Volunteering For Music Education
Regarded as the field of teaching and learning of music, music education is perhaps one of the oldest types of education in history, with humans using different types of music and sound as communication and self-expression since Neolithic times.
Similar to language or dance, music is an art form that distinguishes us as human beings, while also bringing people together from all over the world. Even scientists recognize the human brain’s want for music and being part of the human experience, and oftentimes attribute academic and professional successes to the cognitive skills primed by those who have backgrounds in music, assisting in the creative as well as critical thinking processes and retention as brain activity is increased through music education.
Today, music education is maintained in most schools around the world to provide the development of musical skills, knowledge, appreciation, and sensitivity. As a fundamental component of culture, music is recognized globally as integral in personal as well as academic development for all ages.
Despite the proven and highly recognized positive attributes of music education on individuals as well as society as a whole, funding and staffing assistance for music education has become more scarce over the years, with many public schools (especially in the United States) cutting funding for the Fine Arts in favor of sports or other academic teams.
Today, organizations such as the International Society for Music Education span the globe in efforts to connect people from around the world through music education, appreciation, and respect, and support in their efforts to enrich the world’s intercultural development.
How you can volunteer for music education
If you’re interested in volunteering in the field of music education but aren’t sure where to start looking, fear not, you have many opportunities available to you!
First off, you can assist in music and educational performances in schools and communities through playing as an accompanist, DJ, or event player. You also can help with musical instruction in schools and after-school programs—even holding private lessons—and event volunteering, such as greeting, clean-up, fundraising, stage production, takedown, and more. Plus, you can assist in the distribution of donated instruments, repairing instruments, and event planning for different choral or instrumental groups from different communities—all of which are of great help to music educators and professionals.
However, the area where you can assist in music education the most is perhaps through advocacy to promote required music in public schools and equal opportunities for communities around the world.
Whether through contacting your local school district, finding a music education organization near you, or travelling abroad to volunteer with an international perspective, volunteering for music education is a great choice! Also be sure to check out museums in your endeavors!
The following is a list of a few great organizations to get you started!
- CHIME (DC)
- Music for Minors (San Francisco)
- Global Crossroad (Brazil)
- Lang Lang International Music Foundation
- International Society for Music Education
Good luck in your endeavors!