My presentation is included in the Advocacy section of this website: http://atlantachoral.weebly.com/advocacy.html
The members of the board listened politely and attentively to my words about how the research has shown music education as a powerful element in the improvement of reading and math skills. I wanted to combat the decline of our programs by positioning Arts Teachers as partners to them in this effort, with the understanding that strengthening our programs AS THEY ARE will give them the results they want in other subjects.
Then someone brought up the thing that usually stops this debate in its tracks. "It's hard to know whether music makes kids brighter, or whether brighter kids are attracted to music." My answer made them sit up, smile, and nod their heads vigorously.
"I don't teach music," I said. "I teach music education. I teach kids how to think like musicians. Musicians think like mathematicians. They think like good readers. However bright they are when they come to me, they leave smarter because of what they have to learn in my class."
If you are seeking a way to convince people that music education is valuable beyond beautifying our society and increasing self-esteem, I'd suggest giving that a thought. While we understand the difference between music, which the kids already love, and music education, which empowers them, not everyone else is even aware of the difference. If we as music teachers can articulate our value, we may change music lovers into allies and champions.