In September, Spotify launched an education program in the US. While details are still to come regarding the content of the initiative, the program is being developed by an Advisory Board with an admirable pedigree, including Dr. Darla Hanley, Dean of the Professional Education Division at Berklee College of Music; Dr. Chris Emdin, Faculty Member at Columbia University; Dr. Nola Jones, Coordinator of Visual and Fine Arts for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools; representatives from the Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) National Teacher of the Year Program; and members of #HipHopEd
The Advisory Board will build a series of new programs to champion music in American classrooms. Kerry Steib, Spotify’s Director of Social Impact, will be shepherding the program as it develops. “Spotify believes that everyone should have access to music, and we know that nowhere is that access more powerful than in education,” she said. “We’re committed to building programs that start with the voices of real teachers, and we’ve been fortunate to find a group of passionate, thoughtful, innovative educational experts to help us create initiatives that work.”
Spotify for Education was launched in Memphis, TN at an event with John B. King, The U.S. Secretary of Education, on his Back To School Bus Tour. Prior to this announcement, Spotify had dabbled in music education, donating a recording studio to Kealing Middle School, supporting Teacher Appreciation Week through a collaborative #ThankATeacher playlist, and promoting #KeepSinging, an initiative that encourages parents to use music in activities related to early childhood development.
Spotify also supports education and welfare programs including Music Freedom Day, a global movement to recognize the importance of free artistic expression; REC Collective, encouraging young women to pursue careers in producing; Girls Rock Camp, a weeklong camp where girls of all backgrounds come together to build confidence by creating band, History through Hip Hop in San Francisco and the Starkey Hearing Foundation in the Philippines.
We look forward to observing the roll out of Spotify for Education, as the potential exists here in Australia for a similar program. We’d like to see one that not only delivers music education, but also promotes broader education on the value of music, artists’ rights and the importance of access music legally. Music Australia’s school music program Music: Count Us In partners with Why Music Matters to promote artists’ rights and we’d be interested to see Spotify extend its educational reach into this region.