Roll Over Beethoven, #595


Please forgive me as I stand on a soap box and speak my two cents today, but the new Grammy music education teacher of the year award has stirred up my fire for the need for music advocacy in our society.  I am thrilled that the Grammy’s are bringing music education in the lime light.  In my humble opinion, this is the best thing that has happened for music education in a very long time.

It just kills me when I hear about schools that no longer have a music program for their students due to lack of funding.  This is inexcusable!  Parents, if you are in a school with no music program for your kids or a music program that is about to be taken away….do something about it!  Go find alternative funding.  Write a grant, contact local businesses to sponsor the program, hold a fundraising event…..whatever it takes.

I created my Top 10 Tuesday music activities ( as a response to children all over the United States not getting a music education.  Top 10 Tuesdays are a way for parents to supplement a music education at home….especially when our public school system is failing them.

Though I am proud of my Top 10 Tuesday activities, the truth is that I wish I didn’t feel a need to have to write them.  The best place for children to be learning music is with their peers.  They should be creating music together and bonding with each other through this most powerful force.  They should be bouncing ideas of off each other and getting excited about music together as so many young people have.  In my mind, it is crucial.  Just think about all of the young musicians who have started off making music after school in garages with their best buddies.

So, I am thrilled that the Grammy’s have created this award, because I feel that it gives music education a platform and a high standard of excellence.  To whomever wins this award….please use the power behind it responsibly.  Use that award to speak for all of us music educators that music needs to be treated with the same importance as reading and math do.  As we all know, music holds incredible academic benefits, and there is a valid place for it in schools.

My song of the day is Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven.”  I love this video on Youtube where Chuck Berry asks Beethoven to “Forgive us, roll over and listen to THIS!”  Click HERE to watch Chuck Berry and all of his charismatic energy perform rock and roll music that he feels may make Beethoven roll over in his grave.  Berry was such an innovative force to music, and may we all learn from his originality.  Hopefully, if we all stand together, this is the type of vision that can be brought back into public schools.


2 responses »

  1. Great piece JZ – you know we love you 🙂

    It kills us too when music programs in schools are cut. But we’ve always believed that the future health of the music education profession would come from outside of academia. It seemed that the most ‘action’ being taken to ‘save music’ was simply to say “our kids need music, …it makes them smarter,…. please save our programs, ….watch Mr. Holland’s Opus!…” and frankly, we wanted to actually DO something about it.

    So about 20 years ago a bunch of passionate music educators came together and created the Dallas School of Music, a for- profit facility that would teach folks of all ages and all levels of ability the joy of music making. Over the first 10 years we developed our own curriculum and with the growth of the internet were able to share it with folks all over the world (discover, learn, and and now we’ve turned our attention to helping those less fortunate access lessons, great music education material, resources, and even personal help from our world class staff. (

    So far we’ve partnered with 5 non-profits who provide services for under-served people in their area and have been in touch with nearly 70 non-profits all over the world. It’s an exciting time!

    About the Grammy’s and their music education venture, we lobbied them 2 years ago to include an education category. Unfortunately, they, like most of America, associate music education with school kids, band choir, & orchestra programs. Even like the profession itself abandons most of it’s base at the ripe old age of 18. We hope to change that dynamic by making music educations a life long endeavor that can help keep old folks active and mentally agile well into old age. This will be accomplished by future music educators working together in their communities and providing great facilities for ALL folks who want to make music part of their lives.

    I blogged about the Grammy’s too – it was a memorable and enjoyable show for the most part. I’m not sure they got all of the education category quite right but it’s a decent start. Here is our blog – thanks for reading!

    • DLP…you are the most impressive and altruistic music program! It is a pleasure to be learning all about you and thank goodness for your musical activism. You are making such strides for music educators like me.For anyone reading this blog post and comments…please make sure to check out the Dallas Music Program (DLP). They are leaders in this industry and just all around good souls!

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