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Think back to your elementary music class. Try not to think about your saddle shoes, hair scrunchy, or other poor fashion choice that plagued your childhood years (for the record, I actually like saddle shoes).

Anyway, consider those elementary music classes from the perspective of an adult who didn’t go on to study music or play in community performing groups. Now, answer the following questions from that perspective:

  • How many skills did you retain from elementary music?
  • What skills are taught in the modern elementary music class?
  • What is music literacy and why is it important?

 

When I began developing the concept of newsletters for “specials classes” (that’s what our school called music, art, and P.E.), I had those questions in mind. My goals were simple, to show the community (parents/colleagues/administration) what was happening in music class and why it was important. I wrote a blog post on this topic over a year ago, detailing how I used newsletters for advocacy, which you can read HERE.

If you’ve read my old post, then you know exactly why I used newsletters, so here are a few updated, quick tips for those of you short on time (probably all of you).

  • Use bright, colorful paper for printing to really stand out. Depending on how often you disseminate your newsletters, this could be costly, so choose your timing carefully.
  • Make it short and sweet. Just like teachers, parents are short on time. So, use bullet points and try not to start any sentence with “When I was a kid, walking uphill to and from school…” (ain’t nobody got time for that)
  • Organize logistics. Know how the newsletters will be passed out to students and make it as easy as possible on the homeroom teachers. In other words, don’t throw a stack of papers on their desk at the last minute as you run to your next class.
  • Get feedback. Chat with parents, teachers, and administration to see how the newsletters are being received. The positive feedback I received from parents helped me to know that I was on the right track.
  • Online access. Though our specials department discussed this possibility, it never came to fruition. If you do choose to make this an option, be sure to include your administration and technology team in the discussion. They may have alternative suggestions that work better for the school system and for parents.
Click on the screenshot below to download the example newsletter, along with two editable versions. Once you download the file, you can delete my text on pages two and three and use any font you choose. However, if you’d like to match my style, you can buy the fonts I used in the example here and here.
Border by Kelly B’s Clipart

That’s it for today! Be sure to check back in next week for another free resource as I continue to celebrate professional milestones.

With gratitude,
Jennifer