Every March, Music in Our Schools Month (MIOSM) highlights the need for music education in our children's education. It emphasizes the significant role of music in the student's personal and cognitive development. Read on to learn more about this awareness month.
Featured in: March - Awareness Months, Days & Observances.
History and Background of Music in Our Schools Month
March is Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM), an initiative of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). This organization of music educators wanted to highlight the importance of having accessible music education in schools.
The event started on March 14, 1973, in New York, with concerts and workshops. In 1985, it eventually evolved, and the NAfME officially designated March to hold the month-long celebration.
Almost 40 years later, the occasion is still promoting the cause. Some of the recent themes in the past years include "Music Changes Lives" in 2020, "Sound Of My Heart" in 2021 and 2022, and "Music Is All Of Us" in 2023, all emphasizing the impact of music in our lives.
The Cause and Its Challenges
This event highlights the importance of music education in shaping well-rounded students. Experts believe school music brings creativity, fosters emotional intelligence, and stimulates cognitive growth.
However, integrating music education faces several challenges. Budgetary constraints are a harsh reality for many of the nation's schools, and music programs often find themselves out in the cold due to the prioritization of 'core' subjects.
Access to music education in U.S. public schools reaches 92% of students, yet only half participate during the school day2.
Public schools lacking music access often share characteristics such as being in underprivileged, urban, or isolated rural areas, having majorities of Hispanic, Black, or Native American students, or housing no racial or ethnic majority.
A shortage of music educators plays a part, too, with fewer individuals entering the education field, seasoned teachers leaving post-pandemic, and insufficient diversity among music educators1.
Efforts and Initiatives
The Music Educator Workforce Coalition has introduced TeachMusic.org, a comprehensive online portal. This site provides a wealth of resources, including instructional videos and materials, aimed at students considering a career in music education.
Additionally, it serves as a reliable guide for parents and guidance counselors to support these aspiring music teachers better.
Moreover, the Fender Play Foundation collaborates with various organizations, educators, artists, and music supporters alike to ensure that anyone wanting to master an instrument can access the necessary resources.
How to Get Involved and Support Music in Our Schools Month
Join local school music events such as concerts, recitals, and performances to support budding musicians and programs that require community support.
On the other hand, you can help organize music events or share your musical talents with a music program.
Additionally, music education programs often rely heavily on donations, and every contribution, big or small, can make a difference.
Social media can also work like a bulletin board to raise awareness and support for music education.
Just use the hashtag #MusicInOurSchoolsMonth to promote events surrounding MIOSM, share creative activities, or start conversations about the importance of music education.
Music plays a vital role in shaping a student's future. Hence, music education requires active support from the community to ensure its presence in school curriculums. So, let’s get involved in this month-long celebration in any way we can, whether spreading awareness online or donating to organizations.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Every March, this annual event aims to remind citizens of the benefits of music education in schools.
It improves critical thinking skills, enhances creativity, improves academic performance, and fosters social and emotional development of the students.
You can attend music events at your local schools, support programs through donations, or advocate for music education in your community.
Morrison, R. (2024). Inspiring the Next Generation of Music Educators. National Federation Of State High School Associations.
Morrison, R. B., McCormick, P., Shepherd, J. L., Cirillo, P (2022). National Arts Education Status Report 2019. Arts Education Data Project, Quadrant Research, State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education.