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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Music In Our Schools Month 2020: Music Changes Lives

This year the Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®) theme is "Music Changes Lives", and I'm so excited to share some new ideas to celebrate! I've been celebrating Music In Our Schools Month® with my classes for years, but this new theme has sparked some new ideas that I think will be inspiring for the whole school community.

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When I first saw the new theme, I immediately knew I would be using the book "Because" by Mo Willems to introduce the theme! If you aren't familiar with the book already, here's a reading. It's a beautiful story with fantastic illustrations:

I plan to read the book to the class and then use the story as a prompt to lead into a discussion about how music has impacted our lives.

Poster Contest

Using the book "Because" as a starting point, I will have students use this template (click the image below to copy and paste to your own computer) to make a poster about how music has impacted their own lives- they might include things like, "because of piano I can make my own music", or "because of music I don't feel lonely", or "because of trombone I know how to work hard", or "because of choir I have new friends". I'll share some of my own thoughts from my own life as examples and then have them fill in their own thoughts by finishing the sentence, either with words or pictures (or both).

Rather than take too much class time working on the posters themselves, I'm planning to send these home and turn it into a poster contest! The class with the highest percentage of participation will get a class prize (probably to play a game like freeze dance at the end of class), and I'll also choose the best poster(s) to feature on our school website and hang up around the school.

Community Survey

I'm also planning to send out a survey to staff in my building, district administrators, and parents about songs that have impacted them. I'm sending these out now, at the beginning of February, so I'll have time to collect and compile them, and then I'm hoping to collect enough entries to play one song, and share the accompanying story, each morning on the announcements. If you'd like to see the survey I'm sending out, you can take a look at it below:

I think this will be a great way to get the community involved and thinking about the importance of music in their lives, while also inspiring students with stories from people in their community- I'm excited to see how this goes, and I can't wait to hear what people have to say!

Other Activities

Along with these new ideas I'll be using to tie into the specific theme for this year, I'll also be using a lot of the same activities from previous years, like Rhythm Battle and Disco Duel. The students look forward to these every year and I can't wait to get started with them again! If you aren't familiar with how I celebrate Music In Our Schools Month® be sure to check out all of my previous posts below- there are so many fun ways to celebrate with your school community, and they don't take a ton of effort to put together!

I can't wait to celebrate the impact and importance of music in our lives with my entire school community this year- I think it will be a wonderful month! If you have other ideas for ways to incorporate the new theme this year, I'd love to hear about them in the comments! Happy MIOSM!


  1. I love the book, Because. My own children love it, and I know my kids will too. I've been saving it for Music Month. Thanks for the ideas!