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How School Service Music Stores Can Help Music Teachers Access ESSER Funds

In addition to school and district resources, reach out to your school service music store with questions about getting funding for your music program.

As one of the closest partners in music education, a school service music store can provide invaluable help to teachers navigating Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding requests.

From helping to complete a needs assessment to adding a supportive voice in lobbying administrators to sharing what is working for other teachers, the educational rep from a local music store can be a subject-matter expert, a shoulder to lean on and a sherpa, all rolled into one!

What are ESSER Funds?

If you’re unfamiliar with ESSER funds, check out our updated overview of the CARES Act.

ESSER funds are allocated to local educational agencies (LEAs) that then disperse them to individual schools to provide support for emergency relief funds to support continued learning for K-12 students. These funds — more than $67 billion — come with a deadline —they are for immediate use and must be spent within one year.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) put out this fact sheet about available funding from the CARES Act.


“…now is the time to plan with school administrators about how this funding can support arts education. Reach out to your building principal to discuss the resources that are necessary to conduct arts classes safely in-person. The principal will either have spending authority on the funds or will be able to help submit a request for arts-related purchases at the district level.” 

— ArtsEdNJ, CARES Act Funding Guidance for
Schools/Districts Supporting Arts Education


Ask for Help

Navigating a process that changes from district to district and state to state can be challenging for professionals with all the time in the world to unravel it. For busy teachers, finding the most efficient route from “need” to “money” is even more critical. Your local educational rep will have experience working with other teachers and can share key insights or tips on how to move quickly to claim your share of the funds for your students.

How Dealers Can Help Teachers

The National Association of School Music Dealers hosted a webinar and panel on March 4, 2021, to help school music store staff prepare and mobilize to help teachers submit requests for use of ESSER funding.

Give a Note Foundation posted this blog about How to Get ESSER Funds for Your Music Program.

Educator Success Stories

More Resources Coming

Bookmark this page. We’ll continue to add video interviews with teachers just like you who have navigated their local system to find and access ESSER funds. You can hear directly from them about what worked  and what didn’t  to help you maximize the benefit of ESSER funds for your program.

Have you already successfully accessed ESSER funds for your program? Email us at so we can share your story!

Yamaha is an active advocate for music education, and we want to empower music educators to strengthen their programs in any way we can. Please register for the Yamaha Educator newsletter to read up on advocacy, professional development, information about instruments, resources, partnerships in education and more. Join the Yamaha Music Educator Community on Facebook or email us at

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