Earlier this semester I created a ning professional network site for music educators – I get to work with K-12 music teachers in our grad program at LVC, and one of the things I try to encourage for them is thinking outside the box. Why does it always have to be based around trombones and oboes? Why does it mostly revolve around “serious” music? Music education should be culturally relevant – most kids I know love music, but often there’s not much in our music ed programs that they can initially relate to. Let them explore new ways of creating music (iPhones, Guitar Hero, Garageband), let them experience different styles of music, let them publish their own music through websites, CDs, and iTunes, and yes, gasp, let them perform in an iPhone band during the spring concert. Do we still use trombones and oboes? Of course – it’s all good. Just broaden our horizons and stop wondering why student enrollment in music programs has dropped.