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Music Advocacy: Moving From Survival to Vision Paperback – December 16, 2010
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Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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Dr. Benham's new book is a must-have for every music department in the United States at both the K-12 and collegiate levels. His theory of reverse economics along with his guidance have saved the music education experiences for thousands and thousands of students as well as many careers in the field. This book provides information on scheduling issues as well as a clear explanation of his reverse economic theory. It gives a step by step outline on how to handle threats to music programs. The book is a wealth of information and is highly recommended. (Mary Wagner, chair, Fairfax Arts Coalition for Education, a National ASTA past-president)
Finally―a 'how to' book for advocating for music education in our own districts! Dr. John Benham provides us with 'the right stuff' as well as a number of rules to follow to ensure that programs stay in tact and keep complacency at bay. This must-have resource helps us understand educational processes and how budget decisions are made. It also provides suggestions on how to involve all constituents in the process of advocacy by guaranteeing that the best interest of the students remains the basis for all decision making. Music programs can be saved even when cuts appear to be eminent, and Music Advocacy: Moving from Survival to Vision provides effective, proactive strategies not only to avoid these cuts but also to establish a long-term plan for continued development. (Marcia M. Neel, president, Music Education Consultants, Inc.)
As a music retailer who has worked closely with Dr. Benham for over ten years, I truly appreciate his great discovery of reverse economics. It is brilliantly simple and proves the financial efficiency of a healthy music department! Every instrument retailer needs to share this vital resource with all of their school customers. This is the manual that every music department needs to use in order to fully support their program. The information needs to be extracted and shared with your school board every year. (Doug Schmitt, vice preseident of music education, Schmitt Music Stores)
Dr. John Benham is a rare individual who walks-his-talk with a sense of mission unknown in common hours, and every person connected with arts education is the benefactor of his immeasurable commitment and dedication. Once again Dr. Benham has come to the forefront of the profession by sharing his profound knowledge and wisdom framed in this masterful writing initiative. Simply put, this book represents a tried-and-true blueprint of success. It is a priceless gift to the future of our educational landscape, and it is a reflective tribute to the visionary contribution of an author of purpose. (Tim Lautzenheiser, Attitude Concepts for Today, Inc.)
This volume complements MENC http://www.menc.org/, the online presence of the National Association for Music Education. A nationally recognized music educator and advocacy consultant, Benham offers here a practical handbook for music educators and parents in the school environment. The first section discusses the basics of advocacy in music education, emphasizes the need for coalitions, and sets the tone for the rest of the volume. The process of advocacy is carefully constructed in logical steps. Understanding, developing, and implementing impact statements help educators, parents, and school boards move from survival to vision to action. A helpful discussion on crisis management in educational reform uses case studies to show proven results. Charts, appendixes, and an assessment glossary make this an excellent choice for all who are interested in music and its promotion. Summing Up: Recommended. (CHOICE)
About the Author
John L. Behnam has been in music education for over 40 years and working as an advocacy consultant saving and building music programs for 30 years. His work as an advocate and the methods presented in this book are responsible for saving $70 million in proposed music cuts equivalent to approximately 2000 teaching positions and 400,000 music students.
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His primary successful strategy for keeping school music programs from getting cut is pointing out that music performance classes (bands, choirs, orchestras) are typically the highest enrolled, and therefore allow for more efficient teacher staffing compared to most other disciplines. This assumes that a music program already has an effective means for recruiting and retaining students. If recruitment and retention aren't going well for your program, then you may want to consult other books that specifically address this issue.
The implied target audience of this book is the school music teacher, but anyone who cares about maintaining a strong school music program would find valuable information and advice. Benham clearly explains the workings of a typical public school system, its budget process, tendancies in administrative thinking about music programs, and the different strategies that music teachers can follow. Even if your program isn't immediately threatened with elimination, then this book offers strategies for pro-actively avoiding such future crises.
I have followed Benham's writings and advice as a volunteer parent music booster and have found them to be a very helpful framework for starting local music program advocacy.
Music Advocacy: Moving From Survival to Vision