“…it is important to recognize that African Americans, Latinos, and other minorities come to school with a rich musical background whether ethnic or otherwise, including hip-hop, church music, and the vast expanse of popular music in all cultures.  Ironically this type [of] musicality is rarely acknowledged in school music programs, often creating teacher attitudes about perceived musical deficits.”

– Lisa C. DeLorenzo, “Is there a color line in music education?”

We call for every student in every city in America to have access to a robust and active music life.

Every student in every school in America deserves opportunities to make and learn music. A student’s access to an active music life should not be dependent on zip code, socioeconomic status, racial or ethnic background, country of birth, or language spoken at home.

Systemic inequities deprive many city students of their social, cultural, and educational rights as human beings. These students deserve the right to the same music education and music-making opportunities that their suburban and more affluent counterparts enjoy.

An active music life means creating, performing, and responding to music in a variety of settings. It is characterized by:

  • Accessible, sequential, and robust music instruction in schools

  • Outside-of-school opportunities that provide services that schools do not provide

  • Informal music-making (at home, at places of worship, with family and friends, etc.)

We aim to ensure that every student in America’s city schools has access to the full range of opportunities that comprise an active music life.