November 5, 2020
MMEA has been diligently at work this fall on a number of fronts. Important information is included after a quick reminder about state high school events. Keep reading! The Submittable audition window for Jazz All-State is open until November 13 and the Submittable BOC All-State auditions window is open until December 4. Plans are in the works for our state-wide festivals and conference, and the newest “Motif” will be released in December.
We have also worked to continue the conversation with stakeholders at the state level in an effort to shift the restrictive state CDC guidelines that we must navigate daily. We would like to share with you the following developments as they pertain to this effort. MMEA represents it’s members and our mission of promoting and advancing Music Education in Maine.
Please read the following information with care and the utmost consideration to the current status of our state and the impact the pandemic is having on our communities. Do not lose sight of the conditions and trends. MMEA will not advocate for anything less than the safety of our students and teachers.
- At their meeting on October 21st, the sports medicine committee of the Maine Principals Association unanimously approved to endorse the “Fall 2020 MMEA Guidance for Music Education”. This guidance was written with input from the MMEA Executive Committee, the Maine DOE VPA Specialist Jason Anderson, and the Chair of the MPA Sports Medicine Committee Dr. William Heinz. In reading the guidance you will notice that it draws heavily upon the preliminary material found in the “International Performing Arts Aerosol Study”. This is the documentation that was sent to the state for review in early October that has not yet been acted upon. This guidance from MMEA does NOT supersede the DOE/DHHS/CDC current restrictions or your own school board’s policy on music performance during Covid-19.
- Our Advocacy team is working to provide infrastructure for improved action and messaging to help us better communicate with our communities about the health and needs of our music programs. Vicky Cherry (MMEA Advocacy Chair) created this great visual for us all–thanks Vicky!
- Teachers across Maine are partnering with their school leaders, school boards and parent advocates to send a message to the state that music matters, that guidelines must be reviewed and changed, and that questions must be answered. Here is an outstanding example from parent advocate Erin Pollack, of Cumberland. She has granted permission for use. Please note the informative, science-based tone of her letter. We thank her and music teacher Sarah Bailey (YOUR MMEA Treasurer!) for this collaborative effort.
The work will continue. If you have some great presentation materials, an excellent community advocacy letter, or want to be involved, we ask you to join us. We are working on a playbook of resources that we can share with you soon.
Thank you for your ongoing work on behalf of music education.