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NAfME Marks March 2020 as the 35th Music In Our Schools Month

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The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) recognizes March as the 35th annual Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM). Next month, music educators and music students will be celebrating music education in their schools and communities with concerts and classroom activities that show how “Music Changes Lives,” the theme of the 2020 observance of Music In Our Schools Month.

Since 1985, MIOSM has been observed as a yearly month-long celebration when schools and communities celebrate music in their local schools and the educators who dedicate themselves to bringing music into the lives of students every day. This year the NAfME Council for General Music Education has provided teachers resources to show the learning process throughout the whole school year. The “Music In Our Schools Month®: Process into Product” document explains this new direction, which began in 2018.

Each school year provides an opportunity for music educators to show that process through “informances”—when students demonstrate various learning stages—before the performances at the end of that process. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to show their growth and learning in the music classroom—and for educators to share the incredible work they are doing in their music programs. NAfME also celebrates the music program leaders, superintendents, school boards, parents, and local businesses that support their local schools’ music programs and the difference music makes for all students.

NAfME encourages teachers and music education advocates to share on social media how their schools are celebrating music education, using the hashtags #MusicChangesLives and #MIOSM and tagging “@NAfME.”

This year NAfME has provided MIOSM lesson plans for 20 songs, including resources from the Library of Congress, instructional goals and objectives, connections to the National Core Arts Standards learned in each lesson, worksheets, and more. Additionally, music educators can join in the “biggest school chorus in the world” with American Young Voices, which has provided lesson plans, teaching aims and objectives, sheet music, vocal tracks, and more for the song “Pinwheels.” NAfME has also provided classroom materials for MIOSM that teachers can share with their students as they celebrate how “Music Changes Lives” in their classrooms and schools. All of these items are available at nafme.org/MIOSM.

On March 26, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, NAfME will host a congressional briefing for legislators, Hill staffers, and stakeholders on music education and social-emotional learning. Speakers will include Scott Edgar, Associate Professor of Music, Music Education Chair, and Director of Bands at Lake Forest College and author of Music Education and Social Emotional Learning: The Heart of Teaching Music, and Bob Morrison, school board member and New Jersey music education advocate. For more information, contact advocacy@nafme.org.

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