NMMEA Support Letter Talking points

Band Families! Your advocacy for the fine arts in our schools matters! Your voice can and should be heard!

Despite our situation at Eldorado, it is time again to campaign for a reassessment of in-person playing and singing for our kids. Below this message are the "talking points" that for those of you are willing to advocate for our students returning to playing and singing. All over the state our fellow Band Booster Leaders, Band Directors and NMMEA Leaders are working on trying to build a positive working relationship with our State leaders for the long-term, we want to be cautious in the manner (and content) of our messages to them. We want our State Leaders to understand we want to build a positive working relationship for the benefit of all NM Fine Arts students.

If you're considering being part of this campaign, please keep in mind we need to advocate for all areas of music (elementary music, choir, concert band and not only marching band).

Read on below and thank you for the support of our kids!


ADVOCACY TALKING POINTS (APR)

General Reminders

● Be positive

● Be personal - Speak to student needs (Social/Emotional well-being)

● Avoid the athletic comparison game - Music is not the same as athletics

○ Be sure to advocate for ALL music (K-12). Elementary & General Music students are in need as well as MS/HS Choir/Band students. Do not make this a marching band issue.

● Question what is the plan for the Fall (that is the priority).

● What data is needed for restrictions to change? (certain positivity rate, case count?) ● When would a change for restrictions be revisited?

Educators

● Contact/Speak with Administrators/Superintendents asking for their help in advocating for music programs. We are concerned about a plan for the Fall.

● Educate them on your needs and concerns for future enrollment. Students are choosing not to return to music classes and some choosing to leave HS because of the fact they are unable to participate in music classes.

● Educate them on the frustrations of not being able to teach your curriculum to the fullest extent. ○ The CDC guidelines are 6 feet (outdoors when possible). Why is DOH more strict? ● Be honest about how students are feeling seeing their peers being able to participate in close contact activities (cheerleading at 6 ft distance, wrestling indoors, etc.) and student’s emotional/social well-being is at risk.

● Stress the social & emotional strain on students because they can’t participate in music to a greater extent

● If contacting the Governor, do so from a personal phone outside of the school day. Select/Articulate Parents

● Call the Governor's Office, don’t email as it tends to get lost/dismissed.

● Speak to child’s frustrations of not being able to participate in band/choir fully as school has reopened. It is difficult to return to school, but not participate in the activities that they love.

● Speak to the social & emotional strain on students because they can’t participate in music to a greater extent.

● Speak to your child’s confusion of equity to other activities and their need for playing/singing (personal story)

○ The frustration when they attend athletic events and witness their cheerleading/athlete friends able to practice in a gym and outdoors at 6 feet but they are banned to only be outside at 9 feet. ○ Confusion that they are able to eat lunch with friends (unmasked) outside in pods (not at 6 foot distancing/unmasked), but not sing or play instruments without extreme measures.

○ The frustration that they have a feeling of “returning to normal” with close contact in school hallways, but choir/band students' classes are not normal. Speak to your child’s

Social/Emotional well-being of not being able to participate in music fully when it is part of your child’s curriculum.

For NMAA

● PED guidelines (without a music consultant) create confusion and animosity with music teachers (picture from PED with student using surgical mask/ instrument specific mask issue). ● Music students and teachers feel devalued and are angry as the inequities of athletics and music are apparent.




Talking Points (APR)