How To: Write an Article on the Value of Music Education for Your Local Newspaper

Student writing

Want to spread the word about music education? Write an article about it and get the article published in your local newspaper. You'll make others aware of the issue at hand and perhaps influence others to save the music.

  1. Do your research.The internet provides information with just a few clicks. Make sure to use reliable sources. Do Something has some great info on music education that will help. Here's a direct link to the benefits of music education
  2. Leave the house. Sure, the Internet provides great tools (that’s why we mentioned it first), but you can also get great insight by going out and interviewing people who already know about music education. Interview a music teacher or student in the school music program about what music has meant to them. Get their perspective on the benefits of music education. Visit your local symphony and/or performance center and ask to speak to a musician or the administrator of the center. Remember: reporters don’t get stories by sitting on their couches…
  3. Ask. Ask questions about books, old news article archives, film archives, or other material at the library. There is a lot of information out there; you just have to find it. Also, ask family and friends what they know about music education. Set out to verify or disprove these beliefs.
  4. Consider your audience. Are you writing for people older, younger, or your own age? Choose your words and facts based on your audience.
  5. Write it out. Once you’ve done your research, start writing. Include the facts you’ve gathered. Don’t be shy to mention the unusual ones because they tend to be the most effective. 
  6. Include testimonials. Add in the stories you heard and your own personal description of what you encountered in your travels. This too makes for catchy writing. A picture is a great way to add flare to your piece.
  7. Edit. Spelling mistakes will distract your reader and take away from your point. Also make sure that you hook 'em with your first paragraph. People decide whether they're going to pay attention within the first few lines, so make them interesting. Have other people read it who will give you their honest opinions and insight.
  8. Choose a strong title. A title can sell a book and the same goes for an article, so DON'T make it bland! People might enjoy it more if you don't think of it as a research paper.
  9. The ending. End your article with a “More Resources” section or a “What You Can Do To Help” paragraph. You want to encourage people to keep investigating and to do something about the problem.
  10. Send it out. When you’re done, think about where you might want to submit your article for publication. Need some ideas?
    • Contact your local or school paper.
    • Look for some magazines or newsletters focused on music and music education.
    • Better yet, find a website or blog that focuses on music education and try to post your article there.
    • Self-publish. Hand out your article around school or at a local sporting event. In this case, make sure your article has resources listed for what people can do to help.
  11. Go the extra mile. If your local paper or magazine agrees to print your story, ask them to follow-up by donating a full-page (or even a portion of a page) highlighting the benefits of music education.