Music Education Matters

By+Kelli Stopczynski

You might not realize it, but music is everywhere in our lives.  Think about jingles you hear on radio and television commercials, or music you download onto your Mp3 player and listen to while riding in the car or exercising. 

All that music came from artists who have a passion for creating it.  Somewhere along the way, someone – a parent, friend or teacher – approached that musician and introduced them to the beauty and power within notes and instruments.  But now more than ever before, schools around the world are in danger of losing music education programs and the funding that supports them.

“School music budgets continue to see cut-backs year after year, and students are unfortunately the ones who suffer the most,” explained Jenna Grisham, Institutional Marketing Manger with The Woodwind & Brasswind (WWBW).

Preserving music education has been one of WWBW’s core fundamental elements since it opened in 1978.  A majority of its employees have impressive backgrounds in music education and performance, meaning they understand how music education can help students of all ages.

“The benefits of learning music are endless,” Grisham explained.  “Discipline, teamwork, cultural awareness, stress relief, sense of achievement, self-expression, sense of belonging, social development.  The list goes on and on.”

WWBW cares about protecting music education because the future of the music industry depends on it, she added.  For the South Bend-based company, that means working directly with school music directors, parents and students both in the United States and abroad to provide instruments and equipment at significantly discounted prices. 

“the benefits of learning music are endless”

The company works with community partners such as Notre Dame’s BandLink program and WAOR’s School of Rock program to help jump start music education within local charities such as the Boys & Girls Club and the Salvation Army. 

WWBW also welcomes area schools to schedule field trips to the store to help students learn about music instruments and the music industry in general.  The company also hosts musical concerts and clinics in the store, open to the public.

But it doesn’t stop there.  A little over three years ago, WWBW began a partnership with DonorsChoose.org, a website designed to help public schools develop music programs for students in underprivileged areas throughout the United States.  Through the website, donors are able to choose which specific projects they wish to fund, knowing exactly how their money will be used.  Donors then receive thank you e-mails and notes from teachers and students once the project is underway.  Some local schools are also on the website, asking for donations.

It’s tough to imagine a drive in the car with no radio, or a commercial without a jingle.  That’s why it’s important for all of us to join WWBW in the quest to support music education in our community, our country and our world.

For more information visit The Woodwind & Brasswind online at www.wwbw.com