March is Music In Our Schools Month
Support Music Education in March!
March has been officially designated Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM®) by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and has become a time when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation.
MIOSM began as a single statewide celebration in 1973, and has grown over the decades to encompass a day, then a week, and then in 1985 to become a month long celebration of school music. The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music. MIOSM is an opportunity for music teachers to bring their music programs to the attention of the school and the community and to display the benefits school music brings to students of all ages.
The celebration continues to grow each year, reaching more and more students, teachers, musicians, and music supporters. Schools and communities throughout the country and overseas celebrate MIOSM with concerts and other activities based on the year’s theme. Classrooms, concert halls, civic buildings, clubs, parks, libraries, and shopping malls are just some of the arenas in which the public can observe the processes and results of music education.
NAfME, representing more than 75,000 active, retired, and pre-service music teachers and 60,000 honor students and supporters, is the sponsor of MIOSM. In addition to announcing the theme for the year, the organization is responsible for communicating ideas to support state and local MIOSM celebrations, providing awareness items such as T-shirts, posters, and buttons, and coordinating programs such as The Concert for Music In Our Schools Month.
NAfME’s 52 federated state organizations (representing each state, the District of Columbia, and Europe) play an active role in the observance, securing governors’ proclamations, enlisting the support of chief state school officers, and establishing organizational structures to help reach individual music educators. MIOSM chairpersons with each state organization provide the major thrust for the MIOSM celebrations, with the goal of involving students, administrators, parents, civic groups, and community members. Other national arts and education organizations also lend their endorsements and support to the programs through publications and events.
MIOSM and the events surrounding it are the ideal opportunities for increasing awareness of the benefits of high quality music education programs in our nation’s schools. NAfME hopes that teachers, students, and music supporters alike will find ways to join in on the celebration through creative activities and advocacy. Learn more about how NAfME works to support music education, and visit MusicFriends to join other advocates working to insure that music is part of a well-rounded education for all children.