Campaign Strategy

A musical education can be beneficial for anyone and everyone, and is most beneficial when taught as a child, as the connections you can make through music can improve a multitude areas in one’s life. However, a musical education in America have been put on the back burners, and has even been completely eliminated in some areas around the United States. James Catterall, a professor at UCLA wrote to PBS.ORG (2013) stating, “The story has played out with some regularity for decades — economies boom and bust, school budgets get squeezed and music and the other arts take the first hits. The global economic downturn of the past two years has taken an especially hard toll on arts programs” (Para 1) With a number of independent studies showing a relationship between a Childs musical education and an improved math, science, and spatial reasoning score, can we really afford to cut music from the students?

My campaign seeks to address this issue with the educational system here in America, to make the benefits of a musical education to light, and to bring music back to the educational curriculum. However, not only do I want to make the amendment to the educational curriculum, I also want to assist in gathering needed donation of money or instruments to help improve the musical infrastructure for our local schools here in Michigan.

Initially, in this campaign we will need to obtain the support of the local parents, musicians, and teachers who understand the importance of a musical education. With the support of the aforementioned individuals, we would be able to organize and execute a series of events geared at receiving donations of musical instruments, and raising awareness as to the importance of a musical education. The instruments will be used to bolster the already present musical programs here in our local area.

Appealing to the parents, Teachers and Musicians who already know of the troubles that the arts are having in our local area can help create more of a motivational appeal to engage and stimulate the individuals to act. With the looming issues that still plague the Detroit public schools, some of the first programs that students and teachers seen cut were the musical and artistic programs. Music in Detroit created what everyone now knows as the Nickname to Motown. At the time the programs were being cut, George Shirley of NewMusicBox.org (2010) stated, “A curriculum that produced some of the most notable names in every genre of the music profession will summarily disappear from the education of those who need it most” (para 4) Centering around a community that has experienced a recent cut in the music programs and the fall of an education curriculum will be more likely to engage in a program that seeks to improve it.

When appealing to the parents and staff of the local schools, I would follow a persuasive design that more tailors to the elaboration likelihood model. The message that this campaign has for its audience is one that can reach out to audiences centrally and peripherally. As stated by Timothy Borchers, author of Persuasion in the Media Age stated, “The route an individual used to elaborate on a message is determined by two factors: motivation and ability. Motivation refers to such factors as personal relevance, need for understanding, and personal responsibility” (page 52) With education being a part of everyone’s life, this is a message that I see can be distributed effectively among everyone should they see the correct message.

The students, parents, teachers, and musician who have seen the downfall of musical educations will be more inclined to follow the central route processing as they experienced it firsthand, and are more emotionally invested into the issue already. Peripherally, we could attempt to reach out to the local populous through stressing needs of donated instruments, and campaigns to collect donated instruments. Using the support we gather from the local school and people to improve the schools musical education backbone, we can then move forward with a petition to the government for a permanent change to the curriculum.

A reason an approach like this would work is due to the environment that our community presents. Michigan, as well as many other states have seen the decline of the arts and musical programs in their schools recently as a means to save money or cut back. Appealing to the parents, students, and teachers who have already been affected by this issue, and with some background knowledge of the problem could mean more of an emotional connection to my campaign. Those not directly motivated to my campaign, could be persuaded peripherally to donate musical instruments, which could, in time, lead to them investigating why the donations were needed, and cause them to make more of a permanent change in direction in regards to the campaign.

There are some challenges however to seeing a goal like this realized. The cost of obtaining instruments, even through donations is expensive, and is a major role at play in the size of musical programs at local schools. Gathering the required volunteers at the correct locations in order to collect and organize donated instruments would be a bit of a challenge as well, but not completely impossible. Obtaining staff and teachers who would be able to instruct and educate students in music would also be a challenge and an expensive purchase. The donations would be used initially to bolster the already present music programs so that they can continue to reach more students. Obtaining additional teachers and staff would be something that would have to come post obtaining an educational amendment for music in the curriculum. That way, additional funds could be allocated to the program.

While there are challenges in campaign that seeks to change the educational requirements for all of the students in America, I believe that we would be able to ultimately achieve a federal amendment to the educational requirements for the united states of America. Alexis Kalivretenos from the Humanist.org, and author of the article The Importance of a music Education writes, “This activity is something that everyone is aware of, but not everyone has a chance to participate in. This activity is music” (Para 2) Everyone knows of music, listens to music, and enjoys music, but not everyone is given the opportunity to learn music. That is what the core focus of this campaign really is, and giving the gift of music to all students should be a necessity in today’s educational curriculum, not a class to cut when funds are low.

