National Advocacy Efforts


Action Alert

Title IV Block Grant Funding- As you may know, Title IV block grant is a new program created in ESSA that can be utilized by states and school districts to provide a well-rounded education, which includes music.  Unfortunately, the grant has faced numerous hurdles in Congress and may be severely underfunded. NAfME, has been working with other education-related organizations to advocate for this issue and is requesting NAMM Member assistance now. 

Here are some ways you can help:

  1. Send a letter to Congress by using this tool
  2. Tweet using the hashtag, #MoreTitleIV- Tweet using the hashtag #MoreTitleIV and talk about the importance of fully funding Title IV, A and its importance to music education.
  3. Call your members in Congress- Call your Senators’ and Representative’s offices. Unsure what to say? – Here is a script you can use when speaking to staff members. Unsure who your Representative is? – Visit the Find Your Representative tool.

More information on the Title IV block grant and Day of Action can be found on NAfME’s Day of Action site, here.


"Focusing on Gaps In Access to Arts Education"  
By Valerie Norville, 'State Innovations', National Association of State Boards of Education. Vol. 23, No.1, July 2018

The current Federal Education Law, ESSA, names instruction in the arts as an essential part of a well-rounded education and provides several opportunities for states to enhance participation in arts education. Read about how projects in New Jersey, California, Kentucky and Illinois are making arts education data available for advocates and administrators.  

Get Involved

Interested in becoming more involved? Start by filling out this form.


The Coalition on Coalitions (CoCs) is a working group within the NAMM Foundation’s SupportMusic Coalition that supports NAMM members and their networks working on state-level music and arts education advocacy efforts. As a network of advocates, the CoCs provides tactics, resources and best practices to move and improve state-level policies, funding and advocacy for music and arts education. Toward this objective, NAMM has partnered with Americans for the Arts and the National Association for Music Education, to inform and connect NAMM Members with arts advocacy organizations in their states and to expand state and local advocacy effectiveness. 

Coalition on Coalitions Dashboard, The CoCs dashboard on, serves as a nexus of information regarding specific state-focused music education advocacy efforts.  The dashboard features a thumbnail summary of action alerts, status updates, NAMM Member contacts, and state-specific resources for active state coalitions in various stages of network.

Advocacy and Issue TrainingLive and recorded webinars are available to connect, assist and advise NAMM members about current opportunities and ongoing state-specific efforts. 

State Advocacy Opportunities, Regularly updated information regarding needed state-advocacy action.  As an example: State education associations are holding “listening tours” across the U.S. in town hall-style meetings and/or they are accepting input by email or via web-based surveys. Action is needed now to ensure that every student in your state benefits from new opportunities in music education.

State Coalition Bootcamp at The 2017 NAMM Show, This half-day workshop was held on Tuesday January 17 and provided state coalition teams with hands-on advocacy training. Listen to audio files here: 

  • State Level Advocacy: What’s Happening and What’s Next. Jeff Poulin, Americans for the Arts. Audio recording.
  • ESSA Update. Lynn Tuttle, NAfME. Audio Recording. Audio Recording.
  • Advocacy at the Grassroots. Laurie Schell, Music Makes Us Nashville. Audio Recording.

Coalition on Coalitions Forum at The 2017 NAMM Show, This meeting was held on Friday, January 20 and provided an overview of current policy opportunities and updates on state activity featuring updates from NAMM Member state coalition leaders. Listen to audio files here: 

  • AFTA Resources and How to Advance Arts-friendly Policies in Education. Jeff Poulin, Americans for the Arts. Audio Recording.
  • Federal Education Policy and ESSA. Lynn Tuttle, NAfME. Audio Recording.
  • Policy Work at the Local Level. Laurie Schell, Music Makes Us Nashville. Audio Recording.
  • Arts Education Partnership: Tools and Resources . Jane Best, Arts Education Partnership. Audio Recording.

Coalition on Coalitions at The 2017 Summer NAMM Show, This meeting was held on Friday, July 14 and featured a panel discussion, national updates, and state team reports. Audio link coming soon.

Coalition on Coalitions Forum at The 2018 NAMM Show, The SupportMusic Coalition on Coalitions for Music Education Advocacy Forum convenes NAMM members and music education colleagues working on state and local advocacy efforts to review ways Title I and Title IV funds are used to support music and arts education under year one of ESSA implementation. Lunch is provided. Presented by The NAMM Foundation. Learn more

NAMM Advocacy Resources

SupportMusic Coalition, The NAMM Foundation’s SupportMusic Coalition is a public service initiative that supports music education in local communities in the U.S. This advocacy effort now unites national, state and local organizations comprised of parents, business and community leaders, and educators seeking to improve access and opportunity in music and arts learning. To learn more or to join the coalition, please visit the NAMM Foundation website's Get Involved page.

A Parent’s Guide to ESSA, A brochure that outlines how parents can advocate for expanding music and arts education opportunities as the new federal education law is implemented in each state and impacts local school districts. 

Tips for Producing Your Own Music Advocacy Booklet, elements to consider when developing a music education advocacy booklet or gathering testimonials to share at state advocacy events. 

Why Learn to Play Music, A brochure available in English and Spanish, features up-to-date research and statistics highlighting the many benefits of music education. Available as a download for e-distribution.

Striking a Chord, NAMM Foundation Study finds that strong majorities of teachers and parents say music education is very important and should continue to be funded, and offered as part of curriculum and the school day. A large majority of Parents and Teachers believe that children should have opportunities to learn to play musical instruments as early as elementary school and that music and arts education are “extremely” or “very important.” Download today.

Talking Up Music Education Podcast, A podcast produced by The NAMM Foundation about music education. Host Mary Luehrsen chats with teachers, parents, students and community leaders who share stories about what they are doing to create music learning opportunities and the profound value that music education has brought to their lives.  Subscribe today.

Research Briefs: Did You Know? Advocacy resources in a database of cited facts and quotes to help make your case for supporting music education in schools. Download here.

National Partner Resources

Americans For The Arts (AFTA)

National Association for Music Education (NAfME)

  • New Year, New Rules for ESSA, What States Must Do in the New Year to Create Their Accountability System and Plan for ESSA Implementation
  • Everything ESSA, Toolkits and implementation guides on how to navigate and understand ESSA, comprehensive legislative analysis of the bill, and regulatory and implementation policy involving the U.S. Department of Education and States. 
  • BroaderMinded Blog, Features the latest developments in music education advocacy news; the latest in music education policy (legislative and regulatory), as well as around the clock election and campaign updates for 2016.
  • NAfME Grassroots Action Center, Visit NAfME’s Grassroots Action Center and find how you can Support Music Education in Federal Education Policy, be involved with the legislative process, and engage your members in congress.
  • ESSA State Plan Template.
  • List of State ESSA websites.
  • State advocacy contacts: Advocacy Leadership Force.

Arts Education Partnership (AEP)

  • ESSA Resources, Most current information from national organizations, research institutes and think tanks regarding ESSA policy and resources.
  • ArtScan, A searchable clearinghouse of the latest state policies supporting education in and through the arts from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This site includes not only policy language excerpted directly from each state’s education policies but also information on state-level surveys of arts education and a set of descriptive education indicators.
  • ArtsEdSearch, The nation’s first research and policy database focused entirely on student and educator outcomes associated with in-school and out-of-school arts education and implications for policy based on existing research.
  • ESSA: Mapping Opportunities for the Arts
  • State Pre-K Funding 2016-17 Fiscal Year: Trends and opportunities.