SupportED 2020 Number 2 Issue: My Top 5 for Tough Times

Since we are in our fifth year of publishing SupportED magazine, here are my Top 5 things to keep you and your programs strong during these troubling times:

  1. 2020n2Take Care of Yourself. Your students and team members rely on your leadership. Make time to keep yourself mentally and physically healthy. Read inspiring articles and books. Treat your soul to new music and allow yourself time to really listen. Immerse yourself in it. Remember why you got into music in the first place.
  2. Form or Lean on Your Own Personal Advisory Board. Most Fortune 500 CEOs have a small, trusted group of people they go to for advice, accountability and support. You can emulate this brilliant idea by reaching out to your most trusted colleagues. You can then go to your advisory board as a whole or individually for advice on music, business, spirituality, etc. Remember to include at least one student who can provide that important perspective on your program.
  3. Tune In and Contribute. Many think tanks and focus groups are exploring best options for reopening schools, large group teaching, funding, etc. You should be in the know. Check out the fine work done by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation, National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Music for All, and your local and state arts advocacy groups.
  4. Be Present! If you are not at the table, you are on the menu. If you are not appearing, you are disappearing. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. I could go on. I live by these adages. Now is the time to show your principal, superintendent and school board that you and your program are informed and ready to do what it takes to have a successful year.
  5. Think Long Term. We can all expect setbacks and challenges as we adapt to our new reality. There is nothing “normal” about the world right now. We may not win every battle in the short term, but we must learn from every setback and challenge. Our students are more resilient and stronger than we think. Let them see that you, as a leader, are as resilient and strong as they are. Share your vision and show them that you are in it for the long haul!

If you have any ideas to add to this list, please email me at

Please stay safe. I hope you enjoy this issue’s articles:

2020 number 2, SupportED magazine

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