Music In Our Schools Month honors music education

Raising awareness for music education in America, the National Association for Music Education annually celebrates the month of March as Music In Our Schools Month. Schools across the country held performances.


Ciaran Byrne

Cheers!…Celebrating their music program, advanced choir members Mason Miller (left) and Holden Finley toast with Capri Sun juice pouches prior to their performance at the state capitol building on March 12.

By hosting concerts and performances during Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM), schools and music education associations across America celebrate and recognize the importance of music education in schools.
According to The National Association for Music Education, “The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music.”
MIOSM initially started as a single day in New York on March 14, 1973.
From there, it eventually grew into a full, nationwide and month-long celebration.
The first full, month-long celebration began in 1985.
According to band director Adam Tucker, many school districts have festivals and performances to celebrate MIOSM, and larger organizations sometimes get involved to encourage school music programs.
“Lots of school districts have big festival concerts that represent this,” Tucker said. “Also during this month, at our state capitol, there are performances every single day, from schools all around the state.”
This year, the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association sponsored concerts for school music organizations at the state capitol building, with some of Souderton’s groups being among them.
The advanced choir performed in Harrisburg on March 13.
The jazz band also had their own performance the same day. In addition to the performances at Harrisburg, all of the choirs and bands at Souderton performed at the school on March 15.
According to junior Cayden Johnson, most of the performers were excited about the event.
Johnson also hoped that the performances held at the high school would encourage younger students to participate in the music programs.
Tucker believes that the event can highlight what the performers are capable of with their work.
“When you get up to this level, it’s cool to see how independent the students can be and how they can take it and run with it.” Tucker said. “I think there are very few educational mediums that can do that.”
The performances hosted at the high school were set up in a “round robin” format, according to Tucker.
The performances hosted at Souderton were shorter than the ones at Harrisburg, as the Harrisburg performances were each an hour long.
According to Tucker, filling up a full hour of performance time can be difficult.
The ensembles performing at Souderton had less time to fill, only performing a few songs each during their “round robin” event.
According to senior Abigail Gladwell, the performances are a good thing to take part in since it helps the performers feel better about being a part of their concerts.
“I feel like it opens people up to the concert and makes people more comfortable,” Gladwell said.
Freshman Izzy McDonough thinks that the Souderton event helped promote more of the school’s ensembles to the audience as a whole.
“I think that it’s cool. Especially since a lot of parents and friends who go to see concerts will only see the band that their kid is in, so because it’s all of the bands in one night, then they get to see a lot more,” McDonough said.