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Music & Arts releases its Fourth-annual State of Music Education Census Results

Christian Wissmuller • Supplier Scene • January 17, 2024
Music & Arts, one of the nation’s largest musical instrument retailers and lesson providers, is releasing their results and analysis of the State of Music Education. The results are optimistic and show that music education and the professionals who serve it are trending in a positive direction. Highlights include:
  • MUSIC EDUCATORS ARE OPTIMISTIC: Across various metrics (sense of well-being, view of music education, career, and job longevity), respondents showed a greater sense of optimism, job satisfaction, and desire to remain in the classroom than in previous years. This positive trend has been consistently growing for the past three years.
  • PROGRAM OVERSIGHT AND STRUCTURED FUNDING ARE LACKING: Only 41% of elementary school and junior high / middle school educators and 55% of high school educators reported having a budget for instrument replacement. Additionally 92% of total respondents stated they had no depreciation plan for large capital items. Only 40% of educators stated they had a coordinator or department chair advocating for them.
  • RETENTION IS AN INDUSTRY-DEFINING PROBLEM: Student retention offers enormous upside to program development. The greatest drop-offs (nearly 30%) occur when students move to a new campus (elementary school to junior high / middle school and junior high / middle school to high school). By the time beginning students reach high school, more than 50% will no longer be enrolled in school-led music education.
Additionally, the results and subsequent analysis indicate that while enrollment and learning have not fully returned to pre-pandemic numbers, the gap is closing and getting smaller every day. The greatest threat and promise for music education is the educator standing on the podium, and the most recent results show that an amazing 92% of educators plan on teaching until retirement.
Scott Lang, Music & Arts Director of Advocacy, remarks, “The State of Music Education Census provides an opportunity for educators to share their unique and valuable perspective as to what is happening in their classrooms and communities. The results and subsequent analysis provide not just an important snapshot into where we are, but just as important, a longitudinal look at where we are headed. This year’s results demonstrate the most positive gains for teachers and programs since the pandemic.”
Brian Wilson, Vice President of Education, states, “This annual census shows how seriously we take the responsibility Music & Arts has as an industry leader, and the investment we are making to better serve this incredible profession and the teachers who serve it.”

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