Music education is deeply personal to me. I have always wanted to play musical instruments. When I was in third grade, I desperately wanted to play the drums. I was told that I had to earn the right to learn this musical instrument by increasing my academic levels. There is no doubt in my mind that countless other children have been told the same thing. I proved my gatekeepers wrong. My ability to read and my number sense dramatically improved alongside my passion and love of learning music. I could visualize half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes and was quickly able to translate that into mathematical concepts in the classroom, putting me well ahead of many of my classmates.
I truly believe that music education enhances and supports academic growth and performance. This is why I have been such a vocal advocate for visual and performing arts as critical components to a high-quality education.
Careers In Music
The music industry offers a wide range of opportunities for individuals whoa re passionate about music. By exploring their interests and pursuing further education or specialized training in music, arts administration, or related fields, individuals can discover fulfilling and rewarding careers that allow them to contribute to the vibrant and dynamic world of music. Please see these resources from our national partners the National Federation of High School Associations and the National Association of Music Merchants:
2023 Florida Legislative Summary:
End of Session Report
This is a comprehensive report of the 2023 Legislative Session prepared by our lobbyists from the Capitol Hill Group.
The 2023 session will impact education in general for years to come. It is worth taking time to review this report. The narrative about the budget at the beginning of this document is most helpful.
Early Childhood Music Education Incentive Program
There were some bright spots for music and arts education in the 2023 session. Please see page 13 of the End of Session Report for Senator Perry’s Early Childhood Music Education Incentive Program.
This legislation passed unanimously. Senator Perry has been championing this legislation since 2017. This legislation moves this program from a pilot program to a permanent program administered by the Department of Education.
Arts Education Data Project
Unfortunately, Governor DeSantis vetoed this allocation. We will continue to pursue other funding sources to bring this invaluable resource to FMEA members, parents, families, and community members. This resource will be particularly helpful to parents as they choose music and arts education programs for their students.
2024 Session Dates:
January 9, 2024 through March 8, 2024
Advocacy at the National Level: NAfME Hill Day
On June 23, 2023 more than 200 music education leaders and advocates from across the country participated in the annual Hill Day hosted by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).
Your Florida team included Jeanne Reynolds, Dr. Kathleen Sanz, Dr. Steve Kelly, Jason Locker, Scott Evans, Christopher Perez, Andrew Burk Colin Urbana and Megan Rodriguez. The team worked hard on your behalf advocating for high quality arts education for all.
NAfME had outlined many legislative priorities for us to discuss. Our Florida team focused mainly on two issues. The first was strong support for the funding for Titles I, II, and IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). We asked legislators not only to fully fund these critically important programs but also to include clarifying language so that all school districts understand that these funds can be used for music programs. Currently, this varies from district to district.
The second topic we focused on was the Loan Forgiveness for Educators Act. In our conversations, we heard support for this program from both sides of the aisle.
FMEA was the winner of the 2019 NAfME Excellence in Advocacy Award
The Importance of Informed Voting, from members of our Advocacy Committee:
60-Second Advocacy - Episode 1: Legislative session opening - Fine Arts Seal
60-Second Advocacy - Episode 2: Finding and contacting your elected officials
60-Second Advocacy - Episode 3: What to say when you call your elected officials
60-Second Advocacy - Episode 4: Help pass the Seal of Fine Arts for graduating seniors
60-Second Advocacy - Episode 5: Collegiate Advocacy Week
60-Second Advocacy - Episode 6: Advocating Locally
60-Second Advocacy - Episode 7: Florida Seal of Fine Arts and the ESSER Grants
60-Second Advocacy - Episode 8: Using Social Media to promote your program
60-Second Advocacy - Episode 9: Speaking with Passion and Proof
FMEA Advocacy Video
- Single-Page Arts Advocacy Hand-Out
- Music & Academics Advocacy Brochure
- NAfME Civil Action Field Guide for Music Education
Contact Your Legislators
- Find & Contact Your Elected Officials
- All Florida House Representatives
- All Florida Senators
- Florida Senate Education Committee
- Florida House Committees
1-800-301-FMEA(3632) • Fax: (850) 942-1793