Purpose beyond teaching


Are you a music education advocate?  If you teach, you surely are, as teaching has advocacy at its core.  From organizing music parent meetings to working with colleagues in other curriculum areas, every human connection you make matters.  As we kick off Music in Our Schools Month, we’re celebrating the advocate—the individual who works to support our music programs.

One fine example of music advocacy is found in Joseph Sugar.  In fact, in the state of New York, March 1st is now known as Joseph R. Sugar NYSSMA Day.  The New York State School Music Association renamed its annual celebration after Joseph in recognition of his unfailing efforts to build statewide support of music programs.  The celebration held in the state capital connects music educators with state lawmakers, yielding important understanding and dialog between both groups.   Read more in School Music News:  http://www.nyssma.org/files/13/advocacyart1-10.pdf

Even with Joseph’s passing this year, what he taught us lives on.   He and his wife Carol have been and continue to be an example of how individuals can raise awareness, of how individuals can make a difference.  Advocates work for public understanding of the value of music learning.  In global understanding we find stability of programs, where future generations are guaranteed a music education.  The advocates help ensure our cultural traditions are passed on, and we thank them for it.

Are there advocates you’d like to thank?  Share their stories with us.

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Kathy Fernandes
Kathy Fernandes is Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for J.W. Pepper. With her background as a school band director, studio teacher, and ongoing experiences as a flutist and mother of three musicians, Kathy is immersed in music. She continues to be involved in education by teaching middle school-aged students at her church and also serves on its Pastoral Council. Kathy advocates for a healthy musical culture by serving on the Board of the Music Publishers Association of the United States, as an industry representative for the American Choral Directors Association and through participation on the Corporate Advisory Council for the National Association for Music Education and the Support Music Coalition. Kathy is Secretary of Corporation for J.W. Pepper’s Board of Directors, is a Forbes Communication Council member, and is a former member of the Key Executive Group for the greater Philadelphia area.

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