There is good work being done in music graduate school research projects. There is good work being done within our public school choir classes. But there is sadly little contact between these two realms. It’s time to step out of our silos and meet our students and audiences where they are. Ryan and Justin discuss Justin’s new book, Letters from the Front Porch: A Simple, Brief, Common Sense Advocacy Approach for Music Education.

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Highlight to Tweet: “Why should I have to explain why music is important?” -Justin Caithaml

Show Notes:

  • Justin has written a book called “Letters from the Front Porch: A Simple, Brief, Common Sense Advocacy Approach for Music Education.”
  • Those who research music education and those who practice music education are frequently self-sequestered into their own silos. There is not enough meaningful sharing between the two groups.
  •  Elitism in the choral world continues to inhibit its evolution, as directors remain willfully stuck in learned patterns instead of adapting to new research.
  • Choral directors are not exempt from the truth that everyone must pitch themselves. You must advocate for your choir, your job, your students, and your art.
  • Chapter 7: Finally, a concert with meaning. Align the arc of a concert so that it takes the audience on an emotional journey.
  • Chapter 5: Who’s that Bach Guy, and Why Do You Have a Stuffed Doll of Him on Your Desk? You have to meet your students where they are musically. Connect your lessons to what they already know, and how they are currently consuming music.
  • True advocacy is a value-first action. Instead of asking for money to keep your program from being cut, show that what you are doing is of real value to your students and community.

Bio:

Justin Caithaml graduated Magna Cum Laude from Baldwin Wallace University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. He currently serves as Choir Director for grades 7-12 at Midview Local Schools, west of Cleveland. In addition, he serves as choir director at Bethel Lutheran Church and is the state advisor for the Tri-M Music Honor Society. He is a board member at the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education and is also a member of the Collaborative for Arts Education in Ohio. An Ohio native, he is a 2010 graduate of Midview High School, where he was a recipient of the National School Choral Award.

Resources/links Mentioned:

  • Download Justin’s book for free! Letters from the Front Porch
  • Choir Nation group on Facebook – Going to TMEA? Meet up with other Choir Ninjas! Join the Choir Nation Facebook group for time and location.
  • Patreon – Support the podcast!

Sponsored by:

Sight Reading Factory (Use promo code “NINJA” at checkout for 10 free student accounts!)

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