NAfME Joins 52 Other National Organizations to Support Arts Education as Essential for Students during COVID-19 Pandemic

Hal Leonard Among Its Supporters

RESTON, VA (May 27, 2020)--As policymakers plan for school reopening in the fall, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) joined 52 other organizations in a statement that supports an arts education for all students.

In the statement, "Arts Education Is Essential," the signing organizations convey that the arts have already played a pivotal and uplifting role during the health crisis and that arts education can help all students, including those who are in traditionally underrepresented groups, as students return to school next year.
"Arts Education Is Essential" speaks to arts education's role in supporting the social and emotional well-being of students, an area that administrators, educators, and parents have highlighted as essential to student safety and success during the pandemic and as students return to school, whether in-person, online, or in a blended fashion, this fall. Arts education also creates a welcoming school environment and a healthy and inclusive school community, helping students, educators, parents, and the community at large build and strengthen their connectedness during this time of social isolation and social distancing.

The statement also reminds the public that arts education is a part of a well-rounded education as defined by the federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and supported in state laws throughout the country. Forty-six states require an arts credit to receive a high school diploma, and 43 states have instructional requirements in the arts in elementary and secondary schools.

"It is vitally important to advocate for music and arts education now, as school districts and states begin to undertake the challenging task of planning the 2020?2021 school year," said Kathleen D. Sanz, president of the National Association for Music Education. "We need to remind policymakers at all levels, from state legislatures to school boards, that the arts are part of a complete and well-rounded education that every student regardless of background must receive. Maintaining the arts in the schools is critical to continue to help our students with their educational and social and emotional learning, especially for those students in need of support in these difficult times."

NAfME has been helping music educators prepare for the return to school in the fall. Advocacy and support efforts include:
1. A "Music Education and Social-Emotional Learning" brochure, outlining how music education can support quality social-emotional learning outcomes for students.
2. Instrument hygiene guidelines in partnership with the NAMM Foundation and the National Federation of State High School Associations, explaining how instruments can be safely returned and cleaned for use next school year.
3. Dozens of high-quality professional development webinars, featuring ways in which to teach music successfully in a virtual setting, as well as additional resources to support standards-based music instruction.
4. A public advocacy campaign to support federal funds to backfill state education budget shortfalls. More than 10,000 letters have been sent to Congress, urging our lawmakers to support public education.
5. A forthcoming guide to school reopening plans, featuring how music can be taught safely and effectively to students both in-person and virtually next school year.

The music and arts education community has been active during this pandemic in providing administrators, educators, and other stakeholders guidance and support, as well as forward-thinking planning for music educators and district arts supervisors to take a lead as school districts make plans for the next school year. In any decision about how school districts will operate in the next and future school years, music and arts education will be essential in providing all students equitable educational opportunities that also continue to prepare them for an ever-changing world.

To add your voice to this statement, your organization can sign on to the statement by emailing

Signing organizations as of May 26, 2020:
Afterschool Alliance
American Choral Directors Association
American Composers Forum
American Orff-Schulwerk Association
American String Teachers Association
Americans for the Arts
Barbershop Harmony Society
Carnegie Hall
Casio America Inc
Chorus America
CMA Foundation
College Band Directors
Conn-Selmer, Inc.
D?Addario Foundation
Eastman Music Company
Education Through Music
Educational Theatre Association
Give a Note Foundation
Hal Leonard
Historically Black Colleges and Universities National Band Directors? Consortium
Jazz at Lincoln Center
Jazz Education Network
KHS America
League of American Orchestras
Little Kids Rock
Mr. Holland?s Opus Foundation
Music for All
Music Teachers National Association
NAMM Foundation
National Art Education Association
National Association for Music Education
National Association of Elementary School Principals
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Coalition for Core Arts Standards
National Dance Education Organization
National Education Association
National Federation of State High School Associations
National YoungArts Foundation
Organization of American Kodály Educators
Quadrant Research
Recording Academy
The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation
Save The Music Foundation
State Education Agency Directors of Arts Association
United Sound, Inc.
Varsity Performing Arts
West Music Company
Yamaha Corporation of America
Young Audiences Arts for Learning