MIOSM® and Music Education
Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®), was designed 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. During MIOSM, we would like to highlight some of the great advocacy efforts by our Federated State Music Education Associations (MEAs).
The roots of MIOSM can be traced back to the New York School Music Association’s (NYSSMA) Joe Sugar Day; which was first celebrated on March 14, 1973. Since then, states across the country have been organizing their own advocacy events at the local and state lever to in support of music education. Many state music education association (MEA) have hosted advocacy events where music educators from across their state meet with lawmakers in advancing the mission of music for and by all students.
Students are using their voices to advocate for music education. Below are examples of students advocating for music in their own ways.
Arts at the Capitol in Hawaii
Students from the Hawaii Youth Symphony shared music and why it was important to them at the Art at the Capitol event. Students shared their stories and music with Senators and Representatives throughout the event.
Students at the Wisconsin Capitol
Students across Wisconsin perform at the state capitol throughout the month of March. Students were able to showcase their hard work and share the importance of music education.
Bella’s Passion Project
Bella Triplett, a junior high school student in Alabama, is passionate about music education. In Bella’s words ” Every child in this country has the right to an arts education, and music in particular – the arts are NOT extra-curricular – they are ESSENTIAL to every child’s education, growth, and happiness.”
Bella created a fundraiser to provide scholarships for music students in Alabama. Follow Bella’s advocacy journey on the Alabama Music Educators Association social media platforms or website.
Advocating Where You Are
Students from East Orange Campus HS in East Orange, New Jersey shared their musical talents and the importance of music with their peers at an in school Coffeehouse Performance.
California MEA Advocates for the Arts
Leaders and advocates from California have been busy sharing the message of supporting music and arts education with state leaders and decisions. They have met with California Department of Education Superintendent Tony Thurmond as well as testifying for the Assembly Education Committee in support of Assembly Bill #1718. Click here to read the bill text.
Missouri Governor, Mike Parson, Declares March as MIOSM
Congratulations to Missouri MEA for their advocacy efforts in promoting access to high quality music education programs! Governor Mike Parson’s MIOSM proclamation states
“WHEREAS, every student should have access and exposure to a well-balanced, comprehensive, sequential, and high-quality program of musical instruction taught by fully certified music teachers.”
Florida MEA President Dr. Shelby Chipman speaks about MIOSM
Hear FMEA President Dr. Shelby Chipman talk about the importance of music education and MIOSM on the podcast The Greatest hosted by Ben Sandifer. Memories.Listen below!
Georgia Senate Celebrates MIOSM
Members of the Georgia Music Educators Association celebrated with Senator Sonya Halpern a resolution passed in honor of Music In Our Schools Month. Below is selection from the resolution.
“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE that the members of this body commend the Georgia Music Educators Association for its concern and efforts to enhance the quality of music education in Georgia schools and recognize March 2022 as Music in our Schools Month
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the members of this body celebrate the observance of Music in our Schools Month as an opportunity to support the purposes and practices of music education and encourage teachers, students, and citizens to participate.”
See the complete resolution here.
Governor Hogan proclaims March “Music In Our Schools Month”
Congratulations to music education advocates in Maryland. Governor Hogan has proclaimed March “Music In Our Schools Month.”
Michigan State Senator Erika Geiss Statement on Music Education
On March 12th, Senator Ericka Geiss gave a statement on the importance of supporting music education in Michigan. During the statement Sentar Geiss said
“Every district in the state of Michigan should be as fortunate as mine to have such amazing music educators and robust music programs. And interestingly enough, there’s a bill to allow for that; Senate Bill 369. And I hope that it is one that we will take up and get passed so that we are providing for music education across this great state of Michigan and make not just March Music Education Month but allow our music educators to bring out the music and hone the craft in all of our students every month.”
Senator Geiss’ speech on MIOSM
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice Declares Music In Our Schools Month in the Mountain State
West Virginia MEA welcomed Governor Justice and Babydog to the Annual WVMEA In-Service Conference on March 4th. Governor Justice proclaimed March “Music In Our Schools Month” for the citizens of West Virginia. To quote Governor Justice: “Our arts and music are so important to our students from elementary to high school and I will always offer my support to them!”
Wisconsin MEA Legislative Drive-In Meetings
Wisconsin MEA held its virtual legislative drive-in day from February 8th-10th. For this event, 62 delegates met with state legislators for a total of 47 meetings. While many of these meetings were conducted virtually, Senator Stephen Nass requested that his meeting take place at a school within his district. As a lifelong resident of Whitewater, WI this gave Senator Nass the opportunity to conduct this meeting from the elementary school that he attended as a child.
The advocacy asks presented in the meetings included fully funding “music and the arts” education, ensuring all students have continued access to music classes taught by certified music teachers, and providing resources that recognize music as a crucial part of a well-rounded education. Lawmakers were receptive to WMEA’s asks, and Representative Francesca Hong went so far as to say that “The root of all our problems could be solved if we invested in education.”
Send us your advocacy story at firstname.lastname@example.org.