Music Teachers and Our Community

Music teachers broaden learning on many levels. In response to the Lansing School District's recent announcement, the College of Music would like to offer some perspective.

Listen to Mitchell Robinson's May 2 interview on WKAR's Current State program.

The recent decision by the Lansing School Board and Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul to cut music, art and physical education elementary teaching positions from the budget next year is disappointing. As leaders of Michigan State University’s College of Music, we believe children in our urban schools deserve the same access to high quality music instruction, provided by certified music teachers, that their peers in the suburbs receive.

Students in Lansing will lose competitive ground due to the absence of the cognitive, kinesthetic and psychomotor development represented by the long-term, sequential study of music. This, in turn, will make Lansing a less desirable place for families with children to live.

While we understand the budget constraints faced by all of the state's educational institutions, the decision to bring in musicians from the community occasionally to engage with students is no more a substitute for a comprehensive music education than bringing in mathematicians periodically would be considered an appropriate math education.

We strongly support Lansing's music teachers and urge the superintendent and the Lansing School Board to reconsider their decision, which negatively affects the quality of learning for Lansing's children in significant ways.

Mitchell Robinson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Chair of Music Education

Michigan State University

Rhonda Buckley

Associate Dean for Outreach and Engagement

Executive Director, Community Music School

Michigan State University

James Forger

Dean, College of Music

Michigan State University


Click here to read about the viewpoint of Mitchell Robinson, chair of the Music Education Department.

The following organizations endorse the MSU College of Music's position on this matter:

Capital Area Music Teacher’s Association

The National Association for Music Education
Click here to read their letter of support

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra

Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum

Wharton Center for the Performing Arts

The Greater Lansing Arts Council
Click here to read an opinion article from them on this issue. 

Art Serve Michigan

Michigan Art Education Association

Michigan Chapter of American String Teachers Association

Michigan Music Education Association

Michigan Music Teachers Association

Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association

Michigan School Vocal Music Association

Michigan Youth Arts Association

Mid Michigan Orff Schulwerk Music Association

Partnership for Music Education Policy Development

If you would like to share your comments with the MSU College of Music, click here

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