Music in Our Schools Month
by Talia Trackim
March marks the month-long celebration of music education across the United States. Aimed at bringing the attention of school’s from math problems to melodies, the National Association for Music Education (NAFME) celebrates the power of music through Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM).
The celebration began as a statewide event in 1793 but has since expanded to become a month long national movement. Its purpose is to remind schools of their duty to provide all students with access to music education.
Music education is a critical aspect of education. With falling funds and budget cuts, the growing popularity of STEM based education, and adherence to AP classes, SATs, and ACTs, music and art education is on the decline. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand and appreciate the need for STEM education and encourage that students all over the world have access to it. However, not everyone is suited for a career in STEM. Some people excel in math, while others find their home in the theater.
According to studies researched by PBS, musical education has lasting effects on student growth and development. For one, it increases student motivation. Students who are able to play instruments and sing advanced pieces develop a sense of accomplishment, which then can be translated to confidence in motivation in other academic areas.
In addition, music education provides distinct relationships to students’ cognitive abilities; it improves our auditory and visual abilities as well as enhances the way we process and understand emotions. Music also aids in developing logic, reasoning, and critical thinking.
Another study conducted in Missouri shows that kids who participate in arts education are more likely to have a higher attendance and less likely to get into trouble. MIOSM itself cites music education as “enhancing creative thinking and problem solving, building collaboration and communication skills, and developing discipline and persistence.”
NAFME dedicates March to music education by administering t-shirts, banners, and posters to schools to raise awareness and by hosting and encouraging schools to host their own concerts to showcase the value of music education. This year’s concert repertoire includes “Celebrar el Dia,” “Dona Nobis Pacem,” “Enter with Singing,” “I Sing Because I’m Happy,” “I’ve Been to Haarlem,” “Imaginary Lines,” and “The Moon.”
Be sure to celebrate this musical month by appreciating, and even participating in, the music programs at your school.