Spring 2007


Denny Senseney ’69/74 muses on music, his business — Wichita’s Senseney Music Inc. — and the importance of music education for every child in school.

Denny Senseney

"I believe every business that benefits from the support of a community has a responsibility to leave things better than they found them. The businesses I most respect do much more than sell products or services. Their owners and staff members volunteer in service to local charities, community events and institutions."

"Our role at Senseney Music Inc. has been to leverage information and other resources in support of music education. We provide clinicians and workshops for piano, band, orchestra and guitar teachers throughout the year. Our Senseney Music Foundation administers the LINKS (Lonely Instruments for Needy Kids) program. Our industry trade association (NAMM, the International Music Products Association) has been instrumental in funding research about music and its impact on learning, and as a result created a website to distribute that information at www.supportmusic.com. Helping funnel that information to music educators who are faced with decreasing funding is an important part of what we do."

"The entire leadership of our company enjoys contributing their time and experience to music education endeavors. For example, Bill Johnson, our band/orchestra department manager, has conducted the Senseney Music Community Band for about 20 years. He is a fine musician and respected music educator who loves to bring the joy of playing an instrument to any former band members in our community. The band is comprised of about 80 loyal members who practice on Tuesday evenings here at the store and perform concerts throughout the spring and summer."

"I am personally committed to ensuring that music education continues to be available to every child in every school; otherwise I fear that a ‘cultural caste system’ would exist where only children of the wealthy would have the benefit of an education enriched by the arts. That would be a tragic loss for our children — and our culture."

"Our competitive strategy has been to create loyal customers by providing considerate and knowledgeable service, as conveniently as possible, on a large selection of high quality products. Our staff is very proud of the relationships they have developed with music educators in Kansas."

"I believe strongly in the education of the whole child. Recent education policy (No Child Left Behind) has, in my opinion, placed so much emphasis on the tested subjects, such as math and reading, that the untested subjects, like music, are under significant schedule pressure in the school day. I advocate a more balanced approach to ensure the benefits of all subjects to each child."

"I am fortunate to have had opportunities to participate in industry legislative policy and advocacy activities throughout my career. As chair of the NAMM Government Relations/Music Education Committee, I participated just last week in the third annual Washington, D.C., Fly-In to discuss continuing support for music and the arts as a core subject in No Child Left Behind reauthorization legislation. We met with 24 House and Senate education committee members in two days and were pleased with their understanding of the issue."

"I like all types of music. I loved playing trombone and tuba in high school and college bands, and enjoy recordings of great bands playing Percy Grainger arrangements. I enjoy big bands and jazz — Stan Kenton and Maynard Ferguson — as well as pop music. I also love to listen to large choral ensemble concerts. I like Dvorak, Brahms and most composers of the Romantic Period. I even played bass guitar in a trio in my younger years."

"Howard Ellis, associate dean emeritus of the WSU College of Fine Arts and professor emeritus of music education, was an influential mentor during my college years. Dr. Ellis, through his warm, personal demeanor and wonderful sense of humor, was always willing to provide a valuable perspective. Other important WSU mentors were Harrison Boughton, professor emeritus of music, Marguerite Miller, assistant professor emeritus of piano, and Walter Myers, dean and professor emeritus of fine arts."

"Dedicated and effective university teachers are the key to continued strength of music education programs. Where there are successful teachers in front of students, a model exists for both current and future excellence in music education. Senseney Music’s assistance with money for projects or clinicians, instruments for student use, or our Piano Loaner Program is a commitment to Wichita State that we hope to continue."



Denny Senseney ’69/74 muses on music, his business — Wichita’s Senseney Music Inc. — and the importance of music education for every child in school.