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Yamaha, DonorsChoose.org Partner to Alleviate the Financial Burden Music Educators Face

Yamaha, DonorsChoose.org Partner to Alleviate the Financial Burden Music Educators Face

In this day and age, every K-12 educator has to spend some out-of-pocket money on school supplies for their classrooms (an average of $500, to be exact).

But music teachers have to spend even more--roughly $945--to bring music into the classroom. 80 percent of music educators, in fact, say that funding is the main hurdle they face in music education in general.

In order to alleviate some of the financial burden that music educators across the country face and to help strengthen music education on a national level, Yamaha Band and Orchestral division and DonorsChoose.org have announced a partnership that will generate $250,000 worth of supplies.

"With often limited funding from schools and districts, teachers spend on average $945 of their own money to equip classrooms with adequate supplies needed to bring music into the classroom. Yamaha's $125,000 matching donation, which will generate $250,000 worth of supplies, will help lessen the financial burden teachers are faced with and provide the best environment for students to learn and succeed,” said the two companies in a joint statement.

"Providing a well-rounded experience at schools with music education offerings will add to a higher-value workforce in the future that will pay dividends for years to come. Yamaha Artists Violinist Lindsey Stirling and Saxophonist Jeff Coffin have joined this effort, and are committed to helping ensure that young music students have the confidence, nurturing environment and music essentials they need to be successful.”

A lack of funding in music education has been a national problem for years. Funding isn't the only problem, though. Music education programs also routinely face a shortage of qualified teachers.  Last year, a school district short on music teachers made news after using an online tutoring tool to teach students in its string program. Live Music Tutor is expected to be a useful tool to help districts struggling to find teachers going forward. 

Tools like Live Music Tutor and funding from companies like Yamaha and DonorsChoose come at an important time. The demand for quality music education programs seems to be increasing, partly thanks to this school year being the first that music education is defined by education law as part of a well-rounded education. Further, a recent study revealed that this back-to-school season, parents are spending an unprecedented amount of money on musical instruments for their children.

Certainly, it seems music education is going back-to-school in full force.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

8/18/2016

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