The 2015 Music In Our Schools Tour began with a performance at Festival Disney as part of Disney Performing Arts by country artist RaeLynn, who wrote the MIOS tour theme song, “Always Sing.” The tour then stopped at five schools, enjoying student ensemble performances and a private concert from RaeLynn at each event, which Radio Disney’s on-air personality Brooke Taylor hosted.
The route included visits to schools in five cities:
- Sayville High School in Sayville, NY
- Bowie High School in Bowie, MD
- Mason Elementary in Canton, OH
- Ridge View Elementary in Hobart, IN
- Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Jeffersonville, IN
Culminating on March 14, students from Head Middle School in Nashville, TN, performed with RaeLynn at the Grand Ole Opry!
Hear what the Music Directors, Principals, Concert Attendees, and Community Members had to say about the Music In Our Schools Tour:
Sayville Principal Ron Hoffer said, “Music is a very important part of our school program. I am proud of our music teachers, Karen DiMartino and Ari Kramer, who inspired the students to create and perform this piece to be considered for the tour. Sayville’s music program is rich in tradition and our community has demonstrated a tremendous amount of support for our performing arts students.”
Tabor Stamper, chair of Give a Note Foundation, commented, “We need to get everyone involved in supporting music education for students. Too often, programs are cut without regard to the life-long benefits music study provides for students. We hope through this tour that people will remember how important music was to them and how it has helped them to achieve success. RaeLynn’s song reminds us that music stays with us and we can ‘Always Sing’… or play.”
When asked about what it meant to have her school selected as part of the Music In Our Schools Tour, Mason Elementary School Music Director Rachael Fleischaker said, “I don’t have the words to truly express the full meaning of being selected to participate in this event. Here are a few that begin to create a picture: appreciated, supported, valued, honored, affirmed, humbled, grateful, alive, inspired, passionate, professional, connected (to a greater cause), invigorated. I truly cannot thank NAfME and The Give a Note Foundation enough for this incredible honor.”
Rachael said that she hopes to turn the grant money into a self-sustaining fund: “Vision involves developing a musical theater company. I would like to buy the rights to a musical and acquire costumes and scenery. I hope to produce the musical during the 2015-2016 school year. Proceeds that are raised from the event would be used for a production the following year.”
Have you seen increased interest and/or support from your administration and/or community since the recent MIOS tour visit?
“This event has definitely increased interest. I have already been asked by two district administrators to have the Mason choir sing at future events. One told me that she just couldn’t stop smiling through the event and really wants to share that feeling with others in the community. I have also received many notes and cards in appreciation for the performance from family and community members.”
– Rachael Fleischaker, Music Director, Mason Elementary School
Jennifer Korfhage, principal at Thomas Jefferson Elementary Schools said, “This experience was one that our students will always remember. They worked extremely hard to prepare for the event and to share this event with our community meant a great deal. The students’ reaction to meeting RaeLynn was priceless: ‘I felt like a rock star,’ one of the students said. This was the most amazing thing she had ever experienced and it was all because she chose to sing.”
Have you seen an increase in student interest and engagement in your school’s music program since the recent MIOS tour visit?
“Many students in the lower grades have made comments that they cannot wait to be a part of the choir so they can experience what our group did this year. We definitely have more students eager to have music as a part of their lives.“
– Jennifer Korfhage, Principal, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School
Students are much more than a test score. To bring out the best in every student, to give every student the best chance for success, our schools must focus on educating the whole child. Music provides students with the opportunity to explore, imagine, and create in ways other disciplines do not.
– Tom Lounges, Country star encourages local choir to ‘always sing,’ The Times of Northwest Indiana
“I was absolutely thrilled to have the Give a Note Music in Our Schools tour highlight our students and music education program. The music teachers at Bowie High School, and in our school system, work extremely hard to provide a quality music education for our students. This recognition meant the world to us, and it was so nice that our students were able to perform along with RaeLynn during the concert.”
– Sally Burns, Music Director, Bowie High School, Bowie, MD
How do you plan to utilize the Give a Note Foundation grant to enhance your music program?
“The grant money is a real blessing to our music department as we are going through a period of budget cutbacks, some of which were unexpected. The funds will enable us to purchase items that we will need to get through the remainder of the school year. This includes needs along the lines of emergency instrument repairs, reeds, strings for our class guitar/orchestra instruments, adapters for piano class, and any additional music that might be needed for our end of the year concerts.”
“Being selected as a stop on the MIOS concert tour and receiving the Give a Note Foundation grant for our music department has been one of the highlights of my teaching career. Working with the representatives from NAfME to plan the event, and seeing it come to fruition in a very short period of time was very rewarding. The music teachers and music students along with the members of Bowie High School Tri-M Music Honor Society, Chapter 1531 are extremely grateful for the opportunity that was given to us to host this event and be a recipient of the Give a Note Foundation grant.”
– Sally Burns, Music Director, Bowie High School, Bowie, MD
“Having our small town see our kids receiving recognition for making music was huge for us. Music is well-supported by our administration, but it is not often at the forefront of experiences that our community counts among the most important or impactful. For members of our school administration, politicians, teachers, parents, and community stakeholders to see music-making as something that can really shape their children’s experience of the world made a big difference in this town. I hope it is a lasting one.” – Kristin Loos, Music Director, Ridge View Elementary School
“I believe that the MIOS visit has confirmed a few things to our community and school administrators. I believe that it has raised the bar in the minds of our community. By that, I mean that perhaps some may have dismissed elementary music classes or elementary musicians as unable to produce excellence in performance or educational value. I think the baseline expectation of school music classes has been raised a few notches by this tour visit.” – Kristin Loos, Music Director, Ridge View Elementary School
Want to see more? Watch a daily recap video from each tour stop!
About Give a Note Foundation:
Since 2011, Give a Note Foundation has conducted national awareness campaigns and raised funds to support and strengthen music education programs across the U.S. The programs have reached millions of parents and students and provided more than $1 million in direct grants to schools.
Learn more about Give a Note Foundation
Help give the gift of music! Text “MusicEd GAN” to 20222 to donate $10! Message & Data Rates May Apply. Details: http://www.giveanote/org/contribute/
Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®) is a program of affiliated organization, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). MIOSM spotlights music education and the benefits music teachers bring to their students and school communities.
The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) provides a number of forums for the sharing of information and opinion, including blogs and postings on our website, articles and columns in our magazines and journals, and postings to our Amplify member portal. Unless specifically noted, the views expressed in these media do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Association, its officers, or its employees.
Kristen Rencher. March 26, 2015. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)