Beginning in 2017-2018, WSMA member schools may elect to become WSMA Accredited. This opportunity replaces the current Concert Group Requirement by publicly recognizing outstanding school music programs.
In order to become a WSMA Accredited School:
- The school must be a current member of WSMA.
- The school must participate in District Solo & Ensemble Festival.
- At least one of each type of performing group in the school (band/choir/orchestra) must participate in a Concert Group Festival or Concert Group Clinic Experience every year.
Why do I want my school to become WSMA Accredited?
- It provides public acknowledgement of your commitment to music education.
- It provides music educators, administrators, board members and advocates a tool to increase visibility and support for your music programs.
- It helps WSMA preserve and advance music education programs.
- WSMA Accredited schools will receive:
- Special website recognition
- A special logo that can be used on all music department materials
- Certificates sent to the administrator and music teachers (perfect for portfolios)
- Additional recognition for participation in other WSMA programs (State Marching Band Championships, State Honors Music Project, Student Composition Project, etc.)
Do I need to apply to become accredited?
No. WSMA will automatically award accreditation to schools that meet the necessary criteria. All Concert Group Festival or Concert Group Clinic Experience registrations must be completed by June 1, 2018 to be eligible for accreditation in the 2017-2018 school year.
What are the changes from previous years?
- School Solo & Ensemble eligibility is no longer connected with Concert Group participation.
- In order to be accredited, one of each type of ensemble in the school must participate in a Concert Group Festival or Concert Group Clinic Experience every year. (Example: If a school has both a band and a choir, both the band and choir must participate every year to earn accreditation. If a school has a band, choir and an orchestra, all three groups must participate every year to earn accreditation. If a school has multiple bands, choirs and orchestras, at least one band, one choir and one orchestra must participate every year to earn accreditation.)
What are the next steps?
- Plan now to become accredited in 2017-2018! If you teach in more than one member school, you can earn multiple accreditations. (Just remember to register everything with the correct account numbers.)
- Watch for more information in the September edition of Wisconsin School Musician and fall Updater.
Can I be a WSMA member school and not be accredited?
Yes, of course. Accreditation is optional. The teachers on the WSMA Festivals Committee felt strongly that an accreditation opportunity for schools would help teachers in those schools advance their music education advocacy efforts in their districts. The advantage of being accredited is that it promotes the importance a school places on music education. This is an especially important message you can share with school principals, superintendents and school board members.