#MIOSM Instagram Challenge

March is Music In Our Schools month!

Let’s celebrate with the National Association for Music Education. They’re celebrating 30 years of MIOSM this year!

So remember how I’m always going on about “marketing music education?” MIOSM is a wonderful reminder to do that. And it’s much better than mourning Music NOT In Our Schools Month.

It’s so easy. Here’s how:

Pull out your phone and open up Instagram. Log in. Got it? Good.

(You can’t post to Instagram from anywhere but a mobile device, so start an account if you haven’t already!)

Now follow @MktgMusicEd and @NAfME. Well done!

NAfME has created a beautiful graphic: go download it, and then change your social media profile pics for the month. Go ahead; I’ll wait.


Back? Great!

Okay, now back to Instagram. That pic you just downloaded? Upload it to Instagram. Fancy it up with filters, if you’d like. Then in the caption, tell everyone that it’s Music In Our Schools Month. Something like this:

Change your Facebook and Twitter profile pics to celebrate the Music in Our Schools Month! #MIOSM30
Info: http://t.co/6DUkLqKSW8


March is Music In Our Schools Month! #MIOSM #MIOSM30 #MktgMusicEd

If that image doesn’t excite you, I’ve collected a few others here. Feel free to embellish them in your favorite app of choice. I like these apps!

Instagram apps

Great. So you’re all set for day 1 of the MIOSM Instagram challenge. What about the rest of the month?

I’ve got you covered.

Each week, I’ll post a list of photo challenges, one for each day. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to post an image that reflects that day’s theme.

Or you could just post anything for MIOSM, of course—but a challenge makes it more fun!

I’ve created a Google calendar just for this MIOSM Instagram challenge. If you subscribe to the calendar, it can even send you reminders!

I’ll also post images across social media reminding you of the week’s challenges.

Gary Doherty, author of The Ignition Point


The show notes for this episode of Marketing Music Education are ready, but due to technical difficulties with my hosting provider, the podcast episode itself will not be available until Sunday, March 1. In the meantime, enjoy a few of these links, and I’ll catch you in a few days!

Ignition_PointGary Doherty is spearheading a conversation that is long overdue, particularly in the field of music education. We were introduced at Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic by mutual friend Cam Stasa (who gets an associate producer credit for this episode). After just a few moments with him, I knew that Gary Doherty could speak with authority to the importance of self-care and wellness for music educators (and volunteers!) as someone who had spent thirty years in the trenches of music ed and performance, and paid the price.

In this episode, Gary talks about his own personal “ignition point,” how to recognize your own, and even how to create one for yourself or someone you love. He talks about what came next on his journey, and how his relationship with food has changed. We cover the paleo lifestyle, the slow food movement, and his adult beverages of choice, influenced by his secondary career as a mixologist.

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Wage Equality: Patricia Arquette and her Oscar Acceptance Speech

As she accepted her Academy award last night, Patricia Arquette of Boyhood (and one of my favorite shows, Medium) surprised everyone by using her speech to advocate for wage equality.


“To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights,” Arquette said.

“It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

Her words were met with enthusiasm from the live audience.




By the next morning, though, the blowback had started. Not from those objecting to equal pay, but from those advocating “intersectionality.” I had to look it up.

Other feminists were openly condemning her for—not going far enough, I guess?

Look, the only way there will be progress on this issue is if the issue is talked about. By slamming a woman who chose to use a few seconds of her time on the world’s stage to discuss this issue, it gives the whole movement a bad name. This is why “feminism” is a four-letter word.

By vilifying Arquette for not saying it the way YOU would have said it, it makes millions of supporters less likely to speak out.

I do not at all dispute the existence of intersectionality. On the contrary: it’s insidious. But we can only speak from our own experiences. Arquette’s perspective, like my own, is that of a white woman. We can’t change that. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t begin to empathize with women of color, or that the struggles of white women are somehow more important than anyone else’s.

The way I took her statement, she was calling out everyone who has ever had a mother (HINT: that’s everyone) to pitch in to fix wage equality.

Ladies, we can’t spend our energy shouting one another down for “doing it wrong.” We all have to pull in the same direction.

practice slowly

Practice slowly to learn fast!


If you want to learn something quickly, practice that thing S-L-O-W-L-Y. Because your brain is like a fresh snowdrift.


Listen to find out why musicians should practice slowly.

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Search a Facebook group

Yes, there IS a way to search a Facebook group! Watch this video to find out how to search the posts within any given Facebook group from your desktop.

Keep in mind, Facebook’s search algorithm is better than it used to be, but still not comprehensive. I often go looking for a post I know exists in the group, yet the search results fail to turn it up.



More social media tips

Facebook’s News Feed: Ask Me Anything

christopher bill photo credit scott streble

Christopher Bill


In my travels to Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in December, I sat in on a session presented by Christopher Bill, a YouTube artist who recently hit it big with his cover of Pharrell WilliamsHappy. He agreed to talk with me about his background, how he approached his college education and why he wouldn’t recommend it, and working as a musician in the 21st century.

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MME Cam Stasa

Cam Stasa


Cam Stasa is one of my favorite people on the planet. And if you’ve met her, as so many music educators have, I’d bet she’s one of yours, too.

In this conversation, we talk about:

  • her role at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago
  • how students and their families should approach applying to college
  • the unique way VanderCook prepares future music educators for the reality of today’s economy
  • the high burnout rate of music educators, and how to combat it
  • recruiting parent volunteers to save your sanity
  • the surprising fundraiser many programs are using
  • Cam’s reaction to the events of New Year’s Day Continue reading
Marc Whitt

Marc Whitt of the Association of Music Parents


About Marc Whitt

Marc WhittFor 32 years, Marc Whitt has devoted his professional career to nonprofit public relations and marketing, and has long been an active advocate for education, economic development and the performing arts.

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Christopher Woodside NAfME MME

Christopher Woodside of NAfME


I was thrilled to have a chance to speak with Christopher Woodside of the National Association for Music Education, otherwise known as NAfME. In a nutshell, he makes sure that everyone inside the Beltway knows how powerful music education is.

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State of the Music Program

Give a State of the Music Program Address

Tonight, America prepares to receive the State of the Union address. Both houses of Congress attend, and the speech is broadcast widely. There is much pomp and circumstance. I think our Executive Branch may be onto something. They’re being proactive about spreading their message, not reactive. Think about that, and then consider how we might adapt that idea for music education.

I’d like to propose a “State of the Music Program” address. Once a year, a representative of the music or fine arts department prepares a written (and oral) report and reserves time to present the report to the school board.

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