Public schools across the country are responding to fiscal constraints by making significant cuts in the staffing, scheduling, and budgetary support of instrumental music programs; yet the No Child Left Behind Act specifies the arts as one of the required “core” subjects to which each child must have access. In fact, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has specifically addressed the importance of the arts to students in a recent memo, emphasizing its status as a core subject as defined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. (http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2009/08/08182009a.pdf)
In order to meet this challenge, a panel of regional and national experts in instrumental music education will convene at 4:00 PM on Friday, October 9, 2009 in a “town hall meeting” format, responding to questions from a live audience and simultaneous webcast viewers. Audience members will include band directors from public schools and higher education, music teacher preparation faculty from area institutions, public school music students, parents, and administrators.
The panelists are nationally recognized experts from higher education, public school music education, and public school administration. They include Dr. Edward S. Lisk, Frank L. Battisti, Dr. David Neves, and Richard L. Pearson.
Rhode Island College is the natural setting for such a colloquium, given its strong reputation in music teacher preparation, as well as the current financial crisis many Rhode Island school districts are facing.