Music In Our Schools Month, also known by its abbreviation, “MIOSM,” is an annual event sponsored and promoted by the National Association for Music Education. Each year, NAfME emphasizes a different aspect of music education. This year, the organization is putting the spotlight on second- and fifth-graders with programs that support the learning of various elements of music, particularly through singing and studying English and Spanish folk classics.
But NAfME points out in its online information that even though there is a yearly emphasized area, all music education is supported and encouraged during the month of March. Educators, parents, students and anyone who lives in the community can pitch in because there are numerous ways to participate.
Six Reasons Music Month Matters
Truth be told, there are hundreds of reasons that Music In Our Schools Month matters, but the following list includes some of the most important, visible ones. You probably have your own reasons for valuing this unique, special event each year. If you are a parent, music teacher or school official, you already know most of the story and fully understand how vital it is to set aside a month each year to re-set goals and priorities surrounding music education. The month is also an ideal time to bring other supporters into the effort.
If you have neighbors or friends who you think might be interested, have a five-minute chat with them about why you think this event is such an essential part of the year. If you make your point, they’ll join you in ramping up support for Music In Our Schools Month. Here are the six main reasons the month matters:
1. Music Education Enhances Brain Development
What better reason for supporting music month? Each year, the event bolsters music programs that deliver solid academic results to all students who take part in leaning to sing, play an instrument or take part in a school band. Music In Our Schools Month matters most because it helps children of all ages learn more effectively. That translates into success for kids in all subject areas.
Exciting new scientific research backs up the fact that any child who studies music enjoys enhanced brain development. Teachers and parents have suspected this fact for years, but new studies solidly confirm it. Music month is vitally important not just for the sake of music, but for the sake of all academic pursuits.
2. The Event Brings More People Onboard
The people who put on the annual program for Music In Our Schools Month say that each years brings new support from people who are glad to help but had never heard of Music Month. That’s a good sign because it means there’s a large pool of untapped enthusiasm out there surrounding music education, if only it can be effectively tapped. Music Month is the perfect way to engage new minds and enlist fresh voices in the quest for better music education programs all over the nation and in every school district.
3. Children Learn the Importance of Perseverance
Music Month means more chances for youngsters to learn.
Many studies have revealed that any child who studies music learns perseverance as a side benefit. Especially when it comes to taking instrument lessons, children soon realize the value of sticking with something for a long-term reward.
4. Music Education Helps Children Learn Better
Of course, there’s a vast body of research supporting the concept that children who study music learn important social skills in the process. Whether it’s being in a band, taking classes with others or learning to play guitar in a small group, music education has a unique way of helping young people learn to get along better with each other.
5. It Helps Learners Relieve Stress
Music Month also offers a way to enhance programs that bring stress relief to students. Children who sing, play and listen to music regularly suffer fewer stress-related illnesses. One of the goals of Music In Our Schools Month is to bring the gift of music to more people in the community via student concerts and special events. That effort helps the kids too because playing an instrument or singing can be a great way to erase so many of the common stresses that go along with being a student.
6. It’s a Major Fundraiser
Music Month matters for monetary reasons too. Each March, schools report a significant increase in donations to music programs at all grade levels. This wonderful effect is a direct result of the efforts made by those who take part in Music In Our Schools Month.
How You Can Observe the Month’s Message All Year Long
It’s important to understand that you need not be a music teacher, school administrator or professional musician to help out with Music In Our Schools Month. In fact, there are dozens of ways to make your mark and contribute to the cause during the month of March. Here are just a few of the most popular ways people have worked of music education during past Music In Our Schools Month events:
Attending events: When you attend programs, meetings and concerts during the month of March, you help boost the overall effort and make a visible statement about how important music education is to you. Most school districts designate several concerts and other performances as official Music In Our Schools Month events. Most or all of the admission price for tickets goes directly to local music programs. When you attend one of these special shows, you get great value for the ticket price. Not only can you watch and enjoy the concert, you know that your admission fee will help children in your community who want to get all the benefits of music education.
Volunteering: Give you time to a local school, band or independent music school. Simply calling the organization and asking about volunteer opportunities is the most effective way to learn how you can help. There are so many ways to make you time count for program directors, teachers and students who need an extra hand in the classroom, during band practice, at a special event or during music lessons.
Spreading the word: Let everyone in your personal and business network know about the month’s events, the reasons they’re so important and ways they can help out. Use the power of social media, texting and chat rooms to let people know the location of the NAfME website, what Music In Our Schools Month is all about, and possible ways they can pitch in. Every new person you can bring into the effort can bring someone else. That’s how the month grew into the huge event that it has become.
Voicing your support: Call your school district and let them know that you know how important music education is. Use you voice to lend support to the cause. This is also a good time to ask educators about local opportunities for volunteering during the month of March or anytime throughout the year for a music class or program that needs a little extra help.
Donating: One of the simplest and most effective ways to support Music In Our Schools Month is to make a cash donation to a local music program you want to assist. Because music programs are on the decline all over the country, a direct donation of needed funds can help revive a music program that is about to go extinct. Consider putting your money to good use by donating to the cause.
How to Begin
Visit the National Association of Music Education website at https://nafme.org/programs/miosm/ and make a plan to use the month as your personal time to advocate for music education. You don’t need to donate money or time if it’s inconvenient to do so right now. Simply consider being a voice for music programs in your community by telling people about the very special events going on in the month of March.
If you do have time or money, or both, to donate, contact your local school administration office and tell them you want to help our with Music In Our Schools Month as a donor or volunteer. Your offer of assistance will be greatly appreciated and you’ll be given a contact number or email address of a person who can let you know about specific ways to help in your community.