What States Are Doing for MIOSM 2011


Delynne West, an elementary music teacher in Bryant, Arkansas, invites a string quartet from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra to perform at her school. Her students also present a fourth grade recorder concert.
From Shelly O’Dell, Benton County School of the Arts

At Benton County School of the Arts (K-8 campus) in Rogers, AR, we plan to celebrate MIOSM in the following ways this year:

  • Advertising around school/posters/MENC MIOSM give-aways (pencils, paper, buttons, etc.)
  • Encourage fellow teachers to integrate music into their classrooms all month long.
  • We will have a theme each week and details about the theme will be on the morning announcements each day: (themes may be)
  • Music History Week
  • Musical Instruments Week
  • American Composers Week
  • Music Around the World Week
  • The 7/8 choir will attend a field trip to the Walton Arts Center to see the Vienna Boys Choir
  • The 7/8 choir will participate in Little Rock/at the Capital MIOSM event on March 16th

From Judy Rogers, Chair, Arkansas MIOSM Activities

We have state-wide event called the Capitol Concerts where schools come from across the state to sing the selections from the World’s Largest Concert. This year we have about 800 students from 21 different schools participating.
From Patty Oeste at Ruth Doyle Intermediate School, Conway, Arkansas. Patty is the current ArkMEA President.

  • Mystery Voice – I tape a well-known teacher, using an easy Orff ostinato, saying a chant about guessing who they are. The kids then get to guess. I don’t know why, but they absolutely LOVE to do this. I sometimes have them write down who they think it is, or if time is limited, I just have them whisper the name in my ear.
  • Musical Symbols Mobils – Basically, I created two sheets of musical symbols. We talk about them first, then color, then laminate, then cut out. After that, we put yarn on them, bend a hanger into a diamond shape, and detach the curved hanger top. The curved hanger top then becomes a hanger to which attaches all of the four corners of the diamond shaped (bent) hanger – with yarn on each of the four corners. The four yarn pieces from the sides attach to the curved hanger top. The curved hanger top then gets hung in the hallway. Very, very colorful. When March is over, I send them home, each in a plastic bag.
  • I sent out a note last year for the teachers to sign up if they wanted their door decorated in some sort of musical fashion. Out of 42 letters, 40 signed up! I ended up finishing about 25 of them. I can recycle them this year and will try to add the rest. I kind of tried to gear it to that specific teacher’s likes. For instance, for the fifth grade science teacher, I did a picture of the “musician’s brain.” There is one teacher who loves jazz, so I drew a picture of a group of jazz musicians playing their instruments and put a quote about jazz around it, etc.
  • Musical Lunch Club – This was a HUGE hit. Over spring break, any student that wanted to would watch a musical with their parents, fill out a question sheet, and return it to me. In return, they would be invited to the Musical Lunch Club. That is, they got a “ticket” to attend lunch in my room with me providing dessert. I dressed up in a different costume each time, and they were to try and guess what musical it was from. I wasn’t counting on such great participation… There were about 125 kids that ended up being involved. I took 10 at a time for lunch. I bought those little ice cream cups from the cafeteria (chocolate, vanilla, and rainbow sherbert). That was an inexpensive and easy way to provide the promised “dessert.”
  • WLC At The Capitol – My choir participates with several hundred other Arkansas kids at the state Capitol. Smaller individual groups perform first, then we finish with all of us singing the WLC music.
  • Wear A Musical Piece Of Clothing – On a Friday, I ask all of the students to wear a piece of clothing that has musical motives on it. That is a hoot! If they wear something, they come to my room (this year I have my digital camera and plan to use it to photograph the kids) and receive a musical gift!
  • Musical Bulletin Board In The Cafeteria – I use the theme “Music Adds Color to _______ School” and put up pictures of the kids during music, or performing throughout the year, or throughout past years. This was very, very popular. I cut the individual students out and use just their figures, scattered around the huge bulletin board in the Cafeteria. I spray painted the background in various tie-dye colors. It was really nice.
  • Parent Guest Artists – I have many parents that volunteer to come and share their talents with their child’s class. This year, I have a vocalist (folk), an orchestra director (also, percussionist), an opera director, a bluegrass player, and a jazz musician. All of these are parents of the kids at our school.
  • Inviting Parents to the music classroom – I have extended invitations to parents to attend their child’s music class. I make sure that we do hands-on activities and get the parents involved in making music with their child. It is SO wonderful to watch the parent and child interact with music. Lots of smiles all around.


