Carry The Tune (educational)

  • Directed by: Paul Trapkus and Elizabeth Potter
  • Produced by: Paul Trapkus

Released: 2015
Running Time: 68 mins plus extras
Subtitles: None
Subjects: Art, Music, & Design, Sociology

Music educators and researchers estimate that 75% or more of high school music students will quit their musical studies after high school. Many are pulled into paths toward economic growth and are unaware of the many musical opportunities in college and beyond. Carry the Tune is a documentary that shares the stories of people who have found ways to maintain their relationship with music and explores the vital sense of balance these relationships add to their lives. At its heart, Carry the Tune highlights a challenge we all face - the endeavor to balance our work with our passions.

Carry the Tune (Trailer) from Collective Eye Films on Vimeo.


  • Official Selection, College Town Film Festival 2015
  • Winner, San Francisco Film Awards 2015
  • Official Selection, Julien Dubuque International Film Festival 2015
  • Official Selection, Life Fest Film Festival 2015

Quotes & Reviews: 

"This documentary is a form of music in itself. It's a magnificent gift with a message of truth - artistic truth." - Tim Lautzenheiser, author of The Art of Successful Teaching 

"The best example of a documentary that showcases the power of music education and the place it should have at all levels of education." —Gary McPherson, Author, Music of Our Lives

"Viewers may be inspired to dig out that flute in the back of the closet or pick up that disused guitar after seeing how much satisfaction these amateur musicians (and their professional conductors) express... The film’s principal camera operator was also a high school student, so for libraries looking for an excellent example of young filmmakers’ efforts, this is solidly recommended. Also recommended to all high school and college music educators." - Educational Media Review Online

"Carry the Tune, which aims to encourage lifelong music participation, beings with testimony form high school band member before going on to question why so few continue playing music after graduation. Roger Mantie, a professor of music education at Boston University, finds that only 25-30% remain active in college, while student say they drop out due to the academic emphasis on STEM science, technology, engineering, and math), where graduates can make more money, so music falls by the wayside. Co-directors Paul Trapkus, a music teacher, and Elizabeth Potter, a music student, here seek out college-age subjects - most pursuing degrees in science and engineering - who have still found ways to incorporate music into their lives... An inspiring documentary celebrating the salutary effects of post-graduate music playing this is recommended. - Video Librarian

"Teacher­ student duo Trapkus and Potter’s film debut is essentially two documenta­ries in one. The first segment takes a hard look at the state of formal music education in American colleges and high schools, using a series of interview snippets with a few scholars and a handful of Colorado high school students and teachers to explore the important role music plays in many peoples’ lives while bemoaning the perceived lack of emphasis on music education in our public school system... (T)his intelligent and thoughtful film can serve as a conversation starter for viewers interested in learning or teaching music." - Library Journal