We are tempted to be conservative, when forecasting the state of arts education in Lincoln City, just three years into the future. But let’s throw that caution into the Fall Kite Festival wind. After all, back in 2014 none of us thought we would have accomplished as much as we have, in three short years. In that span of time, we’ve ensured that every child in K-12 has good quality, sequential music education. Instead of one music teacher, we now have three. Twice as many bands and choirs, twice the outreach, increased arts integration and an annual 7-12 musical production that grows every year. A lot has happened in three years… why not dream big for Music is Instrumental 2020?

We’re basing our dreams on the outcomes we have identified in our Logic Model.

  1. Students build music literacy and the related academic skills required to succeed in class and to advance to the next level of music. 
    Our DREAM: In 2021, the students who were in sixth grade for our first year of mandatory band (2015/16) will be juniors at Taft 7-12. Compared to the senior cohort (the ones who did not), we’ll see more students retained in band and choir, and achieving at a higher level in regional competitions. We’ll also see better scores on overall music literacy, and better test scores in other subjects as well. And, by 2021, after years of frustratingly slow advancement, our upper level bands will have advanced beyond districts, to compete at the state. We also dream that by 2021, there will be enough skilled musicians so that our annual musical production has the score performed by a student band and/or orchestra.
  2. Students build personal and interpersonal skills such as cooperation, respect and discipline by participation in the music program. 
    Our DREAM: In 2021, the number of behavior referrals in band and music classes will have slowed to a trickle, thanks to challenging, meaningful curriculum and a stable group of teachers and teachers’ aides who form strong relationships with students. Overall, students who stay in the music program will do better in their other classes and have fewer referrals for counseling or disciplinary action. Being in band, choir and musical theatre will carry its own prestige and recognition that reverberates throughout the school environment, giving participants a sense of belonging and importance.
  3. Students enroll in band and/or choir beyond mandatory sixth grade. 
    Our DREAM: In addition to bringing sequential music education to all students K-6, we continue to see growth in the number of students who choose band or choir as one of their precious electives, and take part in band as an extracurricular program (like jazz band, pep band and musical theatre). There will be a robust number of choices for this pursuit, including several kinds of choirs and ensembles, as well as specialized bands.
  4. Student performance in adjudicated competitions improves over time.
    Our DREAM: See No. 1, above. We dream that our students head to state competition in several categories, as a group as well as in solo endeavors.

Families and community regard music as a worthwhile pursuit, comparable to athletics, as evidenced by concert attendance and improved audience behavior. 
Our DREAM: In the year 2021, we will need to have three different concerts (instead of one or two) to accommodate all the parents, friends and family that wish to see their students perform in 6th grade band, 7-12 choirs and 7-12 bands. Each elementary school will have its own concert every semester, as well. Audience members will be accustomed to paying to enter for the upper level concerts, so that the program has sustained income. Students 7-12 will also support the program through fees (as if they were playing a support) and by leasing their own instruments. Those who cannot afford the fees will have their instruments and fees paid through enthusiastic fundraisers, foundations and community support, via the Music is Instrumental program. The Taft Boosters will have taken music “teams” under the wing, and helped support the programs in the same way it does football or volleyball. The community will be proud of its student musicians, and will show up to cheer them on!

Written by Niki Price, Studio to School team member