Study on organizations that support music education identifies low-cost program options

Keeping music education around doesn’t have to be expensive work. According to a national study conducted by a former Fender Music Foundation intern, some music education organizations in the U.S. implement programs for as little as $100 a year. Publishing research, providing scholarships and publishing documents that help people advocate for music education in their communities appear to be the least expensive kinds of music education programs.

According to the results of the research, which relied on data from 35 documents and 9 interviews with leaders at music education organizations, programs implemented for the above purposes incur costs of less than $35,000 annually. Organizations collaborate with one another and use web technologies to keep costs reasonable. One study participant describes the benefits of publishing music education advocacy tools online this way:

“We needed another tool that would help teach [people] how to do advocacy in their schools. So we [created a downloadable PDF document for this purpose], and now it doesn’t cost very much because disseminating it is all web based.” 

The study also identified five music education program purposes that often incur costs of more than $35,000 annually. These programs include educator/student recognition, appreciation of musical works, preservation of recordings, organizational capacity-building and mentorship. The costs of these programs ranged from slightly more than $200,000 to almost $3.7 million, and may depend on whether they are implemented on a national or local scale.

For more information about this study contact Chris Wells at