Empire State Building Lights Up for Music in Our Schools Month®

NAfME Joins VH1 Save the Music in New York to Celebrate Music


This year marks the 31st anniversary of Music in Our Schools Month® (MIOSM), started by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) in 1985. (You can read the history here.)

music in our schools


This year’s theme is “Music Inspires,” and teachers and students around the nation have shared in their schools and communities how music inspires them. A search of the hashtags #MIOSM2016 and #MusicInspires brings up hallway displays, bulletin boards, classroom activities, special performances, and more, all showing the positive impact of music in our schools.

Empire State Building
Image courtesy VH1 Save the Music

On this final day of MIOSM 2016, we are excited to join VH1 Save the Music in New York, as the Empire State Building’s tower lights shine in blue and yellow to celebrate Music in Our Schools Month. NAfME Executive Director and CEO Michael A. Butera will deliver remarks to commemorate MIOSM. VH1’s new executive director Henry Donohue will be joined by Grammy-Award winner Gladys Knight in celebrating music in our schools.

save the music
Gladys Knight and Michael Butera at the lighting of the Empire State Building for Music in Our Schools Month on March 31, 2016.

Remarks by Gladys Knight included:

  • “Everything in our lives whether we recognize it or not is music! When the taxis go, ‘honk honk’—that’s a note. We need to keep music in our children’s lives. Plus, it broadens us. The music that we learn and the lyrics that come with it tell us stories, how we can live and how we can do things better. And it’s so much easier to incorporate that into who we are when we have music along with it.”
  • “As I grew up and really learned what music was all about, it made a total difference in my spirit. Music opened me up to people, to love them and to appreciate the things that they said about me, even if it were things they didn’t like. And I learned from that. We need to give our children and others that kind of exposure.”
  • “Music’s always been there, and if it weren’t important, there wouldn’t be a heavenly choir—it doesn’t get any bigger than that! . . . Let’s make a difference, for our children. Whatever else we do wrong, let’s get the music right.”

We thank VH1 Save the Music for their support of high-quality music education for all students and for joining us in commemorating MIOSM this year.


Catherina Hurlburt, Communications Manager, March 31, 2016. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)