Although the Music Industry/Music Education (MIME) Initiative of Local 802 only began last November, as director of MIME I can report that we have already forged some very meaningful relationships. There are many organizations whose members share our vision for promoting the importance of music education in our public schools. Local 802’s willingness to become more involved in these various crusades is being welcomed with great enthusiasm.
MIME has become an affiliate member of the SupportMusic Coalition, which is comprised of 120 affiliate organizations. This advocacy effort was activated to expand communication among arts, music and parent and civic organizations for the purpose of supporting music education in local communities around the U.S.
The SupportMusic Coalition is the inspiration of NAMM and MENC, which shared their resources to support this coalition. (NAMM is the not-for-profit trade association of the international music products industry and is comprised of approximately 9,000 member companies. MENC is the National Association for Music Education.)
As an affiliate member of the SupportMusic Coalition, MIME will participate in a monthly hour-long conference call with other affiliate members. Our first call was on Dec. 20 and we were introduced to the other affiliate members as part of that day’s agenda.
As a result of that conference call, I was contacted by the director of programs and policy of the prestigious VH1 Save The Music Foundation. She was pleased to hear about MIME during the conference call and together we will be exploring how MIME and VH1 might join forces.
“Wanna Play?” is another NAMM-sponsored program MIME has joined. It started in mid-November and seeks to promote the benefits of playing a musical instrument, many of those benefits having been scientifically proven. Therefore, the target audiences of “Wanna Play?” are not just children and teens but adults and senior citizens too.
MIME has established a relationship with Manhattan School of Music’s summer music camp. This five-week camp offers music instruction — free of charge — to New York City public school students who have completed grades five through eight. They must audition to be accepted by the camp. The director of the camp and I will be exploring ways that MIME might be of assistance.
MIME has offered to help spread the word about High 5 Tickets to the Arts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making arts affordable to teens ages 13 to 18. Students, no matter where they reside, can get tickets to music, dance, theatre and visual arts events simply by using a school ID and paying just $5. And they can buy additional $5 tickets for adults or teachers to accompany them. High 5 has some very prominent affiliates and sponsors who are interested in its long-term success. I encourage you to help by promoting the availability of these discounted tickets to your own family members and to your own music students. Check out www.HighFiveTix.org.
There is also enthusiasm among Local 802’s own members, a small number of whom have already offered to help with MIME’s music education mission. With the alliances that have already been established, MIME may be taking our members up on their offers in the not-too-distant future!
Larry Rawdon can be reached at RawdonHall@aol.com.