CEDAR GROVE, NJ - For its outstanding commitment to music education, Cedar Grove High School has been honored by Music for All, Inc., with seven Advocacy in Action Awards in four categories: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, HIGH SCHOOL & MIDDLE SCHOOL RETENTION, RECRUITMENT ACTIVITIES, and ENGAGEMENT WITH ADMINISTRATION. The Advocacy in Action Award designation is presented to music programs, schools, and communities across the United States that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide access to music education for all students. Submissions were reviewed by a national panel of educators, administrators, community leaders, and business leaders recognized for achievement in music and music advocacy. Cedar Grove High School was among 95 applicants for the debut year of this award, and its seven awards are among the most received by any program.
To qualify for the Advocacy in Action Award designation, Cedar Grove submitted a detailed description of its music program and specific projects—some of which include the Vermont Exchange Concert Program, the Free to Be … You and Me traveling concert focusing on individuality and acceptance, and CG Tonight! a monthly open mic night in the CGHS Black Box Theatre. The Vermont Exchange program, which takes place biannually, will take place in May 2019 with a theme of “It Takes Two.” The next CG Tonight! will take place in mid-March, after the high school’s spring musical production of Curtains in late February/early March.
Another project for which Cedar Grove High School earned recognition is its ongoing collaboration between the music department and the administration through its Getting to Know You initiative. Without the support of the CGHS administration, these achievements would not be possible.
Music Director Jennifer Jessen-Foose on the role of the high school music program: “Our music program becomes a second home for the students. These students crave making music, rehearsing, and performing for audiences. Music education is important to Cedar Grove High School and the Cedar Grove School District because it provides balance and a way for our students to be creative in many performing groups. While the CGHS music program is an integral part of our small-town community, it reaches beyond the borders of Cedar Grove as we travel, participate in community service, and use music to deliver messages that are important to our society and students in other music programs. The CGHS music community builds not only our students’ musicianship but also their hearts, minds and relationships throughout their lives. Our strong alumni involvement is a testament to the power of music, and proof that music education stays with you regardless of the discipline you choose or the journey you’re on.”
Research continuously indicates that student engagement in sequential music learning improves brain function while developing the life skills of empathy, self-confidence and collaboration. Additionally, students of the arts demonstrate higher attendance, graduation rates, and academic achievement compared to their non-arts peers.
Cedar Grove’s submission will be included as part of the Music for All Advocacy in Action website (advocacy.musicforall.org), which is a clearinghouse of practical advocacy examples that can be adapted and replicated by programs nationwide. By collecting, recognizing and sharing outstanding examples of local advocacy efforts, Music for All ultimately hopes to inspire others across the nation to take action in their own communities.
About Music for All
Music for All is one of the largest and most influential national music education organizations in support of active music making. Music for All is unique in that it combines programming at a national level with arts education advocacy.
Music for All Mission: To create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. We believe that music and arts education is core to a students’ well-rounded education and must be available to all students. Music for All is an advocate for music and arts education. Our educational programs support the efforts of instrumental music and choral teachers at the high school and middle school levels, as well as provide positively life-changing experiences for students.
Vision: Music for All will be a catalyst to ensure that every child across America has access and opportunity to participate in active music making in his or her scholastic environment.