For years, the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) has been scheduling performances by school music ensembles at the New York state capital, Albany, to raise awareness of the importance of music education in the nation’s schools. This year, according to Executive Director Steven Schopp, on March 7, there will be public performances by the NYSSMA 2010 All-State Vocal and Instrumental Jazz Ensembles to kick off Joseph Sugar Day, honoring the late educator, who came up with original concept for MIOSM in 1973.

It’s a large undertaking logistically, scheduled well in advance of the actual performance dates. However, it has the added benefit of getting the word out to the people who make the decisions regarding school funding at the state level, reminding them that school music programs are just as important as the other subject areas that often get the lion’s share of state education assistance.

If this all sounds a bit daunting, consider scheduling a performance for your next school board meeting in March. These are the folks who make the funding decisions at the local level. They need to hear the message, too, and there’s no one better suited to sending it than you and your students!


From Chuck Neidhardt, PMEA MIOSM Chairman

In Pennsylvania for many years we have had school ensembles perform each day during March in the state capital building in Harrisburg. We have two locations, one for instrumental and one for choral. All but two days have been scheduled for the choral site, and ten instrumental groups have also been scheduled.

We have a form in the Fall issue of our state magazine with the application and it can also be accessed online at our website. In addition we also contact the state representative and senator from that school district and many of them attend the performance, along with the usual picture taking, and give or arrange for a tour of the capital building.

We also try to arrange for some meetings between our state Executive Director, and officers with some of the state leaders.


From Lisa Qualls, North Carolina MEA

I have sent letters related to MIOSM to all school superintendents in our state. I email all elementary teachers in January encouraging participation.


From Rebecca Bollig, Kansas MEA

In Kansas, every year we try to get a proclamation passed. We have a new governor this year so it’ll be a bit harder. I set-up a booth at our In-Service Workshop every year displaying the DVD, passing out information, stickers, etc. for teachers involved in the program.

Also, teachers are encouraged to attend the Kansas Citizens for the Arts “Arts Day at the Capitol” in March where arts educators talk to their legislators about the importance of an arts education.


From Nylah Beach, MIOSM Chairperson for Missouri

At our state meeting each year we have a scheduled session for MIOSM.

There is an article in each issue of the state music magazine written by the MIOSM state chairperson. In these articles I try to point out ways to be involved with MIOSM and also discuss related topics.

At the state meeting MIOSM items, mostly pencils and buttons are given to anyone attending some of the Elementary and General Music Sessions.

For the past several years The President of MMEA meets with the governor of MO. for signing of the proclamation for MIOSM. At this time CD’s of the All State Performances are given to many government officials.

In the past we have had panel discussions by teachers in different areas of music tell how they incorporate MIOSM in their classrooms and the benefits of the program. Last year and again this year we will have a discussion on how to keep a healthy music program or what to do if your program is having problems. These have been well attended and the discussions have been lively.

As MIOSM chairperson I have encouraged teachers to let me know how they use MIOSM in their classrooms. Some have special concerts, some go out into the community to perform. At my school we have a special concert for the entire elementary school , plus a poster and essay contest. We also invite a local musician or group to perform for the students.


Renee Wyatt from West Virginia is going to have the World’s Largest Concert shown in her community.

Want to share what’s happening in your state? Comment below!

Music In Our Schools Month