Last evening (June 13) , WWOZ sponsored a community forum on music education. The forum addressed a number of questions: What's going on with music education today in New Orleans? What's working? What's not? How can we help pass New Orleans music onto the next generation?
Among those sharing their ideas and experiences was Wilbert Rawlins, Jr. of Landry-Walker High, who offered his expertise as a current band director.
NOCCA's Jee Yeoun Ko and Katie Carrington, Artistic Director of the GNO Suzuki Forum, explored issues surrounding the teaching string instruments.
Desmond Venable, formerly Band Director at Riverdale Middle School talked about making the transition from aspiring professional musician to music educator, noting along that way that "music was an extension of my family."
Two issues that seemed particularly resonant. First, perhaps the biggest challenge for music educators is raising funds for acquiring and maintaining instruments and related supplies. Second, in order to have its most positive impact, music education needs to be a presence in children's lives from an early age.
The forum happened at the Holy Angels Center in the Bywater. It was produced by WWOZ's Ariana Hall and moderated by Daryl Dabon Jarvis and Amy Lee Wilson.
Thanks to everyone involved!
Share your thoughts on the state of music education in New Orleans in our online questionnaire. WWOZ will be creating news content around the issues that come up in the questionnaire responses and the community discussion.