Blog

#SaveTheNEA – MMI’s guide for support

by Deron Hall For more than 50 years, the NEA has been tasked with ensuring arts-based funding across every congressional district in the United States. This year was no different, with $148 Million allocated to arts and culture programs across the nation through state arts agencies, regional arts agencies, and grants directly from the National […]

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Leadership is a gift

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  by Kwayera Archer Cunningham  Leadership is a gift to be handled with care, as if a fine piece of porcelain. I have received many awards, acknowledgments, and praise for my leadership, but even more notable than the accolades was the permission of those who allowed me to lead and represent them. Understanding that leadership […]

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Visible Community Music School at Su Casa

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by VCMS Staff At Visible Community Music School, we’ve just finished our first semester working with kids in the Berclair/Graham neighborhoods through a partnership with Su Casa Family Ministries.  With the help of Su Casa staff, Tim Jewett and Ceci Fortier, we were able to give piano and guitar lessons to 15 eager and excited students […]

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Leading with love in schools

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by Allison R. Brown He was 14 years old when the school resource officer hit him so hard in the face, he knocked his front tooth out. This happened at school. It is unclear what the student’s transgression, or supposed transgression, was. I posit that it does not matter. When children go to school, they […]

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Getting teachers and principals to the “Room Where it Happens”

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  by Morgan Beckford When I first returned to Memphis after teaching in Virginia, I worked for Opera Memphis as the Coordinator for Education and Outreach. My charge was simple: find opportunities for local students to engage with Opera Memphis. I accepted the challenge; over the first month, I drafted an email list that included […]

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We’re hiring!

Memphis Music Initiative (MMI) invests in youth, local communities and Memphis’ musical legacy by broadening and strengthening existing music engagement offerings in and out of schools and supporting youth-centered, community-based music education. Our approach is three tiered–Through various unique interventions, MMI seeks to: 1) sustain existing in-school music education and expand instruction through partnerships with […]

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In the classroom: the alternate path

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  by Rufus Smith I had recently discovered hip hop, and one Sunday I watched a friend write a rap in church. During the sermon, he would pen random rhyming couplets that he would come up with on the spot. I was fascinated. One day, I decided to give it a shot during class in […]

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The real work of collaboration

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by Doug Waddill Ever since the dawn of the motivational poster, we have been inundated with clichés about how working together will make us stronger.  I know right now you are picturing the rowboat on the water with the bold letter caption underneath reading “TEAM — Together Everyone Achieves More,” the framed quote of “Teamwork […]

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No sound barriers

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by Afa S. Dworkin At this critically important time in our nation’s history, equity and inclusion are ever more relevant to our greater society and our beloved field. When words fall short, music and the arts have the capacity to transcend the barriers of culture, race and beliefs, to inspire empathy and the will to […]

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In the classroom: discovering your voice

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by Marcus King My name is Marcus King. This is my first year with Memphis Music Initiative and I highlight this as one the best years I’ve spent as a teacher. This is due to the wonderful students I get to teach and mentor at Cordova High School and Southwind High School in Memphis. The […]

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