Grassroots Involvement

We at the Spirit of Harmony Foundation believe that every student deserves access to high quality music instruction and we are dedicated to helping educators, districts, administrators, parents, and engaged communities create and nurture sustainable music education programs in the schools and organizations in their community. Music education programs are fundamental to ensure the optimal social, neurological, economic, and academic development of America’s students.

The purpose of our advocacy work is to give our supporters the research and tools necessary not simply to make the case for music education, but to help bring high quality music education programming to their schools and communities.

Sometimes the place to begin is by contacting the school closest to you and asking to speak to the music teacher. If you get connected to the music teacher, ask what they need and how you can help. If they don’t have a music teacher, ask “WHY NOT?” and let the school know that this is a very important program for children! Every child deserves music education.

Absolutely EVERY ONE of us can do the advocacy work of the Spirit of Harmony Foundation whenever the opportunity arises! This work is grassroots level, and you don’t have to be an expert or a lobbyist to help us spread the important message that Music Education is so good for kids, it is a moral imperative.

Here are some ideas on Grassroots Involvement in your own community:

  • Build a relationship with a local music program. If you know of a local music program, whether a school or an after-school program, contact them and let them know you want to help! If you don’t know of a local program, ask around–you will find one!
  • Very likely they need volunteers at a variety of different levels, everything from school council representative or organizational board member, to volunteers, to fundraising help, to people who will buy tickets and fill the seats for the kids’ recitals.
  • If you discover that your local school does not have a music program, consider visiting our Advocacy Toolkit and arming yourself with all of the reasons why the school should have one!
  • Nearly all music programs need instruments. Consider organizing a community instrument drive, or helping the school reach out to music stores that can assist them with repairing their instruments.
  • Please share the Spirit of Harmony’s Facebook and Twitter posts so your friends and contacts get the message that you are an advocate for music education!

PLEASE visit our website often and check out our Advocacy Toolkit, where we have short descriptions of the key benefits of music education along with links to the very best cutting-edge articles on the subject and information on how to start or revitalize a music education program. Read the material, choose which points resonate with you the most, and then start talking talking talking. Voila–by advocating for the moral imperative of music education, you are an important part of the SOHF Music Education Street Team! And please share your experiences with us.

We love hearing stories of grassroots advocacy for music education. That airline passenger sitting next to you just might be a school principal who needs to hear our perspective on the importance of music education. Your dental hygienist just might be the parent of a child whose music program has been shuttered and is looking for help in working with the school council. As soon as you begin to let people know that you have a keen personal interest in making sure all kids have access to music education, conversations begin to naturally flow and you will be able to start making a real impact by spreading the word. Opportunities present themselves continually.

Advocacy in Chicago

Chicago, November 3, 2021: Mayor Lori Lightfoot invited Todd Rundgren and his Spirit of Harmony Foundation to City Hall to discuss music education advocacy while Todd’s current tour was in Chicago for two concerts at the House of Blues.
Attending the meeting were: Mayor Lightfoot, Todd and Michele Rundgren, and Jean and Jim Lachowicz.
Mayor Lightfoot is a longtime fan of Todd Rundgren’s music and is a strong advocate for ensuring that the arts and music are offered in Chicago Public Schools and youth-serving organizations.
The Spirit of Harmony is a national organization founded by Rundgren and his fans to promote the moral imperative of music education for children. Based in Chicago, the Spirit of Harmony encourages its supporters to engage in grassroots involvement to support music programs in their own communities with an extensive network that includes instrument donations, compiling the latest research on music education in child development, and educating the general public on the artistic, neurological, social, academic, and economic benefits of music education for children.
Left to right: SOHF Treasurer Jim Lachowicz, SOHF Executive Director Jean Lachowicz, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, SOHF Founder and President Todd Rundgren, and SOHF Vice President Michele Rundgren.

What does Music Education Advocacy mean to the Spirit of Harmony Foundation? Please click here for the story.

Detailed report of the state of Music Education in US schools: The-Status-of-Music-Education-in-US-Public-Schools-2017_reduced

Here is the National Association for Music Education’s list of relevant articles and research reports. Please click here

Music for All has an amazing Advocacy In Action website. Please click here. 

A Guide to Advocating for Music in Schools (a publication from the Independent Society of Musicians – UK) – click here for pdf