Music In Our Schools Month® or “MIOSM®” is the annual NAfME celebration during March that engages music educators, students, and communities from around the country in promoting the benefits of high quality music education programs in schools.
Music In Our Schools Month began as a single statewide Advocacy Day and celebration in New York in 1973 and grew over the decades to become a month-long celebration of school music in 1985.
Here is the actual timeline:
1973—The New York State School Music Association sponsors the Music In Our Schools celebration.
1975-76—MENC (now NAfME) sponsors two national Music In Our Schools days, March 13, 1975 and March 4, 1976.
1977—MENC creates Music In Our Schools Week after members who wanted to participate asked for more flexibility to plan events in March.
1985—MENC expands the event to the entire month of March and creates The World’s Largest Concert in which music teachers and students from throughout the United States and Europe gathered at the same time to sing their same concert program in their schools.
1990s—The World’s Concert is broadcast on PBS stations throughout the United States, and students, teachers, families, and members of the community gather to experience the results of a high quality music education.
2000—The Association encourages schools to create community events to “encourage the sharing and making of music by all.”
2002—Through the help Sibelius Music, the Association makes free instrumental scores available online, and more secondary school bands and orchestras participate.
2006— The World’s Concert theme, “Music the Heart of Education” takes place in Branson, Missouri as a benefit for Feed the Children.
2013—NAfME posts videos of the concert, now known as the Concert for Music In Our Schools Month, online and encourages members to use social media to encouraged page views of their videos.
Mike Blakeslee, past Deputy Executive Director of NAfME, said the goal for MIOSM has remained the same throughout the years: “To give music educators the opportunity to showcase their music programs for school administrators, members of the community. March gives them a chance to advocate for their programs and NAfME provides them with high-quality materials to do just that.”