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Applications to perform or to propose a clinic at the 68th Annual Midwest Clinic are now available!

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Music Advocacy - Moving from Survival to Vision

  • thumbnail for John Benham
  • This session will examine 4 key components of advocacy: Function/Dysfunction of the School System, Role of the Music Coalition, Responsibility of the Music Profession, Process of Advocacy. Viewed from the perspective of a career music educator, administrator and former school board member, music advocacy strategies will be presented by one of the nation’s foremost music advocates. Over 3 decades these methods have saved and restored over $74 million in music programs in the US and Canada.
  • John Benham (
  • 12/21/2017 04:30 PM - 05:30 PM
  • Meeting Room W185
  • John Benham is author of Music Advocacy: Moving from Survival to Vision. His area of expertise is building, saving and restoring music programs. His background includes over 40 years as a music teacher, from elementary through university. He is also proprietor of his own music instrument repair business and has served 2 terms as a school board member. His personal knowledge and experience provide unique understanding of going before a school board and administration with language they understand and methods that work. He has taken his message from coast to coast in the US and Canada. His methods are responsible for building, saving and restoring over $74 million in budgetary funds in music, leading to restoration of over 1,000 teaching positions and continuation of music programs for millions of students. He has also been featured as a speaker at state conferences, and national conventions of NAfME, the Canadian Music Educators Association, Canadian Bandmasters Association, American String Teachers Association, National Association of Music Merchants (for the National Association of Band Instrument Manufacturers) and National Association of School Music Dealers. He has been a member of NAfME, ACDA and ASTA national advocacy committees. He is a primary contributor to "Counterpoint" and the "Music Advocates Toolkit" available at His successes in saving school music programs have been documented in the Music Educators Journal, Music, Inc., Wind Instrument Retailer, and The Instrumentalist. He is the recipient of the state and national Distinguished Service Award by the Minnesota Music Educators Association in 1994, and the Music Educators National Conference in 1998. In 2003 he was elected to the inaugural class as a Lowell Mason Fellow by MENC for his efforts in music advocacy. In 2010 the American String Teachers Association presented him with the National Advocacy Award. In 2012 he was awarded the National Citation from Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.