Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March is Music in Our Schools Month

Guest Bloggers:
Ruth Banwell, Instrumental Music Teacher
Seth Matuszak, Middle School Orchestra Director
Sarah Lidholm, High School Orchestra Director

March has been officially designated by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) for the observance of Music in Our Schools Month (MIOSM), the time of year when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation. It all started in 1973. The purpose is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children and to remind citizens that schools is where all children should have access to music. 

What is the role of music in educating our students? Studies have shown positive links between engagement with music and academic achievement. That’s important. But, we believe that music does something even better for our students than what can be measured directly by test scores. Music shapes the way our students understand themselves and the world around them. It allows for deep engagement with learning. It nurtures creativity, curiosity, personal motivation, and emotion. In other words, music is essential to a superior and well-rounded 21st Century education.

Music teachers celebrate MIOSM in many ways.  They offer special performances, lessons, sing-alongs and activities in order to bring their music programs to the attention of administrators, parents, colleagues, and communities. It is important to display the positive benefits that school music brings to students of all ages. 

Janesville’s music program is a rich, diverse part of students’ academic lives. Students are able to participate in a wide range of musical opportunities. Band, orchestra, and choir classes give frequent concerts and a chance to showcase students’ pride in hard work and accomplishment. School musicals combine acting, singing, dancing, and instrumental music into one collaborative, creative performance. Jazz bands, Chamber Orchestras, Pep and Marching bands provide the community with musical experiences that entertain and enhance events. Show choirs give students a chance to sing and dance with a live band and compete at a high level against other groups. Music instruction provides students with musical knowledge and a love for listening and performing that can last a lifetime.

Special Event for Everyone 

The Middle and High Schools’ orchestra program is preparing for a very special event this year featuring world renowned electric violinist Mark Wood. Mark is an Internationally-known professional musician and one of the original founders and former member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He has also performed with artists such as Celine Dion, Billy Joel, and Lenny Kravitz, and many other well known musicians. Mark Wood is also founder of Wood Violins, the premier manufacturer of electric violins, violas, and cellos worldwide.

This spring, Mark will be traveling from New York to Janesville to conduct a two day workshop and concert with our middle and high school orchestra students.  The concert will be held at Craig High School on Thursday, March 31 in the Large Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and free for children in Kindergarten and younger. Tickets can be purchased at Knapton Musik Knotes, Voigt Music Center, or any of the middle and high schools.  Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door. We hope you consider attending this exciting event and support music in our schools! For more information on Mark Wood, check out his website at http://markwoodmusic.com.

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