June 19, 2020
Dear Trustees and District and School Administrators,
As the school year comes to a close and planning for next year is in full swing, we wanted to reach out to you about your district’s music programs. We recognize that COVID-19 has created many challenges for our education system and we know that you are hard at work planning the most successful way forward for your students, teachers, and communities.
It is so important that we all work together to protect our school music programs during this time. Because music classes often meet in large groups and frequently involve playing instruments or singing, there are inherent challenges. With collaborative planning, creative thinking, and a commitment to the hard work of music students and teachers, it is absolutely possible to keep music programs running and thriving, even if they look different than what we are used to. Just because we cannot meet in large groups or play instruments or sing in the same way right now, does not mean that music classes cannot be adaptable for the time being.
We have been working in close partnership with the British Columbia Music Educators Association, the Ministry of Education, and many passionate and informed music teachers who are committed to charting a safe and effective course forward. A “Framework for Music Classes During COVID-19” for BC music programs is currently being created and will be distributed soon. Additionally, we will be holding a series of Town Hall meetings for music teachers to share ideas and strategies.
We ask that you, as educational leaders in your school districts, ensure that music classes are offered to all students who would normally have access in a typical school year. We ask that you work closely with the music educators in your schools to find those creative solutions, and to develop a proactive plan that allows for continued access to music and fine arts courses as mandated in the BC curriculum. Failure to act now can lead to irreversible damage to music programs that are such valuable assets in our communities and an essential part of every child’s education.
On the CMEBC website, you can find a list of resources, strategies, and potential solutions to consider for your school’s music programs. Please reach out to us anytime if you have questions or need support. We look forward to sharing the “Framework for Music Classes During COVID-19” document with you when it is complete.
The CMEBC Board of Directors
Download a copy of of this letter.