Margaret Trefz, an MENC member and retired music educator, has fond memories of Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®) activities at her South Dakota schools each March. She taught K–12 music for 43 years and shares her experiences here:
“Over the years we used a number of March activities to commemorate Music In Our Schools Month at our schools in Webster, South Dakota. The Webster Area School District has approximately 230 students in grades K–6, 76 students in grades 7 and 8, and 176 students in the high school. As with [many] rural communities, attendance has been in a steady decline over the years. During my first year of teaching in the Webster Area Schools, the high school had approximately 400 students.
“In the elementary school we hosted two days of what we called ‘informances.’ On the first day, grades 1–3 would perform for grades 4–6. On the second day, grades 4–6 would perform for grades 1–3. Performance activities included dance, movement, Lummi stick activities, songs and Dalcroze balls with narration by students or teachers. The song literature would include favorites, literature from our textbook, or some of the repertoire from the World’s Largest Concert® (WLC®) .
“Parents and family members were invited. Although, this event required much planning, it was well received by students, parents and staff. We showed The World’s Largest Concert to each elementary music class.”
“We designed a special bulletin board for the elementary music room and hung posters celebrating MENC’s MIOSM. Grades 7 and 8 would generally view a video, that demonstrated support for school music programs such as Music of the Heart. We also viewed and studied American musicals.
“Another March middle school activity was a semi-annual field trip to a local church for a live demonstration of the pipe organ by the church’s minister of music. The students were allowed to step into the back room where most of the pipes were housed. Back in the classroom, the students completed a short worksheet on the pipe organ demonstration.
“The high school vocal and instrumental departments scheduled an annual cabaret show as an MIOSM activity, which included a catered dinner. The jazz/show choir and jazz band were the featured performers, and students prepared and performed original skits. Ensembles made up of other music students performed as pre-show entertainment. Door prizes donated by local businesses were awarded during intermission.
“I am a newly retired music specialist and choral conductor. I enjoy maintaining my professional memberships in MENC and the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Attending conferences and maintaining relationships with my music colleagues continues to be a priority for me. Thank you so much for allowing me to share some of my experiences and thanks for all MENC does for music education.”
—Roz Fehr, March 25, 2011. © MENC: The National Association for Music Education