Music education advocates did their part, too. Lisa Bluhm, “Mrs. Pacific Northwest America,” was an active ambassador in spotlighting music education’s benefits. She visited school music classes and even went to a radio station to ask personnel to air MENC’s “Why Music?” public service announcements.
The Mrs. America organization and its state and local title-holders work with MENC to advocate for music education around the United States. Bluhm describes her MIOSM experiences:
“I contacted many schools in my area to visit their classes to share some inspiration about music education and why it is important for the students. I received a great response. The teachers are excited to have a special guest come to their class.
“While I admit I am not an expert about music, I found all the information I needed on the MENC Website. My message is simple. I explain to the students how music classes help their minds to think and learn better in all their classes.
“I tell them about the opportunities there are for them in school and with competitions. I discuss with them what kind of music they like and how music is a part of our everyday lives. I also discuss future careers they can have in the music industry.
“I went to a class yesterday — third graders, great teacher and so much fun. I brought the “Music! Just imagine…” face tattoos I found on the MENC Website and all the kids wore them! I also got to do some songs with them. They really love their music class.
“I am so glad I have this opportunity to visit the schools. I like being able to talk about an important message. … I planned on only taking a few minutes, but each time we filled the whole class time. The kids asked a lot of questions and were eager to share their thoughts on music. They were also excited to show me songs that they were working on, and instruments they are playing.
“In one class I sat on the floor with them as they showed me how to play an African song game. In another class the teacher taught me how to play a marimba!
“The teachers [have been] grateful for the support that MENC gives them, and felt appreciative that there are people like us who advocate for Music Education and its importance. I am grateful to have this opportunity to use my title to be able to visit schools with an important message.”
Read more about Bluhm’s school visits on her blog.
Have News? Contact Roz Fehr, MENC Managing Editor of News
–Roz Fehr, March 18, 2010 © MENC: The National Association for Music Education