Music for All’s Advocacy in Action Awards Program is a new initiative that we are excited to introduce to music programs across the nation. Statistics have made most of us aware that participation in music correlates to higher attendance rates, grade point averages, and standardized test scores, but in the words of Music for All President and CEO, Eric Martin, we want to “get practical” with our approach to music education advocacy.

Having only been an intern for a little over a month, I have learned a lot about Advocacy in Action in a short amount of time. From the beginning, one of the biggest things that stood out to me about the awards program was the fact that it is for EVERYONE. Regardless of the size of your band, choir, or orchestra program, you are able to submit an application for any of the six categories to share your school’s best practices and ideas. This awards program is a place in which we at Music for All want to put your program on a pedestal at a national level. As Director of Advocacy and Educational Resources, James Stephens, said, “We want to collect and share the best methods to elevate music education in your community.”

During the Advocacy in Action session at the Music for All Summer Symposium yesterday morning, I loved hearing the active, exciting, and open discussions that occurred amongst directors and clinicians. We had the opportunity to hear from three guests which presented short overviews on the outstanding work their programs have displayed. Knowing that these events and strategies were developed around the nation and were now being shared with directors at the Summer Symposium was empowering and makes me excited to see what comes from this inspiration. It was also empowering to hear the ideas and perceptions of the directors in the audience regarding music education advocacy within their own program – which is exactly what the Advocacy in Action Awards Program is all about!

Applications for the six categories (Recruitment and Retention, Fundraising and Sponsorship, Parent and Booster Involvement, Marketing and Promotion, Decision-Maker Interaction, and Community Engagement) are currently open! Directors, parents, administrators, and even students are encouraged to apply to multiple categories. The deadline for submissions is September 1, 2018 and winners will be notified in November. To celebrate and spotlight our winners, we will be holding an award ceremony in January as well as featuring winners in Music for All’s print materials, on the Music for All website, and at Music for All events throughout the next calendar year.

Visit to submit an application (or more than one). We want to hear from you and we want to celebrate YOU! Let’s collect, share, and inspire together.