Sounds like a great program, but I just can’t take on another thing. It’s true – high school music teachers are just about the busiest people on the planet. But coaching a team might not take as much time as you’d think. The Study Guides and Playlist provide are conversational and self-explanatory. We provide a practice test before the regional event in January. Many coaches have found that their role involves mentoring and advising rather than teaching or lecturing. Coaches serve as a resource for students when they need clarification or further explanation of a new musical concept. Also, you may want to consider searching out a music student at a nearby college or a retired musician or music teacher to help with the team.
Well, even if I had time (or found someone who does), my students don’t. They are really busy. Are they too busy to listen to music? If they have time for Rihanna, Taylor, Katy, Ke$ha, and Drake, they probably could spare a few minutes for Adam de la Halle, Henry Purcell, Machaut, and Gesualdo. Students generally download the Naxos app and prepare by listening. Soon these selections take over their personal playlists. Many students tell us that they were surprised (and excited) when they develop a passion for a previously undiscovered style of music. Let’s face it: not many high school students have really listened to Indian Carnatic or Russian music enough to know whether they like it or not. This program gives them that chance.
But our school doesn’t have any money to spend on programs like this. At $99/team ($33/student), the MLC is a real bargain. In addition to receiving an 80-page Study Guide and three narrated repertory CDs, each coach and student also receives a one-year membership to the Naxos Music Library (a $300/person value!), which includes over 650,000 classical music tracks! The educational resources on this site can be used to prepare for the contest, for other educational activities (including classroom lessons), or for personal enjoyment. Some participants tell us this is the main reason they register! Also, there are no additional fees for the regional or state contests.
Check with your Regional Arts Board, Activities Director, or area music store to see if they’d be willing to help with fees and/or travel expenses. We’ve found them to be great supporters of the program. (And with 10 regional sites throughout the state, travel is kept to a minimum.)
Tell me again....why should my students participate? Where do we start? The MLC provides a unique opportunity for students to develop team-building skills while increasing their musical knowledge. The competition aspect encourages team members to motivate each other to learn the material. Students who excel in this program aren’t necessarily virtuoso performers. They are students who welcome the chance to become acquainted with another culture or musical style and develop a global perspective through music. In addition, MLC participation looks great on a student’s college application. Music professors know the caliber of the program and are eager to recruit MLC students. Several of our regional contests are hosted by Minnesota colleges and universities.
But the most important reason to encourage your students to participate is because this program will inspire them to become lifelong participants in the musical experience. They will start on a journey of musical discovery that will motivate them learn to learn more about the world -- and about themselves.