References:

Borchers, T (2013) Persuasion in the Media Age – Third Edition Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press Inc.

Catterall, J (27th March 2014) The consequences of Curtailing Music Education retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/tsr/dudamel-conducting-a-life/the-consequences-of- curtailing-music-education/

Kalivretenos, A. (18th March 2015) The importance of Music Education Retrieved from http://thehumanist.com/features/articles/the-importance-of-music-education

Shirley, G (9th June 2010) Music in Detroit’s Public Schools: The struggle to Survive Retrieved from http://www.newmusicbox.org/articles/music-education-in-detroits-public-schools-the-struggle-to-survive/

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Artifact-critique

Back in 2014, James Rhodes of the united Kingdom started a campaign to address the issue of local primary school not offering a decent music education. James took to the streets and started a petition to lobby the government into action, and provide musical instruments to all kids regardless of background or ability to pay. James believed that music was important and is quoted saying (2014), “I want music to inspire brighten, and improve the lives of every child in this country, but today thousands of primary school kids aren’t getting the opportunity to learn an instrument” (Para 3) Soon after ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ began, and it was a campaign headed by James to call the people into action. What he called for was an ‘Instrument Amnesty’ in where anyone could donate instrument to their local schools music department so that children could have the opportunity to play and learn. Even later James even aired a 4 episode series promoting the donation of instruments and was also named ‘Don’t Stop The Music’.

The source of this campaign was the Royal Opera House which is one of the oldest and major performing venues located in central London. The article was first published in 2014, and has some snips from James 4 part series on music, its impact, and why it’s important to donate to the schools now. The Royal Opera House has sided with James in his petition for a change, and to allow him to work with more school and local communities to spread the message. The Royal Opera House hosts activities and cultural events that allow more children the opportunity to play an instrument as well in participation. In 2015, they were even able to get the petition as far as making music included on the school board curriculum.

The dominate motivational appeal in this campaign is to improve the lives of children and their education through music. In James Rhodes (2015) campaign letter, he writes, “If you get an instrument into the hands of a kid who wants to learn it, and you provide a place and the means for them to learn it, you will see an undeniable impact in every other area of their life”(Para 1) James wanted to appeal to the parents of those children and others who have been inspired by music to reach out and join the petition to the government, and to donate instruments to supplement the local school low supply. He wanted to appeal to the parents of the children by getting the message out there that they were missing out on a musical education that could benefit them academically and socially in life.

One thing that really stood out to me with this campaign was the personal motivation and driving force of a single individual who was able to make this a reality. James Rhodes was able to get the message out their effectively, and with the help of performing arts studios around him, change the way that music was thought of in the educational curriculum. Darren Henley wrote a review for the department of education in response to the additional of music into the curriculum which stated, “Our vision is to enable children from all backgrounds and every part of England to have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument; to make music with others; to learn to sing; and to have the opportunity to progress to the next level of excellence”(Page 9, Para 1) With the support that James was able to pull together, and the progress that he has made I would believe that this campaign was very successful in accomplishing what it had set out to do. Now again, not every student now has an instrument, but progress in the right direction is still an accomplishment.

I think the ethics of the appeal and the appeal in general was fairly appropriate as James was an advocate for music and wanted to share his experiences with the rest of the youth. Realizing that the best time for anyone to be influenced by music was at a young age, and wanted to reach out to the parents of a new generation to act on making music apart of their children’s lives. With this campaign I feel that the issue was narrowed to the parents and the youth attending primary school without access to musical instruments. While the direction was great, I think a campaign to teach everyone music would reach a wider spectrum of individuals. Anyone has the opportunity to play, and really is only limited by their exposure or inspiration to play from other musicians. Making this a mass appeal campaign rather than a youth educational campaign would allow your message to be more broad and hopefully persuade more people to join along. All in all this was a great campaign that I feel was really successful.

 

References:

Henley, D. (2011) The Importance of Music Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/180973/DFE- 00086-2011.pdf

Shipman, C. (10 September 2014) Don’t stop the Music Campaign calls for ‘Instrument Amnesty’ to help schools Retrieved from http://www.roh.org.uk/news/dont-stop-the-music-campaign-calls-for- instrument-amnesty-to-help-schools

Rhodes, J. ( 2015 – 2016) Making a Beautiful Noise Retrieved from http://www.dontstopthemusic.co.uk/making-a-beautiful-noise