Data Stories: Music advocacy through data collection and story-telling


by Sarah Gulish and Victoria Boler

(12 Pages + over 25 pages of editable resources)

This is an eBook for digital download. 

The purpose of this book is to provide resources for music teachers looking to collect data to better advocate for their programs and reach students. This interactive PDF describes the various types of data, how they can be collected, and how they can be used to create a music program story to share with community members and administrators. Each purchase includes access to a google drive folder with dozens of resources and templates that can be copied and edited, including email templates, google questionnaire forms for students, parents, and colleagues, conversation starters with administrators, sample qualitative stories, sample quantitative stories, and more.


Data are where we start the conversation.

Data are how we decide where to go next.

Data are how we tell our stories.

At the time this resource is being published, educators across the globe are actively pivoting, innovating, and restructuring their learning environments. Our data show evidence of effective education, and monumental growth opportunities in our education system.

Administrators and policy-makers across the globe are using the information they see (data) to determine the next steps in education as a response to Covid-19. As your colleagues, we urge you to document your stories. Highlight the growth in your virtual classrooms. Highlight the needs that are not yet met. Highlight the ways your music program serves your students, school, and community.

Data are how we tell our stories. Stories are what inspire people to action. Action is how we progress our profession and uncover the best possible ways to meet our students’ needs.

In this resource, we offer practical tools for collecting data and starting conversations to advocate for music programs. This interactive PDF is accompanied by an editable advocacy toolkit: email templates, google forms, conversation starters, and much more. All of these resources can be accessed via google drive and edited to meet your program’s unique needs.


Victoria Boler

About the Author

Sarah Gulish holds a Ph.D in music education from Temple University.  For over a decade, Sarah has taught secondary level music at Lower Moreland High School located in the state of Pennsylvania in the U.S.A.  She also serves as Adjunct Professor of Music Education at Buffalo State University and Temple University. Her teaching centers on creativity and improvisation in courses focused on new music learners.

Sarah is an active researcher, writer, presenter, and clinician at the state, national, and international levels. She serves as the United States representative for the International Society of Music Education’s Popular Music Special Interest Group and is a past member of the National Association for Music Education’s IN-ovations Council. She also regularly tours and records as a rock musician with a variety of groups…. Read More—> 

Victoria Boler is a leading elementary general music educator and curriculum designer. In addition to general music, Victoria has taught orchestra, choir, and percussion ensembles. In an administrative role, Victoria has served as Fine Arts Coordinator, leading band, orchestra, choir, general music, and musical theater at the programmatic level. Victoria’s primary instruments are voice and percussion, and she has earned undergraduate degrees in both instrumental and vocal music education. With Orff certification in all 3 levels, Victoria is currently completing her Masters of Music in Music Education and her Kodaly training. She publishes general music curriculum and instructional materials at, where she serves thousands of educators in their journey to create grounded and artistic music curriculum for their unique teaching scenarios.



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