Dean of the Conservatory David H. Stull talks with students from Camden City Creative Arts High School, a Music in America participating school. Photo: Daniel Schloss ’07

The Music in America program seeks to establish and recognize bold and successful music programs in urban and underserved communities throughout the United States with a specific focus on transforming education. It will also introduce, nationally, the broader agenda of using music to bind students to academic programs, thus creating a positive framework for success, achieving strong academic results, cultivating critical life skills, and increasing both retention and college‐bound rates. The program also seeks to aggressively monitor the efficacy of these programs through implementing assessment strategies.

Dean of the Conservatory David Stull discusses the importance of Music In America at the BIF-8 (Business Innovation Factory 8) Conference on October 18, 2012.

Selected faculty who are currently achieving these goals in K-12 schools will be named a Music in America Fellow and be invited to the Oberlin campus each year to work directly with our students and, most importantly, to document their strategies so that they can be integrated into a broader curriculum.

Additionally,  Music in America fellows will form a network that provides a support system for individual fellows and their ideas. The program will also provide a forum for discussion and a clearinghouse for new strategies, with the goal of influencing other training programs in music education beyond our own.

Oberlin will seek to support the Music in America fellows by building financial resources that support scholarships, in addition to soliciting the donation of instruments, creating a website for free music that meets the needs of varying talent and instrumentation, and by providing stipends when possible to assist fellows to support their programs.

These fellows will also become scouts for potential music educators who emerge from these communities, as there is no doubt that individuals who have personally engaged the specific culture of a given community have a significant advantage when returning to teach there. Oberlin will continue to aggressively build scholarship resources to serve music education students and funds to support music education faculty and fellows in the program.

The ultimate goal is to develop a national model for tackling problems in education and that broadly influences the agenda for preparing and supporting all our children for the economy and world of the future.