EXCLUDED: Missing Musicians from the Classroom

Our very existence is threatened annually, and we cry out at the inequity of the threat, and yet many continue to only value the talented ones.  You may be thinking, “This isn’t true though!” but I urge you to sit down with a big group of music educators and listen.  Listen carefully, because once your eyes and ears are open to the exclusionary trends within this field, you will notice more and more that what we often do is segregate our own students into the talented and supported versus the “untalented” and underrepresented, whether we do it intentionally or not, it is there.

Thwarted by a Tennis Ball…

the thing about this homeroom time is that teachers are supposed to use this time to remediate students who are struggling. But some of my students were never being requested by anyone, even though they were failing nearly every class. Two of them completely failed 9th grade by the end of the year. I tried so much to reach these students last year, but nothing worked….

Makin’ Music in Juvie

In some cases, the students even were able to re-define themselves instead of as “criminal,” into “musician.” One of the inmates even said, “Instead of getting in trouble, just sitting there and play tunes, and stuff.” One student was so effected that he went so far as to dream about “helping out in the community, yeah. Helping other people learn music. Yeah, teach them,”