Thursday, March 6, 2003

Bringing Music Into Georgia Schools

Every March, students and teachers across the country commemorate Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM), a month-long celebration of the importance of music to the world of education. Research, like that conducted by The Arts Education Partnership, continues to demonstrate the link between the arts and academic performance. Studies such as these underscore the necessity for a strong fine arts curriculum, sparking partnerships between private corporations and educational agencies designed to enhance the quality of music education in public schools.

One such partnership, the MetLife Youth Music Project being undertaken by the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and MetLife, is reaching students here in Georgia. The students of the Capital Area Mosaic, a community center serving two public housing communities in Atlanta, will use the $10,000 grant from the project to study African drumming, world music, and creative movement.

In addition to partnership such as this, students in Georgia can rely on organizations such as the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA), whose mission is to advocate the advance of music education in the state of Georgia through the promotion of quality events and learning opportunities intended for teachers, including those surrounding MIOSM.

For 19 years, one of the highlights of MIOSM has been the World's Largest Concert (WLC), a showcase of various groups of accomplished young musicians broadcast worldwide. The theme of the 2003 WLC is "Connect With Music," and it examines music as a versatile tool that can be used not only as a supplement to core subject areas, but also as an important piece of the education puzzle in its own right. This year?s featured choir will be the Children?s Chorus of Washington, who will be accompanied by the American Youth Philharmonic. They will perform a mélange of pieces, including:

- "America the Beautiful," by Samuel Ward and Katharine Lee Bates
- "Una luna brilla," by Aline Shader
- "Turn the Beat Around," by Peter and Gerald Jackson
- "Mmangwane," a South African folksong
- "Where Do the Starts Go," by Sherri Porterfield and Amanda Walter
- "M.T.'s Sage Advice," by Linda Spevacek
- "The Picnic of the World," by Jacques Offenbach and John Forster

PeachStar continues our commitment to fine arts education by airing the World?s Largest Concert live for the INSERT year on March 13, 2003. The WLC website provides background information about MIOSM and WLC, as well as music selections, lesson plans, advocacy materials, rehearsal CD information, and a free downloadable WLC Teacher's Guide. Be sure to take part in this year's MIOSM activities and look for additional arts-related opportunities from PeachStar in the months ahead.