March is a special month for music education as it signifies the commencement of Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM). This is an occasion where districts throughout the United States highlight the contributions of music education in their schools. For over 30 years, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has formally designated March as MIOSM to raise awareness about the importance of music education for all children. The observance provides music teachers with an opportunity to exhibit the benefits of their programs to the school and community, and promote the value of high-quality music education.
Coincidentally, MIOSM aligns perfectly with Opus 88, the School of Music’s initiative to actively participate in all 88 counties of Ohio, whether it is in performing centers, libraries, or public schools.
As part of our effort, six percussion majors ranging from freshmen to doctoral levels, our percussion professor Dr. Susan Powell, Tanya Sparks, and I recently visited South Gallia Middle School during their Right to Read Week. We were warmly welcomed by the teachers there, particularly Mrs. Angela Cremeens, who was a gracious host.
Located in the heart of Appalachia in Gallia County, along the Ohio River, and neighboring Point Pleasant, West Virginia, the school’s stunning and winding trek set us up for an enriching day at the school. It was an incredible opportunity for us to engage with the students and teachers at South Gallia Middle School. We were thrilled to share our experiences and learn from the students’ engagement, questions, and enthusiasm. We are looking forward to future engagements across our state very soon!