All About The BASS: Examinging Music Education Advocacy

Open Access
Budd, Clarissa Janelle
Area of Honors:
Music Education
Bachelor of Music Education
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Linda Carol Porter Thornton, Thesis Supervisor
  • Linda Carol Porter Thornton, Honors Advisor
  • Darrin Howard Thornton, Faculty Reader
  • Music Education
  • Music Education Advocacy
  • Public School Education
  • Advocacy Statements
Since it became a part of the Boston Public School curriculum in 1838, music education has been fighting for its place in American public schools. To ensure every child receives the opportunity to participate in a well-rounded school music program, educators have looked to advocacy to communicate and distribute the benefits of music education. Music education advocacy has taken many forms, ranging from student demonstrations in the classroom to national standards and new assessment strategies, along with ‘bumper sticker statements’ and other written documents. Often, these advocacy statements expressing support for music education do not always uphold the true values and goals of the music education curriculum, or the philosophies of music teachers. The purpose of this paper is to develop an advocacy statement that promotes music education through teacher philosophy and music specific benefits with the inclusion of some of the wide intrinsic and extrinsic benefits of music education. This study includes a review of literature from well-known and highly regarded music educators and philosophers that describe different definitions of advocacy, and what content should be included in an advocacy statement. I used the collected definitions, content and research to craft a rubric, the Budd Advocacy Statement System or BASS, which can be used to review and write advocacy statements. I then used the BASS rubric to review current advocacy statements assessing their fidelity towards the goals and philosophies of the music education field. Advocacy statements from national organizations, state music education associations and school districts were reviewed. It is necessary for advocates of music education to use statements and essays that focus on the teachers’ priorities for the students and the overall music education curriculum.