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When and why was the Florida School Music Association formed?

Until 1997, music activities had functioned under the supervision of the Florida High School Athletics Association. At that time, the legislature restructured FHSAA and mandated that only athletics would be served by that group.

The leadership of the Florida Music Educators Association, the Florida Bandmasters Association, the Florida Orchestra Association and the Florida Vocal Association recognized both a need and an opportunity. They understood that interscholastic music activities would be supervised by some state organization, and preferred to create a supervisory organization that would function in the best interests of music educators, rather than allowing another association to take charge.

Who serves on the FSMA Board of Directors?

Members are appointed to the FSMA Board by the Florida District School Superintendents (2), the Florida School Board Association (2), the Florida Association of Secondary School Administrators (4), the Department of Education (3 - representing private schools, as well as an additional high school and middle school principal), and the Florida Parent Education Association (1). The music associations each appoint a single representative, except for FMEA which may appoint two representatives.

Who works for FSMA?

The Florida School Music Association contracts the Center for Fine Arts Education to provide association management which includes executive management through a named Executive Director. Services include:

  • Management and Administration
  • Event Planning and Support
  • Membership Management
  • Financial Planning and Accounting
  • Database Administration
  • Web Development and Design

How does the FSMA achieve it's goals? 

The awareness of value and importance of arts participation

  • Data collection to established how many students enter music activities, to track the rise and fall of music participation across schools and counties, to help determine when school music programs are growing or declining.

    • FSMA is the only state organization collecting data about school music programs
    • Statistics used for research purposes
    • Data provides credibility for the music education community
    • Data provides information to the component associations about trends in participation on a statewide basis.
  • Partnerships with the Florida Cultural Alliance for lobbying; developing relationships with the appointing bodies to the Board (FADSS, FSBA, FASA, etc)

  • Successful lobbying on

    • Board of Regent rule enforcement that would have removed Fine Arts from HS curriculum
    • Defining Fine Arts level 2-3 courses to count towards college enrollment
    • P/E – Marching Band to allow ½ credit of marching band to substitute for PE
    • Worked to narrow the definitions of “core-curricular” and “extra-curricular” to apply only to the implementation of the Class Size effort.

Recognition of the excellence of Florida music programs

  • There has been no activity by FSMA here, as there is no wish to duplicate programs already in place by FBA, FOA, FVA or FMEA. Discussion is underway about how this Ends statement can be served.

Models for and tools to recognize best practices in excellent music programs

Music Experience for members schools…which are safe, equitable, and fiscally sound.

  • FSMA provides a student/chaperon accident insurance policy (as a secondary insurer) for all sanctioned events

  • Rules and Regulations for Interscholastic Music Activities are published to the component associations and member schools and are posted on the website.

  • FSMA initiated a committee of the component associations which resulted in the Adjudicator Certification rules now included in the Rules and Regulations.

  • FSMA ensures that Music Performance Assessment financial matters are managed in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices.

    • Assists district chairs and state officers in any way possible to meet their financial reporting requirements
    • Reviews an annual audit of each component’s accounting documents

How do FSMA and FMEA interact for lobbying the legislature and state government?

FSMA represents school music programs – that is, FSMA represents the students in programs. This is a strong position to present, as FMEA is the representative of member teachers. Since the goals of both associations are to encourage thriving music programs, it is advantageous for them to work cooperatively on advocacy

Since 2003-2004, FSMA and FMEA have contracted directly with Capitol Hill Group for lobbying services.