this project lends itself well to at-home work, and will keep your students engaged even as they work alone without the oversight of a teacher. And even more importantly, they’ll be preparing a final product that can be presented to you and other students in the class via an online platform like Google Classroom, maintaining the personal connections that are currently missing in our lives. I know my students so much better after reading their projects.”
David describes a memorable experience of advocating for music in Washington, DC; performing afterward with the Capitol Building as a backdrop; and dancing with James Brown’s daughter at the event!