Have you ever been in a situation where you suddenly realize that March is less than a week away, and you’ve done absolutely nothing to prepare for Music in Our Schools Month (MIOSM)? Me too. That’s when the panic sets in. You had good intentions, so many plans for grandeur, so much potential. But it completely slipped your mind. Looking on the bright side, there’s nothing like a pint-sized dose of panic to inspire creativity!
Go to The National Association for Music Education Website. You’ll find tons of amazing resources to help you get started. They have nearly everything you’ll need to plan a successful month of celebrating music education
ADVERTISE & ADVOCATE
Let everyone in your school community know that music education is being celebrated during the entire month of March. Your adverts don’t need to be elaborate, you could:
- decorate a bulletin board
- create & distribute pamphlets detailing the importance of music education
- make weekly reminder announcements over the intercom
- request free advertising space in the local newspaper
- give a brief presentation at a school board meeting on the benefits of music ed
- request time at a school board meeting for a brief music informance with your students
- host a folk dance night, where students and their adults are encouraged to participate together
- Place music ed fact sheets on music stands near your classroom, in the main office, in the superintendent’s office, or taped up in bathroom stalls (best place ever); make them as succinct as possible, highlighting the real-life benefits of music ed
PLAN A FRIENDLY CONTEST
Read a music trivia question during the morning announcements and have students place their answers in a central location. Then, pick several winners at the end of the week and award them with music pencils, candy, small toys, or other small trinket. Bonus points if it relates to music! If you don’t want to plan that far in advance, make it easy by choosing random winners. You could even include other teachers and staff.
THINGS TO BUY
- Buttons to distribute to staff and administration
- Treat bags for staff, administration, and school board
- Prizes for contests (bookmarks, erasers, pencils, stickers, kazoos, etc.)
- Music Education T-Shirt (wear it with pride!)
- Music Advocacy Slideshow for Parents & Teachers
Discuss your plans with your custodians first! They don’t want to clean up excess tape residue from poorly placed banners or be expected to organize logistics for a last-minute presentation.
Lastly, don’t be disheartened if MIOSM doesn’t immediately take hold in your community. With persistence and time, your MIOSM events will become a tradition, and traditions are always remembered.